Create a product to inspire your community and promote your hospital throughout the year. Create a calendar! Here’s how:
- Select a theme — Presbyterian and Forsyth both chose to feature cancer survivors, but the possibilities are endless. What is your community hospital known for? Is there a service or department that could be featured or promoted? What would be the most beneficial to your community?
- Tell your story — An important key to captivating the community is choosing subjects who tell a vivid story. Where are the best stories at your community hospital and how can they help educate and inspire? The NICU? Your own employees? The ER? Zero in where the stories are!
- Involve the hospital community — Invite hospital staff to participate by nominating patients or fellow employees to feature in the calendar. Active participation will give your hospital staff a sense of ownership and enthusiasm about the project. The featured community members will likewise feel a closer tie to your hospital. The more people you involve, the larger your community grows. (And the more likely you are to generate word-of-mouth buzz.)
- Quality photography is a must — One of the most important and memorable elements of your calendar will be the photography. Do not skimp on this — consider hiring a professional photographer to capture your featured patients. It will make all the difference in elevating your project.
- Go beyond the dates — See beyond the calendar as a composition of photos and dates and add valuable patient information to each month. Have a special event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Feature it! Make sure it’s already penciled on every recipient’s calendar. Offer phone numbers and information for how patients can easily schedule mammograms. Think of the calendar both holistically and month by month to make the most of the marketing space.
- Judge your calendar by its cover — It’s not always the best idea for books, but calendars are a different story. Make sure you have a cover that grabs you, and consider what educational information you can offer on the front and back covers to guide the community to all your resources.
- Think outside the paper — The process of producing these calendars creates so much more than a single product. Consider the other arenas your now-gathered stories and photography can be used. Turn different months into series of ads, eblasts, direct mails and more. It takes a lot of work, but the beauty is you’ve used one product to produce a year of easy marketing for yourself.
- Waste not — Record everything you can every step of the way. Have a passionate patient or employee at your fingertips? Why not record him or her while you’re at it. Be sure to videotape any community calendar presentation gatherings. You never know what you might do with all that footage.
- Order more — Seriously. If you follow our steps, demand will be greater than you anticipate — especially if you experience inaugural year success. Consider if calendars are offered for donations or as a nicety to patients. Make sure people can order online so friends and family of featured subjects can order from across the country.
- Don’t forget to celebrate — Don’t overlook the importance of pomp and circumstance when unveiling your calendar creations. Foster community by creating an event that brings together patients, community members, doctors, providers, friends and family to fawn over the calendar, sign calendar pages, share stories and connect. Calendar subjects might be the featured stars, but your community hospital will come out on top every time.
Harness hope, capture community attention and accomplish your marketing goals.
Master all of the above just like Presbyterian Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center in Charlotte and the Derrick L. Davis Forsyth Regional Cancer Center in Winston-Salem.
Every year these hospitals spotlight 12 of their cancer survivors on calendar pages. Their stories are told in poetic prose and their photos are captured in breathtaking black and white with spot color.
- Educate the community about available resources
- Harvest hope
- Inspire — daily
Watch this short video to see how their campaigns brought together doctors, providers, patients and community members to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.
Click, sit back and get inspired.
What does your calendar feature for the month of January 2012?
Flowers? Cats? That national park you’ve never been to?
I have two calendars that tell me two different stories:
- Presbyterian’s Punkin Brookshire, a brain cancer survivor since 2010 who has learned to adapt while still seeing life with a glass half full.
- Forsyth’s Reggie McCombs, a brain tumor survivor since 2004 who has kept pushing in the aftermath of his treatment to cheer on his son, an NFL hopeful.
Wanna trade calendars? Get started on yours today >>