The hospital had two issues: Despite massive improvements in clinical scores, past quality problems shadowed its reputation. On top of that, misconceptions persisted, and it had never told its story in a deliberate way.
We built a grassroots team of employees, physicians and community members to spearhead a pride effort. The campaign to change the perception of the hospital was anchored by a compelling, central narrative from patient and employee stories, fortified by concrete data. Once influencers were identified and developed, we ran a significant campaign internally and in the community to garner advocates for the CON.
Lawn signs popped up. Community leaders were cultivated. Leadership spoke to civic groups. The team held letter drives inside and outside the hospital, setting up tables at big box retailers and eateries.
The campaign took on a fevered pitch, ultimately resulting in more than 5,000 letters of support filed with state regulators within several months. This included endorsements from a majority of local physicians. Although competitors launched a countereffort to thwart the mounting support, the hospital eventually won the CON. With new allies and new understanding of the hospital’s mission and goals, the organization has expanded and enjoys widespread community support.
A community hospital competing against two well-funded, respected systems for a CON was challenged by a troubled reputation. We developed a grassroots campaign, harnessing the power of storytelling, to change mindsets and win the CON.