Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 11.16.30 AMCustomer relationship marketing (CRM) and marketing automation are hot topics in the healthcare world. For many hospitals and health systems, these tools are still an aspiration rather than a reality. My friends at Corrigan Partners and Greystone.net are holding a CRM workshop for healthcare marketers on September 29th & 30th. This healthcare MarTech workshop will be a deep dive and open dialogue on the challenges of selecting, implementing and optimizing a CRM solution for your health system. The CRM Workshop will be held in Chicago at The Catalyst Ranch. Space is limited to 30 non-vendor participants so register asap. If you’d like to learn more, send them a note at info@greystone.net and they promise to follow up with details.

Here’s some information from the workshop brochure:

Learn How to Select, Implement and
Optimize a CRM Solution
Whether you are thinking about purchasing a
CRM system for the first time, want to select
a new vendor, are muddled in the throes of
implementation or aren’t getting the results you
hoped for, this workshop is for you. Over 1½
days, you’ll participate in educational sessions,
facilitated discussions and open dialogue on:

  • How do I craft a vision and strategy for
    CRM in my health system?
  • How do I pick the right CRM solution
    and vendor?
  • What changes will I have to make in the
    marketing department?
  • How can I ensure we’re getting the most
    out of our CRM system?
  • How do I get my CRM strategy back on
  • What can I learn from other industries
    that have used CRM for many years?
  • And much more . . .

If you’re interested or would just like more information, here’s a link to the workshop website: http://www.greystone.net/education/crm-conference

How Work Has Changed

Yesterday was Labor Day, and I labored. But it was the kind of labor I like. I got up in the morning, drank a cup of coffee, watched 30 minutes of SportsCenter, and then drove to the office. Because it was a paid holiday, no one was there. It was glorious. Quiet. Peaceful. I spread out my work on the conference room table and immersed myself in various projects without interruption.

As I dove into this one web project, I started sending off email messages to various collaborators – our web developer, our chief medical writer, and the client, in particular. The four of us exchanged email messages for a good part of the day and made significant progress. It was a very productive day.

As I was driving home I reflected on the day. I had worked seamlessly with our web developer in Wisconsin (Sean), our chief medical writer in Maine (Roxanne), and our client in Portland, Oregon. And I was in my office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Today, that is my work life in a nutshell. Often I am the one on the road, working from hotels, airports and client facilities – reaching out to my team in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida and Maine, among other places. And, of course, we now have an office in Boston and have added that to the mix.

I love the idea of growing our business by adding exceptional professionals to our team who aren’t based in Chapel Hill. They can be anywhere. There are no limits.

In the next several years, after our daughter finishes high school, my wife and I hope to move to the location of our choice. It could be someplace coastal – or it could be in the mountains of North Carolina or Virginia. We’ve talked about a number of options. Whatever the case, it is good to know that wherever we go, as long as it has an airport and Internet access, I can continue doing my job seamlessly. From my perspective, this is progress.


This Is Why I Do What I Do

Being able to help share patient stories, like this one about Charlie Duerr, is perhaps the most special and rewarding part of my job. It was an amazing experience to sit in this man’s living, interact with his family, and listen to him tell his story. Every time I watch his video I am impacted emotionally and reminded that Charlie Duerr is a very special guy and I am fortunate to have a career that allowed me to meet him.


The Practical Playbook has announced the launch of its first ever Learning in Action Prize competition, which will award $5,000 to an engaging learning activity that contributes to the advancement of population health. Health professionals or public health educators who have developed a learning activity incorporating the Practical Playbook into formal curricula in undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate programs in medicine, public health, population health, and related fields are eligible to apply. The underlying motivation is to make sure our future medical and public health professionals understand why collaboration makes sense, and we need to give them the tools to put this method of working into practice.

Here is an excerpt from a blog post written by my colleague, Kate Rudy Gilmer, about this competition:

If we want the healthcare paradigm in the United States to transition from primary care in one silo and public health workers in the other, we need to move upstream. We need to make sure our future medical and public health professionals understand why collaboration makes sense, and we need to give them the tools to put this method of working into practice.

Fostering new and more effective methods for teaching population health is vital to ensuring the sustainability of this paradigm shift.

This needs to be a multigenerational movement – not in the traditional sense of grandmothers, fathers, and daughters uniting for a social cause, but in terms of creating continuity between established doctors and public health officials and the next wave that are currently preparing for the workforce.

We must develop curriculum that not only imparts the value of population health management, but delivers practical skills that teach students how to work together to improve the health their communities. Training every future health worker – from public health officials to residents and physician assistants – will ensure that population health management becomes the industry standard rather than a handful of examples.

That’s why we are proud to announce the launch of our first ever Learning in Action Prize competition, which will identify and recognize outstanding educators and teaching practices in population health. If you have an engaging or innovative learning activity that the rest of the field could learn from, submit your work for a chance to win a $5,000 cash prize!

In keeping with the Practical Playbook’s mission to facilitate collaboration between primary care and public health professionals, learning materials should support student understanding of the stages of integrated population health improvement and demonstrate the principles of primary care / public health collaboration.

The Learning in Action Prize will award $5,000 to the developer of a learning activity that is an element of a larger course, such as a research project, a structured discussion on Playbook content and topics, or a flipped classroom/peer instruction activity.

All eligible entries will also be considered for inclusion in the Practical Playbook, where they will be accessible free of charge to the public in a Learning Resources library.

The contest will run from through September 30, 2015. To enter the Learning in Action Prize competition, visit https://www.practicalplaybook.org/learning-action.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 8.12.08 PM

Today is the last day to enter Ragan and PR Daily’s 2015 Ace Awards. If you’re interested in entering, you need to get moving. The awards recognize some of the best individuals, agencies and in-house communications teams in PR and Marketing. In all honesty, this is an expensive competition at $295 per entry for agencies. That means each entry is significant. Categories include:

Blogger of the Year
Tell us why you are the voice among PR bloggers and how you expand Web traffic or increase followers through quality writing and posts.

Brand Marketer
How do you market across multiple channels while you do brand advocacy and increase audience engagement? Tell us how you are a brand evangelist.

Corporate Social Responsibility Leader
What life-affecting CSR campaigns have you created and executed? It’s about more than a successful campaign. It’s a way of business life for your company and its employees.

Digital/Video Professional
Tell us how you combine communication skills with digital or video tools better than the rest. Share your work.

Event Marketer
Tell us why you are the best at marketing live or virtual events. We want to see how you increase attendance, command media attention or make your events better.

Government Communicator
What makes you the best in communications for a local, state or federal agency or department?

Health Care Communicator
Tell us why people come to you when they want health care PR or marketing done the right way, with integrity, passion, freshness and style.

Internal Communicator
How do you invigorate, inform and inspire employees every day? Tell us about your great work.

Media Relations Professional
Every day you generate media impressions, awareness, reporter relationships and success. Tell us how.

Nonprofit Communicator
What makes you the one PR agency or individual foundation, government agencies, professional associations, charitable organizations and academic institutions turn to for their communications?

Public Affairs Officer
What makes you a leader in political and public affairs, advocacy initiatives and influencer in policy/public opinion?

Public Relations Professional
How do you show command of an impressive number of PR tools, tactics and strategy? Tell us.

Social Media Strategist
Shares, likes, photos, tweets and pins. How do you link social media to business and communications goals?

Up and Coming Professional (under five years’ experience)
We want the next big thing in PR marketing and communications. If you have less than five years’ experience and great success stories, share them here!

Established Professional (over 15 years’ experience)
You’ve seen it. You’ve done it. You’ve conquered it. Tell us about your successes.


I’ll preface this post by stating that I love New England, and Boston is one of my favorite cities in the world. I grew up in a small New England town and have been unwilling to abandon my Yankee roots. I love the Red Sox, Lobster dinners, and firmly believe that Dunkin’ Donuts has the best coffee (not lattes) in the world. That’s one reason why I have dedicated myself to making sure that my company has such a strong presence in the northeast. If you’re going to travel on business, why not travel to a region of the country that you love? After all, life is short.


The street view of Jennings’ new Atlantic Ave Office in Boston

Today my colleagues and I are celebrating some good news that is very much related to my love of New England. After spending tons of time over the last 8 years on airplanes flying back and forth from Raleigh, NC to Boston, MA, we finally bit the bullet and leased office space in Boston. But wait! The really big news is that we have successfully recruited Tim Brennan, the former Public Affairs and Communications Manager at Tufts Medical Center, to join our Boston team. Before working at Tufts Medical Center, he was  a marketing manager at Mass General Hospital. So he has a wealth of client-side healthcare marketing experience within major academic medical centers.

Tim lives in the area and will head up our new Atlantic Avenue office in Boston. He will lead the account team that works with more than a dozen hospitals, health systems and healthcare organizations in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut.  Tim will also spearhead Jennings‘ growth in the northeast as we look to expand our reach and add clients in key geographic pockets (some states like Maine have eluded us!).

Here's Tim joining me for dinner at B&G Oysters after a hard day at work in Boston!

Here’s Tim joining me for dinner at B&G Oysters after a hard day at work in Boston!

Many people have told me that this move is long overdue; in fact, for years people have been asking me why we don’t have an office in Boston. Looking back over the last 8 years, it does seem like an obvious move with Jennings building such a strong presence in New England. Friends and clients have also noticed that I spend so much of my time in Massachusetts, meeting with clients and working on various strategic marketing initiatives. (It’s gotten to the point where the lady in the little exit booth at Enterprise Rent-A-Car at Logan Airport in Boston knows my name and welcomes me back on each visit.) Additionally, our firm has benefited from a wonderful relationship with the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHC0) – attending, sponsoring and speaking at their conferences. Hosting webinars. Contributing articles to their newsletter. Supporting their Lamplighter Awards competition. For the last two years I have served on the NESHCo board and thoroughly enjoyed being part of that group.

So this move really is long overdue. But we needed the right person to head up a Boston office, and Tim Brennan is that guy. As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about it and I’m happy to share the news with all my friends in the healthcare industry. If you know Tim, please give him a shout out and congratulate him on this career move!

Here’s the press release that is going out today:

Hospital Marketing Executive Joins Jennings

Healthcare Marketing Firm Welcomes Tim Brennan as Account Supervisor

Chapel Hill, N.C. – September 1, 2015 – Jennings, the North Carolina-based healthcare marketing and audience engagement agency, has appointed Tim Brennan to the position of Account Supervisor. A healthcare marketing veteran, Brennan is the former Public Affairs and Communications Manager at Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children. Most recently, he worked as the Associate Director of Marketing & Communications at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Earlier in his career, he served as the Marketing Manager at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In his new position, Brennan will lead one of Jennings’ account service teams, overseeing the marketing programs for more than a dozen hospitals, health systems and healthcare organizations in the New England Region. He will be based in Jennings’ Atlantic Avenue office in Boston.

“I’ve known Tim for at least seven years. We’ve presented together at conferences and enjoyed a professional camaraderie,” said Jennings Principal, Dan Dunlop. “During his time at Mass General and Tufts Medical Center, he gained a world of experience and exposure to some of the most extreme challenges a healthcare communicator can face – including being on the front line during the Boston Marathon bombing. We are so fortunate to have him join our team and head up our New England office.”

About Jennings

Jennings is a healthcare marketing agency specializing in audience engagement.  For more information, please visit http://www.jenningshealthcaremarketing.com.

The annual Converge Conference is rapidly approaching. If you aren’t familiar with MedCity’s Converge Conference, here’s how they describe it on their website:

“This national, executive-level summit gathers leaders from health systems, payers, medical device, pharma and digital health/health IT to join with entrepreneurs, government leaders, investors and other key stakeholders to see the latest innovations and create, through their conversations, truly actionable intelligence on where the innovation opportunities are right now.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.17.48 AMThis year’s conference takes place at Philadelphia’s Hyatt at Bellevue, September 1-2. As expected, they have a strong line-up of speakers including Wen Dombrowski, M.D., Medical Director, Care Solutions, North Shore LIJ Health System; Patrick FitzGerald VP, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Kathleen McGroddy Goetz, Ph.D., Vice President, IBM Watson Health; and Barbara A. Walters, D.O., Executive Vice President, Chief Population Health Officer, Trinity Health.

For more information, go to http://events.medcitynews.com/converge/.


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