The nonprofit health organization Spectrum Health has a website not unlike those you would find for any hospital. Its brand journalism efforts are delivered through a distinct website, Health Beat, which has won first place in the “Website” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Nonprofit PR Awards.
Spectrum Health’s brand journalism effort stands on its own as an independent website no matter how you look at it. The site was conceived as a better way to push out consumer information, which previously relied on a number of marketing channels, including press releases and billboards.
The site’s genesis began with research of email, content and competitive websites, along with internal and external surveys, focus groups and an in-depth content and communications asset audit. The communications department was expanded to accommodate an “owned media” site that empowers readers to make informed health decisions for themselves and their families.
The articles—about real people facing genuine struggles—are written and photographed by professional journalists and tailored to inspire reader engagement. A companion media site, Health Beat Pro, is designed to be accessible for news professionals who can plug and play print materials, blog posts, broadcasts and radio reports.
The site is staffed using a journalistic model: a managing editor, two photojournalists, a multimedia manager and a health care journalist. The team also uses freelance writers and internal marketing and communication staff. Service lines pitch stories, which are edited and reviewed by subject matter experts. Promotion via social channels is coordinated by the multimedia manager.
It takes only a quick look at the design to find a site that embodies best practices for content-rich websites, with easy navigation, big images and effective search.
Congratulations to the Spectrum Health team of Cheryl Welch, Jill Seidelman, Chris Clark, Sue Thoms and Taylor Ballek.