“We approached Pat to create, design, and implement a strategic communications and marketing plan to enable us to secure the viability of the institution. We also requested a plan that would favorably position the hospital in this very competitive environment. Ms. Kennedy has shown an extraordinary ability to generate a vision and implement up to the smallest of detail our comprehensive marketing plan.”
Andrei Soran, CEO and President
Nashoba Valley Medical Center
When Nashoba Valley Medical Center (NVMC) located in Ayer, MA hired Patricia Kennedy Communications, it had recently been purchased by for-profit Essent Healthcare, an emerging provider of community-based hospital services.
NVMC requested an extensive range of communications services including:
- Brand development – name, logo, tagline, messaging, signage, stationery
- Audience identification and outreach- throughout 7 distinct communities
- Marketing communications materials – every communication vehicle had to be re-done
- New web site needed to blend with the Essent corporate web site
- Direct marketing – using direct mail, events and other programming to target specific audiences
- Media relations – an extensive program targeting local media
- Advertising – a branded look and messaging placed in local media
- Community relations – to reinforce NVMC’s “essential” role in the community
- Internal capacity building – the internal staff was coached throughout the implementation process
- Evaluation metrics
Pat developed a year-long plan for NVMC working directly with the hospital’s chief executive officer and senior team. She provided an on-site team for 8 months as strategies and tactics were developed and implemented.
Pat and her team positioned Nashoba Valley Medical Center as a community-based healthcare provider integral and essential to the community’s well being: Nashoba Valley Medical Center provides Boston-quality medical care (with Boston teaching hospital physicians) right in your home town. This position was augmented through immersion participation and involvement by the staff with all of the communities in its service area.
Tag Line: Where excellence is essential
The marketing strategy was devised to re-brand and re-position NVMC:
- Think and act locally, become a part of the fabric of the community
- Promote a commitment to a new hospital building
- Focus on promoting the most visible community medicine services: emergency services, women’s services, orthopedics and rehabilitation, etc.
- Provide easy access to physicians trained at Boston teaching hospitals in a comfortable setting
Working with Fassino Design of Waltham, Pat and her team guided the Nashoba Valley Medical Center’s senior team through the process of creating the new visual identity system. The new logo was applied to all buildings, highway and road signs throughout the area, advertising and all collateral materials.
Marketing Communications: Web, Ads, Brochures, Direct Mail
With the brand identity finalized, the team focused on overseeing the development of collateral materials, direct mail, internal communications and print ads in local publications. Pat also crafted the Web site content to assure that the key messages were clear and consistent throughout.
The media outreach was planned as a continuous stream of positive news stories from the hospital. We targeted the community publications in the Nashoba Valley service area. By the end of the first year, we had sent out more than 200 news releases and placed the equivalent of 23 full pages of news coverage in these publications averaging 4 pages per month.
An important facet of the work was to re-form the public relations department for the hospital. This included training the existing staff and recruiting and hiring a director of public relations and communications.
All goals were met: a brand was established and applied, all scheduled communications materials and programs were created and launched. More importantly, the hospital’s in-patient census and utilization of hospital services increased by 20% during the year.
At the end of the contract, a new publications director was in charge. Pat has continued to work with the director and the hospital’s president on several extended projects.