Best Hospital PR/Marketing Team

No. 1 Rex Healthcare reverses slide in brand awareness

At the end of 2011, Rex Healthcare was No. 1 in the Raleigh market but feared a decline in brand awareness. Here’s how its marketing and PR department reversed that slide.

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Rex Healthcare, a 665-bed hospital that was, and is, No. 1 in Raleigh, N.C., raised its flagging brand awareness and preference share for many clinical areas in 2012 with a new brand campaign, the central feature of which was content marketing in the form of patient stories on its website.

For this improvement in its image, Rex has won top honors in the Best Hospital PR/Marketing Team category of Ragan’s 2013 Health Care PR and Marketing Awards.

The strategy of Rex Healthcare’s marketing and public affairs department encompassed television, radio, print, and online. Here’s how the campaign unfolded:

  • Television spots in 2012 featured a cancer survivor and new mothers telling stories of beating great odds to thrive.
  • The expanded stories behind these TV ads were published on rexhealth.com.
  • Fourteen additional patient stories were added to rexhealth.com in 2012, many told by patient-journalists themselves.
  • Aggressive SEO tactics led to top-5 search rankings for Rex’s service line pages on its website and more than 100,000 unique visitors a month to rexhealth.com.
  • Rex’s Facebook engagement averaged 12 to 15 percent, far above the industry average of 1 percent.
  • A December 2012 “Elf on the Shelf” campaign got Facebook engagement exceeding 50 percent (3,000+ of 6,000 likes actively engaged with “Elf”).
  • Rex’s new mobile app for cancer patients gained national attention.

Even better results followed:

  • Rex’s strengthened culture proved so potent that its workers banded together to fight off a hostile takeover by another nonprofit hospital in the area.
  • In the most recent survey, employee satisfaction was 95 percent; their satisfaction with internal communication was at 83 percent.
  • In the last six months, Rex earned 1,200 media placements (826 million impressions) valued at $2.5 million.
  • Since 2011, affiliated practices and physicians have grown 75 percent; physician satisfaction ranks at 93 percent.
  • Nearly 80 percent of internal customers rated Rex’s marketing team “very good” or “excellent.”
  • Rex Healthcare won a place on the HealthGrades America’s Best Hospitals list (in the top 1 percent nationally).

The quality of the new patient stories on rexhealth.com is outstanding, and proves that the hospital made the right decision in deciding to let many of its patients tell their own stories. Congratulations to the 17 members of Rex Healthcare’s marketing and PR team.

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