If a tree falls in the woods with no one around to hear, does it really make a sound? A similar question could be asked of superior practices in healthcare. What good is an innovative idea if no one knows to take advantage of it?
Atlantic General Hospital hospital’s marketing team and their partnering advertising agency, Mullin Ashley Associates, met the challenge head-on when the hospital first launched the 30 Minute ER Promise to the community with a barrage of display ads, billboards, radio commercials and television spots touting a catchy “we put the urgency back in emergency” campaign tagline.
First introduced in February 2007 when the hospital-wide promise began, the advertising and public awareness campaign has evolved over time in visual promotion as well as the incorporation of an online wait time service on the hospital’s web site.
The communications campaign has served well in increasing awareness of the 30 Minute ER Promise in the community, and has also impressed the judging panels at several national healthcare marketing award competitions in the past few years.
In March 2009, the advertising campaign garnered a first place award in the annual Alfred Knight Awards competition, sponsored by the Maryland Society of Healthcare Strategy & Market Development. In 2008, it achieved the Platinum Award from the prestigious MarCom Awards, an international competition for marketing and communications administered by the Association of Marketing & Communications Professionals. The same year, the campaign won first place in the Summit International Awards for its marketing effectiveness.
“It is extremely rewarding to receive the award; however the true success lies in the return on our investment that we have demonstrated throughout this campaign,” said Toni Keiser, vice president of public relations at Atlantic General. “We are fortunate to be able to provide our community with convenient, compassionate, quality care and simply wrapped a basic message around a superb service. Through the success of this campaign we have witnessed first hand the tremendous confidence our community places in the services provided by Atlantic General Hospital and Health System.”
Commenting on the awards won for the program, Phillip Nones, president of Mullin/Ashley Associates, stated, “This was a very exciting campaign to develop. It’s inspiring to promote a service like the 30 Minute ER Promise that is fulfilling a genuine need. Atlantic General Hospital was willing to make a significant commitment to the community – the first hospital on Delmarva – and the results have been a spectacular success.”
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