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Hospital Promotional Partners Leverage Clever Ideas for Greater Impact

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Animated girl baby versus boy baby both wearing football helmets on baby bowl adIf you missed the final score in St. Luke’s 2014 Baby Bowl…the boys won.

And from a hospital promotional perspective, the other winner in this clever promotion was the New Beginnings Family Birth Centers at St. Luke's University Health Network.

Here are two recent case examples (and ideas you can use) for leveraging media exposure via promotional partnerships.

The core idea of the Digital Baby Bowl was to track the number of girls versus boys who are born in pregnancy units within the health network since January 1. An updated scoreboard was posted on a network of digital billboards in the Lehigh Valley, Southeastern Pennsylvania area. And on February 3, the day after the Super Bowl, the winning gender was publicized.

In the shadow of that other “big bowl game” (about an hour to the east), this was a joint promotional effort between St. Luke’s and Adams Outdoor Advertising. “The Baby Bowl digital billboard is intended to be a fun, lighthearted promotional effort to call attention to our maternity and pediatric services,” according to Ken Szydlow, St. Luke’s Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations.

Ken tells us, "The baby bowl ads sparked a lot of unsolicited positive feedback from both the general public and employees. People were surprised to see how many births took place at our hospital. We average 4,000 births per year."

Polar Vortex and Free Weather App

weather appWith the extra-nasty weather on the east coast this winter, we couldn’t help noticing another timely and useful promotional partnership between St. Luke’s and local broadcast outlet WFMZ. St. Luke’s and WFMZ developed and offered a free weather app.

As you probably know, the daily weather is a high-interest, constant-conversation topic, especially with this season’s heavy storms and polar vortex cold spells. The weather app provides hourly weather details, 10-day extended forecasts, weather maps and alerts.

As many readers will attest, it's been a nasty winter on the East Coast this year. "The weather app was well timed," Ken Szydlow said. "Due to inclement weather in our service area, the weather app is being viewed in excess of 600,000 times per month."

The Baby Bowl and the Weather App are just two examples of hospital promotional ideas that enjoyed greater public exposure because the hospital partnered with a local media outlet. This sort of teamwork—one that enriches the brand and community value for all parties—often has an added cost-savings benefit.

For related reading and ideas, see: Opportunities to Partner-and-Prosper and Hospital Promotions That Get Down with the Community.

Lonnie Hirsch

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