DH World Tour 2018

tyler tullis

Tyler Tullis
Director of Marketing

May 23, 2018

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Crisis communications in Raleigh. International marketing in Dubai. Hospital branding in Washington D.C.

We’re making our way across the country (and the globe!) speaking and learning about the future of communications, health care and traffic safety this year. So, we wanted to recap the big ideas from our presentations so far in 2018.

PRSA Health Academy 2018

Washington D.C.

The Public Relations Society of America’s forum on the health care industry that welcomes communications professionals from hospitals, clinics, health plans and public health institutions across the nation.

Big Idea: Rural hospitals can own their marketplace with a strong community-oriented brand.

We work with rural hospitals across the Pacific Northwest to build sustainable local market share in tough media markets where large systems have more resources and bigger advertising war-chests.

Even amid a climate of hospital consolidation, rural hospitals can increase their patient volumes by delivering a better patient experience and recruiting new patients away from larger competitors by having a strong brand that is expressed through authentic community engagement programs. Their brand should position the hospital and its service lines in the context of their community and the lifestyle of residents they serve. A few quick examples of some tactics hospitals have used include featuring local artists in their hospitals, food from local farms and using local people and their healthcare stories in advertising.

And the best news is, rural hospitals can begin to position themselves as community champions right out of the gate. It’s all about getting clear on your organization’s brand and value proposition and then investing in targeted, cost-effective marketing and communications programs, including digital advertising for specific services lines, community relations, brand ambassador programs and more.

IPREX Annual Meeting 2018

Dubai, UAE

DH is a partner of IPREX, the world’s largest network of independent marketing and communications firms. Andrei is IPREX Global President, and he discussed industry trends from across continents with colleagues from around the world.

Big Idea: AI is coming to advertising—are you ready?

When a group of agency leaders get together from over 30 countries, there’s no shortage of topics up for discussion. This is one of the things our clients and team at DH values most about IPREX—the perspective that comes from around the world.

This year’s annual meeting was held in one of the most important cities in the world: Dubai. It has become a major hub of commerce, culture and is the gateway to Africa and the Middle East.

One trend we explored is the impact Artificial Intelligence will have on agencies, and what it means for our clients. We were fortunate enough to spend time with Cyrus Hodes, one of the global leaders in AI. He’s the Director of the AI Initiative, part of the Harvard Kennedy School.

In addition to more macro trends, we had deeper discussion about what in the marketing world will be automated. The short version: plenty. Even conservative estimates are that 30-40% of the industry will be automated within the next 15 years. Think media buying, monitoring, predictive behavior, natural language processing, research analysis, or as Cyrus put it, “anything that involves Excel.” It was a fascinating presentation, and one that prompted discussion of ethics, opportunity implications and risk.

Washington Traffic Safety Commission Annual Traffic Safety Conference

Kennewick, WA

Each year, our client Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) gathers statewide experts to discuss trends and best practices to reach Target Zero: our state’s goal of zero traffic deaths or serious injuries by 2030.

Big Idea: Hyper-localized campaigns get results.

WTSC knows addressing traffic safety in any given county means reaching a very specific audience with compelling messages that will resonate without pointing fingers. With each audience segment they work to reach, they know messages will be more effective when tempered with local, recognizable content and visuals.

In Klickitat County, for example, speeding on one stretch of long, straight road was causing major issues. Employees driving it were in a hurry to get to work and get home and average speeds were nearly double the 50mph speed limit. Working alongside law enforcement, the Department of Transportation and local businesses we developed a campaign to reach hyper-segmented audience demographics of millennial Hispanic males age 16 – 24. Tactics included a mobile billboard truck moved to various points along a problematic road with high rates of speeding. Further in Eastern Washington, we built radio spots targeting rural men age 55+.

Traffic deaths are down year-over-year across the state, and WTSC is changing behavior among these last difficult to reach audiences.

PRSA Southeast District Annual Conference

Raleigh, NC

PRSA’s Southeast District of the US brings together PR professionals and marketers to discuss regional and national trends.

Big Idea: Crisis communications readiness.

Crises can strike anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Often in the places you don’t expect them. So, the trick is planning for as many contingencies as we can early on, even if they’re just key situational categories.

Christine spoke to PRSA Southeast about a crisis example we helped manage with a pre-planned crisis toolkit as the guide. Crisis plans detail categories of possible crisis scenarios organizations should anticipate, process-oriented action plans when a crisis surfaces, and a general set of key messages that can be quickly adapted and tailored for specific situations.

We also attended the American Public Transportation Association annual meeting this year where we won an award for our creative with Spokane Transit Authority.

And this fall, Christine will be speaking about hospital marketing at the national Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development conference. Look for more as the 2018 world tour continues!

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