Why Storytelling is a Powerful Tool for Hospital Patients

PR Week—March 26, 2015

John Englehart, CMO for Hospital for Special Surgery, talks to Lindsay Stein about how powerful storytelling is a key tool for patients.

How are marketing and communications set up under you?

Structurally, it’s a group that sits together, and it includes the PR and social teams, the digital comms team, which handles the websites and microsites, and the marketing team, which does advertising and publications for internal and external audiences.

We also have a design and production group because we have so many publications. Most recently, the physician referral service moved into our group. That team fields all of the inbound enquiries from people who are looking for help or making appointments at the hospital.

Tell me about the Back in the Game microsite that launched in February.

It came about when we recognized the power of the Hospital for Special Surgery experience for people who come here. We’re a small hospital with only about 200 beds, but we serve about 30,000 patients a year who come from about 105 countries.

We get a disproportionate number of patients who have especially challenging requirements and they come here because they need or want the best. The outcomes tend to be quite dramatic, and the effect it has on patients is very powerful – to the point where they feel they are part of a club. They are excited about it, proud, and like to share their experiences.

Those stories are powerful and valuable to people when they are on their paths at an early stage and trying to find the care that’s best for them. It’s more important to people who are looking for care to hear from the relatable experience of others, than it is to see a television commercial.

Sometimes good marketing is really about getting out of the way of the real story, so we created a forum that recognizes that.

Read the full story at prweek.com.


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