By Jessica Levco
Let’s face it: Physicians don’t want to hear your marketing plans, your marketing anecdotes, or your marketing ideas.
That’s because most physicians don’t really care about marketing.
That’s fine. They don’t need to. But you need them to get on board with some of your marketing efforts. Your physicians can be your best ally for marketing your hospital. Here are five ideas for getting them engaged.
Your physicians are seen as experts, leaders in the community, and a wealth of information. What better way to let them shine than with some guest blogging opportunities? (Inspiration: the Live Well blog from St. Mary’s Health System.) Most physicians aren’t going to have time to write a 500-word post about Zika, so get a ghostwriter to do it — and then, ask your physician for fifteen minutes of his or her time for a few pull-quotes. Done and done.
Bye bye, billboards
You hate them. Your physicians love them. Here’s the compromise: put your physicians on camera. They can talk about health news, health trends, or introduce themselves to the community (why hello, Mayo Clinic video center!). Depending on the video topic, you could share a soundbite with your local TV station, if they’re looking for an expert source about a topic. If appropriate, include a direct call to action (CTA) so that patients can make an appointment from the video. Then, track and find out how many patients made appointments because of the video. We bet it’ll be higher than those who made appointments after seeing a billboard off the New Jersey Turnpike.
Take charge of patient reviews
Patients are flocking to Yelp to review physicians and hospitals. If reviews are poor, it can affect the physician’s bottom line — and the hospital’s. So, what are you going to do about it? Work with physicians to develop a plan to turn a two-star review into a five-star review. It could be just as simple as tweaking bedside manner, hiring a new receptionist, or figuring out ways to decrease wait times. Bravo to University of Utah Health Care for posting physician reviews directly on its website.
Turn physician biographies into stories
Gone are the days where you could just post a photo of your physician from the 1980s, with a list of all their board certifications. Now, you’ve got an opportunity to tell a story. When you look at your physician profiles, are they connecting with readers? Is there a strong CTA to make an appointment? Are you featuring physicians on your website who have room to see more patients? See what you can do to make their stories of why they picked this profession come alive. For an example, check out what’s going on at NorthBay Healthcare.
Let’s learn together
Physicians save lives. But they might not be able to tweet. That’s OK. It’s your job to help them. If you’ve got physicians who are curious about social media, have someone from your staff show them how to create their LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles. You could even offer drop-in hours for questions. This is a low-cost activity that helps you both: you want physicians to champion your bigger social media causes, and if they understand how social media works, they’ll be more likely to help you. Have an example to share? Let us know!
Debbie Reczynski is Director of Communications and Program Development for the Forum for Healthcare Strategists.