Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center launched its “One Mission” patient newsletter as part of an effort to reach cancer patients better than it had with its outdated and costly print newsletter. Now “One Mission” has earned the top prize in the “Digital Publication” category of Ragan’s Health Care PR and Marketing Awards.
The strategy focused on repurposing content published on the center’s blog, which is updated three to five times each week, with a focus on patients’ interests. Once the blog was identified as a source of content for the monthly newsletter, the team adapted its Drupal content management system to ease the curation of the posts into the email newsletter template; the newsletter essentially builds itself.
The team cross-promoted the newsletter on its website and the blog. Built into the template is interactivity that wasn’t possible with a print newsletter, enabling dialogue and polling. Collaboration with nursing, patient education, supportive care, patient experience and other departments keeps the blog and newsletter populated with relevant content.
To craft each issue’s content, the team has built the newsletter into the regular biweekly meetings of the blog content team. A list of article topics is developed a month or two before the publication date, with articles slotted into the blog publication schedule. The newsletter also reports on topics that don’t make it onto the blog—such as a garage repair schedule. The newsletter also encourages advocacy, with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram links in each article.
The strategic approach the marketing and communications team took to developing the digital alternative propelled the publication’s reach from 250 views per month to more than 18,000 as of May 2019.
Congratulations to Heidi Findlay, Sue Banchich and the Roswell Park team of content contributors.