Creating awareness for your healthcare facility, especially with little or no budget, can be a daunting task. New competitors, a lack of prior marketing, a poor reputation in the past and lack of funds are all reasons why your facility may be experiencing a decline in patients or a lack of growth.
While a difficult task for any business, creating awareness for a healthcare facility can be especially daunting because there is so much competition out there. Here are a few inexpensive ways to let people know you’re out there and what you stand for.
1. Write articles or provide tips to local homeowners’ associations.
2. Provide educational information for small businesses in the community by contributing to your local chamber of commerce. Think workplace safety, workman’s comp, etc.
3. Publish articles or inexpensive advertorials in your local community paper.
4. Partner with realtors in the area and target new families moving into the community. Make sure they know where you are, help them find a local PCP, etc. Be a source for referrals. This can be as easy as creating a handout they give to new families when they buy a house.
5. Similar to how you partner with realtors to introduce yourself to new families in the area, you can also joint venture with apartment complexes and building management companies. Both residential and commercial management companies provide welcome packets for new tenants. Why not include some information about your facility and how to find you? And the great thing about this approach is that once it’s done, you don’t have to worry about doing it again. It’s an easy system to put in place for ongoing marketing.
6. In addition to the welcome packets, you can publish “health tips” articles in building association newsletters, too. Both residential and commercial complexes usually publish a newsletter for their tenants and are always looking for ways to add value to the publication. They’re always looking for content. Help them out!
7. Work with your local newspaper to add a “health” section to the newspaper’s Web site. Make sure the paper knows you’re available for interviews or questions on any healthcare related topics that come up. You can also post a calendar of events, etc.
8. Offer free or low-cost seminars to educate the public. Participating physicians may conduct these.
9. Can you do a joint venture with someone in the community? Be creative. For example, maybe the local kids’ sports team. You can be the official sponsor and provide free tips in their newsletter or have staff people at the games for parents to ask questions.
10. Remember, people like free things. What can you give away for free? A free report or free consultation? A free blood pressure check? Give this free thing away in all your communication pieces.