A month ago I was in Reno, Nevada meeting with one of my all-time favorite people in healthcare, Dr. Tony Slonim, the CEO of Renown Health. During our conversation, we touched on the language of love in healthcare. You see, Tony’s hospital has recently erected a Love statue on its campus. The massive sculpture was created by Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg and was exhibited at the 2019 Burning Man festival. According to Dr. Slonim, the sculpture became a point of solidarity for Renown’s employees and the community during the pandemic.
This led us to discuss the language of love, and how it is seldom used in healthcare. But Renown isn’t a typical healthcare organization and Dr. Slonim is not your typical healthcare CEO. “From a leadership perspective, we don’t like the status quo here. It’s a bold move. For me, love is a very endearing term, I am blessed to be loved and to love in a variety of ways. In some ways, the pandemic stirred up a bunch of emotions for us. It just felt right to go that next step and share it with others.”
Dr. Slonim has always believed in the importance of art in creating healing environments. This sculpture fits that theme. “That’s what art is supposed to do. Here at Renown, we’re very proud of all of our art, and the Love Statue is one more investment in the significance of art and music in our lives, and its importance in the healing process. And boy did we all need to heal after the pandemic.”
From my perspective, I’d like healthcare marketers and communicators, not just healthcare organizations, to think about using the language of love, kindness, and compassion. You may have never thought about it, but marketing is grounded in the language of warfare. We launch campaigns; we “target” audiences; we engage audiences; and we outflank the competition; we also use guerrilla marketing strategies and tactics – all part of the language of war. I don’t need to tell you that language is important. What would healthcare marketing be like if we approached it from a loving and compassionate perspective? Shouldn’t healthcare marketing be different? I’ve often written about seeing marketing as community-building rather than as some conquest where we try to hit people over the head with our messages. Think about it. Please.
So, Dr. Slonim has me thinking about the language of love. It is worth considering adding words like love and kindness to your brand’s lexicon. It may prove to be transformational!