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Skype from Maternity Ward: A Winning Concept for Healthcare and Hospital Public Relations

If this is a trend, we like it. Bringing Skype—or other video chat—into the hospital delivery room is a hospital public relations opportunity that’s likely to win friends and goodwill in the community. The “internet birth” news that caught our attention last week told the story of a baby being born at the Signature Healthcare […]
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Mental Illness Stigma Still a Challenging Work-in-Progress for Psychology & Psychiatric Marketing

  The problem is as old as the diagnosis, but more “anti-stigma” psychology and psychiatric marketing medicine is still needed. The American public still regards mental illness—schizophrenia, depression, and alcohol dependence—as shameful, according to research published recently in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Public and patient “understanding” has improved, but prejudice remains. Conclusions: “More of […]
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Veterinary Marketing Opportunity with Mobile Dog Heart Checks

Here’s something you don’t see every day: free heart health examinations for dogs provided by veterinarians and veterinary cardiologists. Pet lovers love the idea. And you might have seen the special mobile exam room at a park, community center or animal shelter, as part of a local special event in locations throughout the country. The […]
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“We’re all in the family, so why are we feuding?” Physician Relations Secrets Revealed.

The business of physician relations can be a bit bumpy sometimes, but the marketing and communications folks at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis use a systematic approach that’s shaping expectations and smoothing the road between hospital and physicians. Of course, you’ve got to observe all the rules of the road…and “regulatory guidance” means […]
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Boston Physician Wants CME Independence from Pharmaceutical Marketing & Advertising

No so long ago really—1773, as I recall—when some folks in Boston expressed their displeasure with then-mother Britain’s Tea Tax and dumped a boat load of the stuff into the harbor. The now-famous tea party was a historical moment of independence. That spirit of independence lives on in Boston, with a personal revolt of sorts […]
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Promoting ER Wait Times: The Hospital Marketing & Advertising Bandwagon

We’ve seen a few questioning comments about promoting ER Wait Times, but they haven’t slowed down the hospital marketing & advertising bandwagon. It seems like everyone’s doing it, planning for it, or wishing they could. Roll it out and local media coverage and hospital publicity and PR flows forth in torrents. There are obvious benefits […]
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Clear-Speak Needed: Call to Duty for Healthcare Public Relations and Communications Professionals to Improve Health Literacy

Here’s a worthwhile idea that we can all get behind. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released its National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. It’s aimed at making health information and services easier to understand and use. The plan calls for improving the jargon-filled language, dense writing, and complex explanations that […]
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Clever Orthodontic Marketing Contest Keeps Kids and Parents Connected to the Practice During Vacation Months

Could it be that orthodontic practices have more fun? Seems that way with things like this simply fun orthodontic marketing idea at Pashley & Baum in Irvine, CA. They’re an orthodontic practice, and it's a kid's contest, but this concept would fly with other professions as well; pediatrics, adolescent medicine, family practice or maybe others […]
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Community Hospitals Are Disappearing. Economic and Competitive Headwinds Challenge Independence and Survival.

Community hospitals are scrambling, according to a recent article in USA Today, to survive and remain independent. But “scrambling” doesn't seem like an adequate description if you also read the article in Becker’s Hospital Review a few days earlier: Challenges Facing Community Hospitals. Both publications present authoritative industry voices. “Over the past decade, the number […]
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How To Start Getting Patients From Your Healthcare Website TOMORROW

Advertise your website on Google, Yahoo and other platforms to target local patients looking for your services. Editor's note: This article is the first of a series about how to drive traffic to your healthcare practice website. U.S. Internet users conduct 5 billion searches every month directly on major search sites. Furthermore, a recent Harris […]
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Patient Education and OB/GYN Marketing Opportunity Suggested in Latest CDC Breastfeeding Report Card

New mothers may not be getting the breastfeeding support they need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that that less than half of the nation’s moms are breastfeeding enough, and they’re calling on healthcare professionals and others to do more in the way of education and support. It opens the door for […]
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Twin Cities Candy Buy Back: A Civic-Minded Promotion for Orthodontic Marketing & Publicity Gets Everyone Involved.

As Halloween approaches, Cosmopolitan Orthodontics is generating publicity for their second annual Candy Buy Back program in suburban Minneapolis, St. Paul, MN. They are one of several dental and orthodontic practices around the country that use this attention-getting concept. It’s a novel orthodontic marketing idea that involves patients, parents, staff and the community, and it […]
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Texting Tales: Message Technology Increasing in Hospital Marketing & PR -- and (Surprise!) Wellness & Compliance

It’s my impression that everyone in the nation has at least one mobile phone. But mobile phones are handling more text messages than phone calls. And the folks at The Pew Internet & American Life Project who keep track of such things say that’s correct…for both adults and adolescents. On average, adults make and receive […]
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Will Medical Group Practice Marketing Be Simplified to One, Two, or Three Consumer Reports Stars?

“The Medical groups that perform heart bypass surgery are now being rated alongside cars and toaster ovens in Consumer Reports,” quipped the New York Times article. Personally, a toaster oven seems preferable to cardiothoracic surgery, but anyone who handles group practice marketing will want to watch this idea unfold. It’s seems to be inspiring lively […]
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Medical Scribes – A Viable Model for Increasing Adoption of Electronic Medical Records Systems?

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times highlighted the use of pre-med students and other college students who want to pursue careers in medicine or nursing as “medical scribes” to accompany physicians during patient appointments.  These scribes carry laptop computers to enter treatment plans into electronic medical records software programs as well as follow […]
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Sleep Medicine Marketing Finds an Ally in the Spa Industry; Promoting Sleep Health Education

Sleep Medicine Marketing Finds an Ally in the Spa Industry; Promoting Sleep Health Education Day spas seem to be evolving. Once a pure “pampering palace,” some locations are increasingly embracing holistic wellness themes, including sleep health issues. It’s a growing opportunity for sleep medicine marketing—both physician practices and hospital programs—to get involved and reach a […]
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Alternative Care Marketing Meets the Retail Pharmacy Industry

Absolutely nothing about the Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy location in La Jolla, CA reminds us of a classic retail “drug store.” But then, that’s exactly what they were going for; excellent differentiation. To our marketing eye, it’s a unique blend of traditional pharmacy services and alternative care products. They appeal to an upscale, primarily female, target […]
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Healthcare Reform: Smooth Transition or Shotgun Wedding for Private Practices?

To all in the U.S. healthcare community who have been either too busy or too discouraged to really pay attention to the most fundamental implications of the new healthcare reform law (officially titled “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”), most of the prevailing opinion, including direct comments from White House officials and other government […]
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Beware The Common Mistakes Doctors Make When Searching For A Medical Ad Agency

7 Criteria You MUST Consider When Looking For Health Care Marketing Talent (And how to avoid falling victim to "Marketing Malpractice") Doctors often tell us about their difficulties with finding and evaluating healthcare marketing talent. So we thought we'd give you a "cheat sheet" to help you. Before we do that, however, let's set the […]
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Signs of the Future for Healthcare Marketing and Advertising? This Billboard is Looking at You, Mrs. Jones

The iconic, Spielberg science fiction film Minority Report set us up for this one nearly a decade ago.  But right now, a new billboard technology is being tested in Japan that recognizes who’s looking at it and delivers a personalized message that’s suitable to the reader. OK, it’s not the film’s iris recognition of year […]
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Stethoscope with Commercials Could Open a New Medical Device Marketing & Advertising Channel

It seems there’s an iPhone app for everything. (As of today, at least 250,000 apps, and 6.5 billion downloads. But that’s a moving target). Now there’s an app that falls into the category of medical device marketing & advertising. The iStethoscope turns an iPhone or iPod Touch into (surprise) a stethoscope, to hear a heartbeat […]
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Men’s Cosmetics: A Growing Gateway for Medical Group Marketing & Advertising?

Appearance-conscious men are buying skin-care products big time. There’s a boom in cosmetic products for men. Not just deodorant and aftershave stuff, we’re talking about eye gel, concealer, and an anti-shine powder that comes in a compact…it’s a bull market, according to the New York Times. Cosmetic products for men are not new, of course. […]
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More Men May Be Singing Your Song. Shifting Demographics in Healthcare Marketing & Advertising?

Steve Smith, Healthcare Success Senior Consultant, Writer & Account Manager Singer James Brown sang, “It’s a Man’s World,” but he could also have written a song titled, “It’s a Man’s World Except for Healthcare Decisions.” Women still make approximately 80% of the health care decisions for their families, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, […]
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Interactive Tools for Pedodontic / Pediatric Dentistry Marketing: Maintaining the Competitive Edge in Columbus, Mississippi

  We think Pediatric Dentist David Curtis is tuned-in to his community. His website is more than an online brochure—it also provides interactive advantages for patients and their parents. In Columbus, MS (population 23,818), “everything is digital.” What caught our eye was an article by Seth Putnam in the Columbus Dispatch titled: More local businesses […]
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Look Closely. Is Online Pharmaceutical Marketing & Advertising Really Increasing?

Sometimes it’s tough to know who has the best crystal ball. When the final numbers are in for this year, US healthcare and pharmaceutical online advertising spending is expected to top $1 billion—up 10.6% from last year—according to a mid-year report from eMarketer, a respected analytics firm. This, they say, is “despite shifting regulatory hurdles […]
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Quick-Sell Problem Could Work for Healthcare Marketing & Advertising Too

Here’s a flash of marketing inspiration we spotted in traffic. We love the simplicity of the message on this truck. It’s an ultra-short-and-sweet advertising approach that could be applied to many healthcare arenas, even if you don’t have a work truck in the medical practice marketing department motor pool. Some examples: Bunions? Hernia? Hemorrhoids? Knee […]
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Redefining the Concept of "Selling" in Healthcare

Overcoming negative, old-school ideas with genuine benefits in patient health. Nobody likes to be "sold." But there's no "selling" in communicating how products and services deliver needed healthcare benefits to patients. After almost twenty-five years consulting and helping physicians, dentists and many other healthcare professionals attract more of the patients and cases they want, I'm […]
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What to Say to Warren Buffett: Sharing Value and Piquing Interest in 50 Words or Less

How to craft an effective elevator speech for precision results, referrals and reputation. Everyone has an interesting message, but it's tough to be clear, concise and memorable in less than 30 seconds. Here's how to sound spontaneous and make a lasting impression with a flash opportunity.
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Heads-up for Healthcare Marketing & Advertising: Bing Now Powers Yahoo! Search

The “Microhoo” Challenger to Google in Online Search and Internet Advertising If the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance news has fallen off your radar, here’s an update that’s important to SEO / Search Engine Optimization for healthcare marketing & advertising. Microsoft’s Bing is now powering organic search results on Yahoo! Search for the English language […]
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Dermatology Marketing Note: Indoor Tanning Could Be an Addiction

Dermatologists may need to team with psychologists; patient education isn’t enough. It seems that indoor tanning may be an addiction among college students participating in a study published in Archives of Dermatology and supported by the National Cancer Institute. The results also suggest a relation to anxiety, depression, and substance use among the participants. There […]
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Under-penetrated Market; Growing Opportunity for Audiology and Hearing Marketing

Hearing Aid Purchase Decision Formula: Price + Professional + Hearing Loss There are some interesting numbers for audiology and hearing care marketing professionals in a recent market analysis. And for audiologists, hearing instrument specialists, the prediction is suggests a growth market opportunity on the horizon. Survey results published by iData Research says that patient income […]
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Attention Healthcare Public Relations & PR Professionals: CDC Tracking (Possible) Gulf Oil Spill Health Effects in Four States

Health Surveillance Underway -- A Heads-up for Medical Group Marketing, Family Practices, General Practices, and Hospitals. Here’s a brief news note for healthcare professionals that’s worth repeating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is watching for potential short-term health effects that may be related to the offshore oil spill near four Gulf Coast […]
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The 7 All-Time Most Frequently Asked Questions about Healthcare Marketing

Answers that have guided thousands of practices and health care organizations in achieving their growth goals. Our daily work puts us on the receiving-end of a stream of healthcare and medical marketing questions of all kinds. We wouldn't think of saying that we've "heard 'em all," but our collective experience adds up to fielding many […]
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Physician-Patient Communications Lesson for Internal Medicine Marketing (and everyone else)

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” –George Bernard Shaw Doctors and patients don’t agree about how well they are communicating with each other. This according to a study published in the August Archives of Internal Medicine. We suspect this physician-patient communications failure isn’t limited to internal medicine […]
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Producing an Effective Healthcare Organization E-Newsletter

Ten tips to putting it all together for success from the start Our previous article about "permission-based e-newsletter" puts you on safe ground in getting started - you know how to compile and safely use your opt-in email list for good marketing and good email etiquette.
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E-Newsletter Basics: Good Marketing and Email Etiquette

How to begin your "permission-based" E-newsletter on safe turf. Some hospitals and healthcare providers periodically mail out a practice newsletter to friends, prospects and patients. These newsletters usually include updates about the organization, new services or procedures, event promotions, and helpful health tips. Many other practices that used to mail these newsletters have discontinued their […]
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Allergist Marketing Updates Pollen Count via Twitter, Facebook, Email, and Text

  Six digital ways to keep patients connected to the allergy/asthma practice. Many allergist marketing programs publish daily pollen count and mold count numbers. It’s a useful way to keep sensitive patients checking-in with the practice. Now the numbers are getting out there quicker via social media. Some allergist marketing plans publish the data using […]
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Placing The Patient At Center Of The Doctor-Patient Relationship

Neil H. Baum, MD Today the patient is far different than the patient of a few decades ago. Patients can find healthcare information just as easily as a physician and many are taking a greater role in their healthcare and want to be involved in the decision making and work with the doctor as a […]
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Concierge Practice Marketing: White Coat...Meet Blue Collar

A few days ago, a news item in the Philadelphia Business Journal caught our eye; a primary care practice was switching to a concierge medicine model—in a blue-collar neighborhood. Concierge practice marketing can be challenging anywhere because patients are typically required to pay an annual fee to enjoy a more personalized level of service. It's […]
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Publicity Success Story: It's Not Impossible; Sometimes it's Easy.

Stewart Gandolf is out on the road again, but he wanted to share this quick insight about healthcare publicity. And since he’s a founding partner of Healthcare Success (i.e. “the boss”), here goes. So Stewart says: “Most doctors tell me getting publicity in the local press is impossible.” I reply: “Oh.” (I’m hanging on every […]
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Driving Your Brand in Dental Marketing & Advertising

Speaking of attention-getting dental marketing and advertising, here’s a clever idea that caught our eye in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (Getting attention is a good first step.) Yep, we know…this isn’t for everyone... but worth sharing. The dentists at Riverstone Dental Care told us that this unique bit of mobile dental advertising generates new patients and […]
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The Importance of Big Fish in Healthcare Marketing and Advertising

Sorry, but we’ve lost a proper attribution for this great little concept: The little fish always like to read about the big fish. The big fish seldom care to read about the little fish. And how is this useful to healthcare marketing and advertising? It’s a clever way to remember to target your marketing to […]
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The Music of Dental Marketing

The “rock star” approach to dental marketing? Could be. They definitely sound good to us. (Really good!) Open Wide is a rock and roll band of six practicing dentists -- and one school teacher who flosses her teeth daily. This isn’t a conventional dental marketing and advertising strategy, but we know a lot of musically […]
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Change is certain to continue in cardiology marketing

Nobody has a clear vision about the shape of cardiology marketing in 2014 and beyond. What is already a highly dynamic competitive landscape for private practice cardiologists and cardiology groups promises more of the same as the Health Care Reform act takes effect over the next few years. With operating costs and competition increasing, and […]
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Cosmetic Surgery Marketing Opportunity Growing Among Minorities

Asian, Hispanic cultures are comfortable with procedures according to a recent AACS survey. Any sort of economic rough road will do it. When the national economy is down, the American public approaches elective healthcare slowly. The last few years have been financially bumpy for many professions, including — perhaps especially — elective medical aesthetics practices. […]
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Urology Marketing: Vasectomy Friday, the Couch Potato, and Big Game Weekend

Here’s a clever and easy promotional idea for urologists and anyone doing urology marketing and advertising. One urology practice we know promotes the idea of scheduling a vasectomy on the Friday leading into Super Bowl weekend. The urologist’s marketing idea is: the patient—a guy, of course—has the procedure on Friday. Then, under doctor’s orders, is […]
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Semantics of Successful Healthcare and Hospital Marketing

As we were talking with a prospective client about their marketing situation, it became evident that they did not recognize the difference between "marketing" and "advertising." Unfortunately, using these terms interchangeably is a common mistake, especially where the healthcare provider or a key staff member is just beginning to tackle the apparent complexities of medical […]
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Internet Marketing Lessons from my Town Car Driver

The effectiveness of online marketing and pay-per-click advertising begin with a plan A page from the real-life-lessons department: How a chance encounter with a marketing-savvy town car driver demonstrates the effectiveness of having a plan and using pay-per-click Internet advertising for success. Turns out the encounter wasn't entirely by chance. I met a town car […]
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Creating an Effective ASC Marketing Plan for Growth and Success

Once upon a time ... as some stories begin...the care and feeding of a profitable ambulatory surgery center seemed blessed with a seamless, predictable and uninterrupted patient flow. At least that was the idea. Unfortunately, reality intrudes and things change. Today, there’s nothing easy or automatic. ASCs—both large and small—are challenged to constantly align capacity […]
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Attention Family Practice Doctors: Your Competition is on Aisle Three.

Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, is turning-up the heat in family practice marketing. It’s been ages since the corner “drug store” confined it’s offering to only pharmaceuticals. But about 350 Walgreens locations are now part of the changing competitive healthcare landscape and likely to be an increasingly important factor to consider in FP, GP, […]
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