One of my favorite childhood memories was when one day someone dropped these massive garbage bags full of gifts at our house. They included instructions that we were to open one gift every day for the 12 days of Christmas. It made for a special Christmas season as myself and my 6 siblings all got a present and then our family got a number of other gifts. I still remember that red Jansport backpack.
Using this memory as inspiration, I thought it would be fun to feature 12 people from the HITMC healthcare marketing community here each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I’m excited to share each of these amazing people with you in what we’re calling the 12 days of #HITMCChristmas. Plus, I can’t wait for you to learn from them in the process.
Tell us a little about yourself and Agency Ten22
Generous. Pragmatic. Grateful. Those are a few things to know about me personally. Professionally, I’m a healthcare evangelist. I’ve been in the industry my entire career and it’s been very, very good to me. I’m truly blessed to have served on the provider side, the vendor side and now as founder and CEO of Agency Ten22. As a boutique healthcare agency, we have the honor of working alongside so many innovative and dedicated healthcare companies. And I consider our close relationships with healthcare associations, editors and journalists as our most valuable gifts.
What have been the most successful marketing or PR initiatives your clients have done this year and what made them successful?
2020 has been a year of rapid innovation to solve critical, life-threatening problems. Never before have our clients’ solutions and services mattered so much and to so many. From COVID-19 testing to telehealth and no-interest patient financing programs, it has been a year filled with inspiring moments.
Early in the pandemic we created monthly reports of how Agency Ten22 clients were “doing good” during difficult times. Nearly every company found a unique way to serve their hospital and health system customers. Writing about how our clients stepped up during the crisis and contributed to the common good was the most fulfilling part of Agency Ten22’s year.
How would you describe the state of healthcare press today? How has it changed since COVID?
Since COVID we’re all a bit more patient and respectful. We’ve had to pivot to new work environments and relax during technical glitches. There is a dire need for more frontline advice, best practices and new strategies to cope with the pandemic and all its downstream impacts. Overall volume of content has grown exponentially and hot topics shift with each turn of the virus. New challenges bring new issues that need to be solved with technology. For example, how will states track vaccine distribution and immunizations? That’s one of the biggest stories right now.
The first strategy we undertook was to proactively reach out to press and ask how we could help. We also expanded our circle of press contacts to include national journalists and broadcast media. Rapid response has been absolutely essential.
Nine months later I clearly see how agencies and press are working better together. We respect and rely on each other more. Perhaps that’s the most valuable press lesson learned during this pandemic.
How can a health IT speaker stand out when submitting a session to a call for speaker? Has the fact that events are virtual changed this process?
That’s a great question. The process has become more difficult. There are many more speakers vying for fewer slots. I can’t say we’ve found the magic bullet, but bringing together a panel of experts to discuss how their organizations are tackling a difficult issue is always a winner.
What’s the most compelling marketing campaign you’ve ever seen (healthcare or otherwise)?
The one my son completed for his Junior American Literature class this week. He created an ad for the BrainGame Neural Pathway. It is a set of earbuds that you connect to your favorite video game console while you are asleep. It converts your gaming dreams into actual moves. Built for teenage gamers, the copy was extremely compelling and hysterical.
What advice would you give healthcare marketers as they plan for 2021?
The challenge for 2021 will be how to fill the sales pipeline with new leads. Without in-person events and onsite visits, sales teams are really struggling for new leads while buyers have less time to talk with vendors and evaluate solutions. I predict an increase in paid media and syndicated content in the form of relevant, fact-based information. Stay focused and fine-tune everything you do for each target audience.
What can the HITMC community do to help you and Agency Ten22?
Thanks for asking. One way is to keep us in mind when new marketing projects or compelling success stories crop up. We can respond to most urgent requests and immediate needs. Retainers are a win-win for agencies and their clients, but we also understand that urgent projects arise and HITMC members have limited resources. Rapid decisions might be necessary. Agency Ten22 stands ready to help.
Be sure to follow all of the 12 Days of #HITMCChristmas.