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Permission vs Forgiveness in Healthcare Marketing

Blog post by Colin Hung.

Last week, we got surprise news from consumer genetics company 23andMe – the best known for helping everyday citizens discover their ancestry. They announced that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the British drug giant, would be investing $300 Million USD into the company and the two organizations would be jointly using the 23andMe genetic database (de-identified of course) for life-saving drug research.

Reaction to this announcement from consumers has been concerned…bordering on negative. Some feel betrayed by 23andMe, believing their genetic data would not be used by the company for profit. Many were concerned about the ability to re-identify the genetic information and have it used against them in the future (de-identified data can be traced back to the original person using a variety of data mining techniques).

There has been a lot of discussion on Twitter about the announcement, the issue of data ownership and the ethics around selling healthcare data. I recently hosted an #hcldr chat on that very topic. You can view the transcript via Symplur and see the blog here.

From a marketing perspective, I found the announcement a fascinating study of permission vs forgiveness. You’ve probably heard the adage: ‘Better to ask for forgiveness than for permission”. I’ve used it myself on many occasions when needing to make quick decisions regarding marketing strategies and program funding. But does this approach work when it comes to customers?

Consider the practice of “negative billing” – where a company foists a price increase on customers by universally moving them from a basic package that is suddenly no longer offered to a higher priced package that offers slightly different features. Cell phone providers and cable companies were notorious for this practice. Negative billing in this context an example of large scale ask-for-forgiveness-vs-permission.

Part of the reason why this approach proved effective was:

  1. Switching costs for customers was very high (contract restrictions, swapping out cable boxes, new phones/SIM cards)
  2. Alternatives were limited (AT&T vs Comcast…ugh!)
  3. The cost increase was relatively small

In 2018, however, switching costs for many products/services is near zero and there are plenty of alternatives just a few clicks away. So does asking forgiveness still work?

23andMe is not a huge company, but it has built a reputation as being a good steward of genetic data. Their management team has made it clear from the beginning that their intent was to use genetic data to improve the health of people around the world. The company recently got FDA approval to report on BRCA1- and BRCA2-related genetic risk for breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. Bottom line, the company is not evil (hello Turing Pharmaceuticals and Theranos!)

That’s why I am puzzled why they would risk their reputation by implementing an opt-out/negative billing approach to sharing genetic data with GSK. From their press release: “23andMe customers are in control of their data. Participating in 23andMe’s research is always voluntary and requires customers to affirmatively consent to participate. For those who do consent, their information will be de-identified, so no individual will be identifiable to GSK.”

In my opinion, it would have been better to approach this from the other side and ask permission from their customers to share data. They could have mounted a marketing campaign encouraging their customers to donate their data to the research endeavors with GSK. They could have highlighted all the wonderful societal benefits that would be possible AND they could have donated a portion of the profits (even as little as 0.05%) to a charity that helps patient in the same space where they were doing research (ie: breast cancer). It would have been a marketing coup.

Instead, the company is now dealing with negative reaction from its customers and it has given pause to anyone considering their ancestry services. Plus, it has opened the door to new competitors who promise to ask permission prior to selling/sharing data whereas before they were the dominant player.

On next week’s monthly #HITMC chat I would love to hear the community’s opinion on permission vs forgiveness. Do people have different views on the approach for projects that only affect internal stakeholders vs customers? Is healthcare marketing held to a different standard than other industries? Is there a best practice for asking permission and forgiveness?

Please join me Tuesday August 7th at noon ET (9am PT) for a discussion on permission vs forgiveness in healthcare marketing:

  • T1 Have you ever made the conscious decision to forge ahead with a marketing initiative knowing you might have to ask forgiveness later? Details!
  • T2 Better to ask for permission or forgiveness before launching a healthcare marketing program that impacts customers? Why?
  • T3 What tips or strategies have you found effective in getting permission from stakeholders for marketing programs? How have you gotten them on board?
  • T4 What tips or strategies have worked for you when asking forgiveness from stakeholders for a marketing decision you have made?
  • T5 Is there a campaign that you feel is a best-practice example of how to get customers onboard with a change/price increase/new initiative?
  • BONUS What topics would you like to see on future HITMC chats?

For those not familiar with Twitter chats, just hop on Twitter and search for #HITMC on Tuesday, August 7th at Noon ET (9AM PT) and you can join in.  I look forward to seeing you online!

Tapping Into HITMC: 5 Outlets to Find and Flaunt Healthcare Marketing Expertise

For four years I have been a part of the Healthcare IT Marketing & PR Community – HITMC. The community welcomed me, made me feel right at home and has given me so much knowledge as well as inspiration. I feel that HITMC is the closest thing I will ever have to a professional association.

The fifth annual HITMC Conference is just around the corner – April 4-6 in New Orleans. This year we have quite a number of first-time attendees, which is fantastic. I thought it would be nice to write a piece about HITMC for these new friends so that they can connect with the community beyond the conference.

The Health IT Marketing and PR Community is an offshoot of the grassroots initiative that bore the first Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC) into reality in 2014. That initial assembly brought together the health IT public relations and marketing professionals in a way that had never been done before.

Unlike other marketing conferences, HITMC fuses the trends of the in-flux healthcare industry with an educational forum that proffers peer collaboration over competitive hustle. The event offers an industry-specific, profession-oriented outlet to those navigating the unique challenges of connecting with hospital executives, clinicians, and practice managers.

Since 2014, HITMC has blossomed from first-time conference to full-time community. Here are just a few of the places you’ll find HITMC just a click away.

#HITMC on Twitter

#HITMC Twitter chats are a fantastic way to connect with and learn from healthcare marketing gurus. February’s chat, for example, highlighted the “Ultimate Marketing Tech Stack,” culling feedback on the apps, tips, and tools favorited by #HITMC community members.

Follow @HITMarketingPR on Twitter for notices on up-coming chats and access to past chat archives.

HITMC LinkedIn Group

The HITMC LinkedIn Group offers an equally handy avenue for collaborating with healthcare IT marketing minds. Whether you are looking for SEO expertise or advice on the best content management system, this group puts the hive intelligence right at your fingertips, anytime.

HITMC Blog

The HITMC blog is another great forum for tapping into the latest learning opportunities and ideas from fellow healthcare marketing thought leaders. From perusing past HITMC presentations to these tips on building an effective HIMSS18 media plan, the blog is your way to stay in the know between shows.

Sign up for the HITMC newsletter so you never miss a beat.

HITMC Marketplace

The HITMC Marketplace offers healthcare professionals a great point of introduction to health IT marketing and PR resources available to support branding, media, and messaging initiatives. Companies are broken down into the following helpful categories:

  • Developer
  • Healthcare Database
  • Full Services PR/Marketing Agency
  • Tools
  • Content Creation
  • Media

Request meetings through the Marketplace or reach out to HITMC organizers for help with more tailored recommendations and warm introductions.

HITMC 2018 Conference

The 2018 HITMC Conference is your opportunity to network with a couple hundred of your healthcare B2B and B2C marketing peers in New Orleans over engaging sessions on topics like content strategy, marketing automation, event PR planning and more.

If you are joining us this year then I wish you safe travels to New Orleans. If HITMC18 isn’t in your travel plans, then I hope you will participate online via the #HITMC hashtag next week!

 

Finding Good Partners – HITMC18 Sponsor Roundup

A mentor once told me “No one is as smart as all of us.” It wasn’t until years later when I started managing teams that I realized what his words truly meant.

It is very tempting in Marketing & PR to believe that you can build a team that can do it all. I tried to do this in my first Marketing leadership role. It was a fun journey and we ended up with an amazing team. But it became quickly apparent to me that there was simply too many areas of Marketing, PR and Communications for any one team to master. Bottom line: you need good partners when you have projects that go beyond your team’s capacity.

Finding good partners isn’t easy. On paper everyone looks the same. Sometimes a well designed website or particularly clever copy can help a company stand out, but for me it comes down to shared values…and I don’t mean the values everyone plasters on the walls of their office. What I’m talking about is finding a partner that approaches business the same way you do. For me this meant a partner had to:

  • Have a “we’re in it together” attitude
  • Trust the people on their team
  • Be willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard
  • Keep my goals in mind vs focusing just on their documented responsibilities

Luckily, many of the companies I have met through HITMC share these values.

At HITMC18 , April 4-6 in New Orleans, we have an unprecedented number of sponsors – all amazing partners. Below is a brief overview of who they are.

Marketing Technology

dotHealth
The organization behind .health – the domain extension for the health industry. The .health domain extension is for brands, organizations, and people who provide high-quality health products, services and information. Learn more about how to register a .health domain at www.get.health/HITMC!

Lionshare
Business Intelligence and CRM/PRM platform that helps you grow healthy relationships with patients, prospective patients and physicians in your community.

Area 10 Labs
Advances and develops technologies that enhance human capabilities by fusing humans with computing, neuroscience, engineering, and physics.

Axiom88
A digital studio, passionate for engineering beautiful simple and functional websites and apps.

B2C Healthcare Marketing Services

Jennings
When you walk into our office, you’ll see these words on the wall: “To use our insights and creativity to make our clients successful.” Simply put, that’s our purpose for being in business. And our business is healthcare marketing. We live and breathe it. And we have a fanatical commitment to our clients’ success.

We create compelling, engaging content across a variety of digital, social, traditional and non-traditional media platforms. We work on consumer and physician-focused internal and external marketing programs. And we’ve done it for more than 100 healthcare clients over the years.

hippo
An independent healthcare marketing consultancy, helping healthcare organizations with everything from brand strategy to SEO to email marketing.

Healthcare Database

AHA Health Forum
During a time of unprecedented change and challenge, hospitals are looking for solutions. But in order for them to find yours, you’ll need to be seen and heard in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Credibility is more important than ever.

AHA Health Forum is your single best source for hospital market intelligence, access and meaningful connections.

As the strategic business enterprise of the American Hospital Association, we are dedicated to providing insights, resources and innovative services to support our hospital members. This position makes us an indispensable resource for businesses seeking to engage the hospitals we serve.

BlackBook Research
Independent industry benchmark studies, innovative data and analytics provide buyers and consumers with impartial insights, and help vendor companies improve quality, engagement and business performance.

Experience Marketing

MG
mg is your single all-inclusive partner for your experience marketing needs. Far more than an “exhibit house,” mg thrives at the intersection of your brand and your audience. Discover our broad portfolio of imaginative exhibits, corporate events, branded environments and marketing engagements at www.simplymg.com.

Our industry-leading standards for customer service and our ability to deliver the ideal visitor experience for your guests, and the ideal partnership experience for you, are what make us truly great.

Our trademark Single Source Simplicity™, illustrates mg’s distinctive and strategically-insourced suite of services.  We offer: scalable in-house marketing agency expertise; cutting-edge Digital Solutions including content creation and hardware rental; nationwide Installation & Dismantle labor provided by our own internal teams; and three full-service production facilities strategically located to provide cost, time and environmental efficiencies.

Across the street or around the world, mg builds great experiences that engage face-to-face, enhance relationships, and evoke action.

Content Creation

L&R
We define our business as helping client organizations manage, produce and distribute information.

Influential Networks
Influential Networks is one of the largest networks of healthcare IT influencers.

Netspective Media
Netspective Media publishes opinionated insider-driven content for builders of complex & safety-critical regulated products.

Media

SmartBrief
Serving nearly 6 million senior executives, thought leaders and industry professionals, SmartBrief is the leading digital media publisher of targeted business news and information by industry. By combining technology and editorial expertise, SmartBrief delivers the most relevant industry news – curated daily from thousands of sources – in partnership with leading trade associations, professional societies, nonprofits and corporations.

Answers Media Network
Answers Media Company LLC owns and operates Answers Media Network,  a series of topic-driven websites and multi-media channels dedicated to covering current issues and Federal initiatives driving change in healthcare delivery.  Established in 2009 with the debut of HITECHAnswers.net, the company has grown to five websites and their popular Healthcare Now Radio station.

Healthcare Scene
Healthcare Scene is an award-winning media company dedicated to the healthcare and HealthIT industry. Our portfolio of online publications are widely read and respected by key decision makers, influencers and thought leaders in hospitals, health systems, physician offices, government agencies, and technology vendors.

Our company brings quality, value-add content to audiences online and in-person. Our unique HITMC Community brings together healthcare marketing, PR and communications professionals in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere. Our new Health IT Expo event offers a unique healthcare conference experience and is focused on breaking down silos through collaboration on practical innovations

4MedPlus
4MedPlus addresses the increasing need in the healthcare community for clear, unbiased resources and online learning.

Hit!show
HealthIT Video-based Community. Short video recaps of the day’s news and events, plus insights from HealthIT industry luminaries.

Marketing/PR Agency

StudioNorth
On any given day at the Studio, you’ll hear the traditional marketing buzz about driving leads, aligning to the customer journey, filling the sales funnel and accelerating conversions. We care deeply about marketing that gets results for our customers. And we care about data and metrics as much as anyone—in fact, we have teams that focus specifically on that.

But you’ll also hear us talking about why a certain creative approach might get the audience to laugh, or cry, or share their story with their peers. At the end of the day, we want the work to inspire. To spark an emotional response. To forge a deep, emotional connection between your brand and your customers.

Reaching today’s educated and empowered consumer requires a different approach than traditional B2B or B2C. It takes H2H – Human to Human connections. This is what matters to us: finding human relevance in a commercial world. Our teams, our people and our clients believe that marketing can have an emotional impact that leads to success. And we’re all in this journey together—you, your customers, and us. Let’s make a difference together. Let’s make marketing meaningful and memorable again. Let’s make it matter.

Agency Ten22
Agency Ten22 is a public relations firm with focused healthcare expertise and a personalized approach. Our dedicated team helps clients make their mark through distinctive, well-placed industry content. With access to 30+ years of healthcare marketing and public relations experience, you gain captivating messages, compelling cover stories, feature articles in industry journals, and smart social media content. We offer the critical link between healthcare IT companies doing big things and healthcare media running timely stories. As a vital extension to your program, Agency Ten22 delivers the exposure you need.

Aria Marketing
Aria Marketing is an award-winning healthcare communications agency that has been providing unmatched industry and strategy expertise, thought leadership-driven PR, compelling creative and superior client service for twenty years. Aria earned its reputation as healthcare’s leading thought leadership agency from working with some of the biggest, sharpest and most innovative healthcare organizations, from pre-angel start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. We have the healthcare industry knowledge and deep relationships with leading market influencers to cut through the noise and elevate your brand. As a full service agency, we handle all aspects of your communications program, from public relations, to strategic marketing and social media.

Clarity Quest Marketing
Clarity Quest Marketing combines technology know-how with creativity and marketing acumen to grow healthcare and technology companies across the US. Founded in 2001, Clarity Quest provides marketing services in the healthcare, medical device, software, hardware and technical professional services industries. The agency’s core areas are marketing strategy, online marketing, lead generation and outsource marketing. Clarity Quest has offices in Michigan, Connecticut and Washington State.

Matter Communications
With five offices spread across the country, Matter is a Brand Elevation Agency unifying public relations, social media, creative services and digital marketing into strategic, content-rich communications campaigns that inspire action and build value. With Matter, you are not only choosing a partner and extension of your team, but a trusted advisor.  We immerse our healthcare teams into our clients’ industries and become experts at what you offer customers, your culture and the talent behind your products and services. Our strategic communications programs elevate brand stories and drive real, measurable results.

MERGE Atlanta
Dodge Communications and AVID Design are joining forces under one roof as MERGE Atlanta. Together, we make a marketing communications and technology agency for healthcare.

The name MERGE reflects our belief that a collaborative approach leads to more creative and brand-transformational programs for our clients. We bring together our deep understanding of healthcare and uncommon expertise in digital communications to help clients make meaningful and lasting connections.

Our new brand creates a leading national digital communications agency with nearly 40 years of combined experience working with hundreds of healthcare clients, including healthcare IT, hospitals and health systems, provider groups, payers and life sciences.

We help clients connect with humans, whether as business leaders or consumers in MERGE healthcare markets, leveraging paid, earned, owned and shared digital strategies to drive engagement. Our offerings include overarching brand strategy, website creation, mobile apps, digital strategy and marketing, PR and social programs.

Revive Health
ReviveHealth is a full-service agency focused on the intersection of healthcare delivery, finance, and innovation. We know the business of healthcare inside and out. We identify and solve complex challenges. We recognize patterns and anticipate trends. And we help our clients own the moments that matter. Bringing together left- and right-brains, we leverage our expertise in B2B and B2C marketing strategy, creative, and execution. Learn more at thinkrevivehealth.com

Anderson Interactive
Anderson Interactive injects a consulting methodology to the typical client-agency relationship – elevating your brand so it can be seen by the right audiences.

G&S Marketing & Branding
We are brand-marketing specialists. We integrate research, strategy, graphic design, content and digital services—and full implementation—all in one studio.

Hayutin Creative
We use our insights to design the most effective inbound and branding campaigns, as well as deliver lead-gen content assets that resonate with the right audiences.

KNB Communications
KNB is the communications marketing partner for health and health tech companies that are under pressure to perform in a rapidly changing business environment.

NPC Creative Services
NPC Creative Services specializes in providing strategic public relations to health IT software and service organizations.

RedBird Marketing
In a cloud filled with blue birds, we’re here to help you find your unique voice and be a bird of a different color. We focus on authentic storytelling and help bring out your style and personality.

The Future of Healthcare Marketing & PR – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

This month’s #HITMC Twitter chat is hosted by Colin Hung (@colin_hung), CMO of Healthcare Scene, Health IT Expo, and HITMC on Tuesday, March 27th at Noon ET (9AM PT) on the topic of The Future of Healthcare Marketing and PR.

We thought a great primer for the 2018 Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference would be a Twitter chat looking at the future of healthcare marketing and PR.  It will give you a small flavor of what happens at the conference.  Plus, it’s always great for the community to meet and connect online before meeting in person in New Orleans.

Plus, along with looking forward into the future of healthcare marketing and PR, we also invite you to join us and share your challenges, problems, etc.  Let’s help each other overcome the challenges we all face.

Please join us Tuesday, March 27th at Noon ET (9AM PT) for the monthly #HITMC TweetChat where we will be discussing the following topics:

T1: What trends do you see impacting the future of healthcare B2B marketing and PR? #HITMC

T2: What trends do you see impacting the future of healthcare B2C marketing and PR? #HITMC

T3: What questions do you not know the answer to that would help you better understand the future of healthcare marketing and PR? #HITMC

T4: What are you doing to prepare now for these future changes to marketing and PR? #HITMC

T5: Looking forward to the #HITMC conference, what questions, problems, challenges, etc would you like help with from the community? #HITMC

Bonus: Which session are you most looking forward to at #HITMC 2018? If you’re not able to attend, what session would you like the community to live tweet as much as possible? #HITMC

For those not familiar with Twitter chats, just hop on Twitter and search for #HITMC on Tuesday, March 27th at Noon ET (9AM PT) and you can join in.  We look forward to seeing you online!

The Ultimate Marketing Tech Stack: Apps, Tips and Tools – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

This month’s #HITMC Twitter chat will be hosted by Chris Slocumb (@CSlocumb), CEO of Clarity Quest Marketing, on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at Noon ET (9 AM PT).  The topic will be The Ultimate Marketing Tech Stack: Apps, Tips and Tools.  

New marketing tools and apps come out every day.  The average large enterprise uses 91 cloud-based marketing tools! There are platforms, software, dashboards, mobile apps, internally-built systems, and more. The options can be overwhelming.  

How do you decide which ones to use and which ones to invest in? Each tool has its purpose, value proposition, and pros and cons.  The #HITMC community has a ton of experience with marketing tech stacks, so we hope you’ll join us and share your insights, recommendations, experiences, and perspectives. If you are new or considering a tool purchase, bring questions!

Please join us Tuesday, February 13th at Noon ET (9 AM PT) for the monthly #HITMC Twitter chat where we will be discussing the following topics:

T1. Is there a marketing tool you can’t live without? #HITMC

T2. Which marketing tools give your organization the best return on investment? #HITMC

T3. Do you use different marketing tools for different stages of the sales and marketing funnel? #HITMC

T4. Do you have a marketing need that isn’t filled by current tools? #HITMC

T5. How do you convince management to give you the appropriate budget for marketing tools? #HITMC

Bonus. If you could design your dream marketing tool(s) what would it be? #HITMC

Just hop on Twitter and search for #HITMC on Tuesday, February 13th at Noon ET (9 AM PT) and you can join in. We look forward to seeing you online!

If you haven’t signed up for the 2018 Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference, registration ends March 7, 2018.  Also, take a minute to look at our wide array of conference sponsors including Clarity Quest Marketing who is hosting this Twitter chat.

What Attendees Can Expect at the 2018 Healthcare IT Marketing & PR Conference?

Attendees of the 2018 Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (or “HIT-Mc” as it’s colloquially known) will convene in New Orleans, April 4-6, for the event’s fifth annual gathering. Marketing and PR professionals from leading organizations throughout healthcare will come together for a line-up of educational sessions on topics ranging from digital strategies for brand discoverability to tips on drafting winning speaker proposals.

This year’s attendees can expect more of the inspiring and insightful sessions that the HITMC conference is known for as they assemble to swap tactics and network with hundreds of fellow health IT marketing peers. Still not sure what to expect? Last year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Gary Rhoades, the Stephen Mack Covey Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University, delivers a prime example of the fresh perspective that attendees can anticipate walking away with.

Can you feel the love?

In his 2017 HITMC opening session, Creating Customer and Employee Engagement, Dr. Rhoades makes the astute observation that we, as marketers, tend to focus on negative customer feedback to the detriment of our own success. He proposes that we shift our perspective to instead focus our energy on better understanding the things that our customers and workers love about our organization and its offerings.

Dr. Rhoades suggests that companies foster passionate performance among employees and brand advocacy among clients by emphasizing the aspects of the business that motivate customers and workers to engage. To create this momentum, he encourages organizations to spend time listening to the feelings of highly engaged members and to always communicate to internal and external stakeholders through the eyes of those members. He warns against getting tripped up by the concerns of the disengaged

As Dr. Rhoades puts it, “Most organizations spend 80 percent of their time on things that are ‘on fire.’ Instead, spend 80 percent of your time on why people are passionate about your products and services. You get the insights on how to develop engagement from your ‘love’ group.” He offers four avenues marketers can take to develop inspired brand champions:

  1. Align member values with those of the organization.
  2. Find a hurdle to jump over that other firms fail to do.
  3. Ride waves of momentum.
  4. Find a Goliath to slay.

Watch Dr. Rhoades’ HITMC keynote to learn more and to get a feel for what you can expect from HITMC’s experienced presenters. (Trust us – humor, real-world examples and great stories abound!)

Come see for yourself

Healthcare marketers and communications professionals have until March 7, 2018, to register to attend the 2018 Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference. Over the three-day conference, attendees will choose from roughly 40+ conference sessions designed to inspire and inform just like the one above. Select tracks that align to your specific area of interest, including but not limited to content marketing, marketing automation, event marketing, healthcare public relations, branding, media relations, and much, much more.

Want to learn more? Check out our 2018 HITMC program details.

Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Careers – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

This month’s #HITMC Twitter chat is hosted by John Lynn (@techguy), Founder of Healthcare Scene, Health IT Expo, and HITMC on Tuesday, January 9th at Noon ET (9AM PT) on the topic of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Careers.

As we head into a new year, many of us start looking at our lives and thinking about goals for the new year. With that in mind, we thought for January’s HITMC chat we’d talk about careers in healthcare marketing and PR. We hope you’ll join us and share your insights, experiences, and perspectives. Plus, if you’re searching to hire a marketing and PR professional or if you’re looking for a marketing and PR job, join us as well and maybe we as a community can help you out.

Please join us Tuesday, January 9th at Noon ET (9AM PT) for the monthly #HITMC TweetChat where we will be discussing the following topics:

T1: How did you get into healthcare marketing and PR? What’s your story? #HITMC

T2: What are the keys to being successful in healthcare marketing and PR? #HITMC

T3: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten for your career? #HITMC

T4: Share your biggest success story and why it mattered to your career. #HITMC

T5: Where do you want to take your career in healthcare marketing and PR? #HITMC

Bonus: If you’re looking to hire a healthcare marketing and PR professional, let us know. If you’re searching for a job, let us know (privately if preferred) and we’ll try and connect you. #HITMC

For those not familiar with Twitter chats, just hop on Twitter and search for #HITMC on Tuesday, January 9th at Noon ET (9AM PT) and you can join in.  We look forward to seeing you online!

PR and Getting Media Coverage at Events – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

This month’s #HITMC Twitter chat is hosted by Dennis Dailey from @mobihealthtimes and @PowerPressParty on Tuesday, December 12th at Noon ET (9AM PT). The Power Press Party is a media event that happens the night before #HIMSS18 and brings together 100 members of the media: Journalists (national and industry), Key Analysts, Influencers and Social Media Ambassadors. Check out and click on the image below for more info on the Power Press Party.

As many in the #HITMC community prepare for the massive HIMSS18 conference in Las Vegas, we thought the perfect topic for this chat was to talk about doing PR and getting media coverage at events. For those of you not participating in HIMSS18, you can apply these principles to your favorite events. There are a lot of different strategies to stand out from the crowd at large events like HIMSS18. In this chat, we hope you’ll join us and share what has and hasn’t worked for you and your company.

Please join us Tuesday, December 12th at Noon ET (9AM PT) for the monthly #HITMC TweetChat where we will be discussing the following topics:

T1: What PR strategies work for getting media coverage at conferences? #HITsm #HIMSS18

T2: What PR strategies don’t work at conferences? #HITsm #HIMSS18

T3: What are your pre-event vs on-site strategies? When is too early to start? When is too late? #HITsm #HIMSS18

T4: Which topics should be saved for media at events compared to pitches outside events? How do you handle when you have news vs when you’re building relationships? #HITsm #HIMSS18

T5: Where is the best place to find media at a conference? The Press Room, A Media Event, After Hours Parties, the Exhibit Hall, etc? #HITsm #HIMSS18

Bonus: Which media do you most want to see and get covered by at #HIMSS18 (or insert your favorite events)? #HITsm

Just hop on Twitter and search for #HITMC on Tuesday, December 12th at Noon ET (9AM PT) and you can join in.  We look forward to seeing you online!

Note: HITShow and Power Press Party are sponsors of the 2018 Health IT Marketing and PR Conference.

Announcing the 2018 HITMC Awards – Submit Your Nominations

After last year’s successful Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Awards, we’re excited to bring back the 4th Annual HITMC Awards. We were extremely impressed by the number and quality of submissions to last year’s awards and so we can’t wait to see the creativity, expertise, and skill that’s been on display again in the Health IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) and will be nominated this year.

If you have a campaign, a social media marketing effort, an exhibit hall booth or an exemplary healthcare marketing and PR effort you think was great, we’d love to have your submissions. Feel free to submit your own campaigns or recognize your colleagues. We want to hear about the best, most interesting, most effective, most creative campaigns we can find. Please don’t nominate any campaigns or efforts that have been nominated previously or that happened previous to 2017.

Here’s a list of the HITMC award categories:

  • Best Trade Show Theme or Campaign
  • Best Content Marketing Program
  • Best Social Media Program
  • Best Creative
  • Agency or Marketing Department of the Year
  • Marketing or PR Professional of the Year (an individual)

We don’t like long lengthy submission forms that discourage people from sharing a great campaign, so we’ve made the HITMC Award nomination form as simple as possible. We’ll be closing the nomination period on Monday, January 15, 2018.

The winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges and each HITMC Award category winner will be recognized during the 2018 Health IT Marketing and PR Conference in New Orleans. We’re excited to see all the creative things that are happening in healthcare marketing and PR.

If you have any questions about the HITMC Awards, please reach out to us on our contact us page. We look forward to seeing the very best in healthcare IT marketing and PR!

Submit Your Nominations Now!

12 Quick Wins With Your Leftover Marketing Budget

It’s the week after US Thanksgiving which means it is now officially leftover season! Turkey salad. Turkey sandwiches and endless scoops of mashed potatoes. Having leftover Thanksgiving dinner isn’t too bad, but you definitely do not want to leave it lingering too long. There is nothing worse than having to throw out food that you could have eaten.

This is also the time of year when some Marketing Teams find themselves in the enviable position of having leftover budget. It’s a fantastic position to be in so congratulations if this is where you are! For those in smaller organizations, there is a chance you can take your surplus and carry it forward to next year. That is the best possible outcome. However, most Teams will not be able to do this, so they need to find a way to spend that money before it disappears like door-crashers do on Black Friday.

Although you may not be able to carry forward the actual dollars from this year into next, there are things you can do with the your surplus THIS YEAR than can benefit you NEXT YEAR. Here are 12 suggestions for quick wins that you can purchase with your leftover marketing budget that will help you and put your team in good standing with senior leadership.

1) Subscriptions and books. Whether it’s Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Brand Republic or AdWeek you and your team will benefit from keeping on top of the industry’s latest trends. Prefer something more longform? Then a set of books for the Marketing library is the answer. Stock up on classics like Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, Scott Stratten’s UnMarketing or friend Dan Munro’s Casino Healthcare.

2) Analyst Report/Helpful Research. Find out more about your target market or get the inside scoop on your competitors by purchasing reports from Gartner, IDC or KLAS. There is a lot of helpful research out there that can help guide next year’s marketing programs.

3) Stock/Custom Photos. You can never have too many photos of smiling people using smartphones or groups of smiling people around a conference table. Now is the perfect time to add to refresh your stock photo library. Even better – hire a local photographer (students are great) and stage your own photos to guarantee uniqueness.

4) Professional Headshots. Selfies are great, but nothing compares to a well-lit, professionally taken headshot. Consider bringing a photographer and make-up artist to your office. It’s the perfect time to help your team look their best online.

5) LinkedIn upgrade. Once of the best investments you can make for you, your marketing team AND your sales team, is an upgraded LinkedIn account. Gain access to advanced search capabilities and more inMails with a LinkedIn Premium Account. Have even more money? Then try Sales Navigator and Premium Business. Take your social selling to a new level.

6) Short ad run. As the year winds down, people stop responding to email marketing. However, now is when people get the time to catch up on reading interesting articles they have saved throughout the year. Placing a banner ad on high traffic sites can help fill the top of your funnel for next year. (Note: I’m totally biased when I say that HealthcareScene.com would be a great place for you)

7) Advanced purchases. Everyone is trying to make year-end numbers so you may be able to negotiate a good deal for ads, dedicated emails, content, graphics, etc. for next year. Don’t be afraid to ask what your marketing partners can do for you given you are willing to pay TODAY.

8) Software utilities. There are likely a number of small utilities that can make you and your team more efficient. Image conversion programs, project tracking platforms and video editing tools are sometimes hard to justify during the year, but they fit nicely when you have leftover budget.

9) Computer accessories. I am convinced there are unseen video adaptor gremlins running around hoarding those cables. There may also be sprites that take presentation clickers. Mine always seem to go missing. Why not take advantage of all the sale prices and stock up on much needed computer accessories. Your team will thank you.

10) Voice work. Professional voice actors are often considered luxuries, but boy do they make a big difference. Consider hiring a voice actor to update your company’s automated phone attendant or refresh your motion graphics videos. Like #5 don’t forget to ask for an end-of-year deals.

11) Professional Development. When you have an unexpected surplus, this is one of the best ways you can invest it. Education and professional development often get overlooked in the rush of projects during the year. Take the time now to register for conferences, sign up for online courses or add a pre-conference session to an event you are already planning on attending. For a list of healthcare conferences, including our own HITMC18 and HITExpo18 events, check out this blog from John Lynn.

12) Internal Awards. This is my favorite. One of the biggest challenges for Marketers is getting other people in the organization to help with Marketing programs. It’s always a struggle to get client quotes, case study approval, social media amplification and proper documentation in the CRM/Marketing Automation Tool after conferences. With your surplus, consider holding an internal awards party with food and trophies (which are surprisingly cheap). At the party, publicly recognize people who have been most helpful to the Marketing Team. The praise and the trophies will encourage others to contribute. Here are some awards I have used in the past:

  • Best Implementation that led to a case study
  • Salesperson with the most referenced client
  • Most on-time attendance at tradeshow booth
  • Cleanest powerpoint
  • Subject matter expert that contributed the most content/blogs
  • Retweeter/Liker of the year

Don’t let even a few hundred dollars of marketing surplus go to waste. Take that leftover and carry it into next year by spending it smartly.

Welcome to HITMC!

We're glad you found the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (or as we affectionately call it...HITMC). This blog is a place for healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals to come together and share their insights, skills, expertise with other people trying to make healthcare better through the use of technology. This blog grew out of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference which is held annually. We look forward to connecting and learning from you. Please feel free to reach out to us on our contact us page if you have any questions.

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