Why Ascension, Renown & Dartmouth-Hitchcock feature their clinicians in their ads

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Many hospitals and health systems feature their clinicians in advertising campaigns, as images and audio from the people who provide care can be an important way to effectively reach patients.

Recent Kaiser Family Foundation research revealed healthcare workers' testimonials and encouragement to receive COVID-19 vaccines is the best way to reach the country's vaccine-hesitant population. Mary Lourdes Burke, director of marketing at Lebanon, N.H.-based Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, supported this by saying clinicians "are one of the most, if not, the most trusted resource for healthcare information" from a consumer perspective.

Ms. Burke said Dartmouth-Hitchcock's communications and marketing team promotes the health system's clinicians as experts, something that was "particularly exemplified" during the pandemic, when more consumers were looking for accurate and timely healthcare information. She said Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinicians often showcase their expertise through video, radio and Facebook Live events.

Nick Ragone, St. Louis-based Ascension's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said his health system has also recently featured clinicians in advertising campaigns encouraging people to get vaccinated, keep up infection control measures and avoid delaying care.

"We recently launched a grassroots, word-of-mouth advertising campaign featuring our clinician leaders and asking the simple question 'How are you feeling today?' which has really resonated with our consumers and patients in our markets," Mr. Ragone said. "We're also continuing a heavy rotation of our 'I'm not going anywhere' commercials, which shows the deep connection between our caregivers and our patients."

Showcasing a health system's clinicians on center stage is a proven way to engage new and existing patients, but it is also a key way to engage donors, elected officials, referring providers and other key stakeholders, according to Suzanne Bharati Hendery, Reno, Nev.-based Renown Health's chief marketing and customer officer.

Ms. Hendery said advertising campaigns should "include the full diversity of your employees at every level, not centered on any one particular 'celebrity' clinician or clinical team."

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