With Blythedale Children’s Hospital new inpatient building 90% complete and set to open in December 2011, the hospital asked my team to develop a plan to announce the new facility, with the goal of opening with a full census.
During initial discovery, we found that key stakeholders perceived the hospital very differently. Referrers were unaware of all of the institution’s flagship services and many patient families had strongly considered other hospitals before visiting Blythedale and meeting the professional staff.
Working in conjunction with the hospital’s top management, we changed course to rework the hospitals brand position and developed a comprehensive, strategic marketing and communications initiative, which built greater awareness of the new Blythedale brand, the new facility, programs, capabilities, and other key initiatives. A new website reflected the revitalized brand and was designed to guide referrers, patient families, and donors to content tailored to their particular needs.
The campaign also included a media plan, an advertising campaign, email and e-newsletters and direct mail, as well as the creation of referrer fact sheets and new literature for families, prior to the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The combined initiatives brought increased philanthropic participation, new political support and greatly increased the number of referrals.
The hospital opened on schedule and within three months achieved 100% occupancy.