It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since the beginning of the pandemic. Everyone across the globe has been affected in some way by the pandemic — especially those who work at healthcare organizations.
Many marketers are beginning to think about planning a remembrance for lives lost, a celebration for lives saved and an event to thank healthcare staff for their dedication and sacrifices through it all. That’s a tall order and one that still needs to follow social distancing guidelines.
Content marketing ideas to remember patients and honor healthcare workers
You’re the expert when it comes to what will resonate with your organization and your community. Even though your plate is likely full promoting vaccination clinics and filling elective service line patient volumes, spending some time to observe the year-mark of the pandemic can offer the following benefits:
- Shows your appreciation (and gives your community the opportunity to show their appreciation) for your healthcare workers, which supports employee engagement, retention, and recruitment
- Gives your community an opportunity to engage with your brand, building on the goodwill and support they’ve shown in the last year
- Provides an opportunity for your community to grieve those lost to COVID-19 after a year when public mourning rituals haven’t been possible, helping your community and team better cope
1: Share Patient Stories
Your hospital or health system likely had many patients who were critically ill with COVID-19 but recovered. Consider identifying a handful of patients that match your key personas and spotlight them through patient stories. You may even consider reuniting the patient with his or her care team and capturing the moment on camera, followed by interviews with both the patient and some of his or her care team to do a look back – and ahead. You can share the articles, videos, and photos on your content marketing hub and promote via eNewsletters and social media.
Sharing stories of patients who have passed can be hard, but also impactful. Some organizations may choose to mark each patient lost in a certain way – such as through candles or luminaries – and perhaps tell some of their stories too, especially if a provider or care team member went above and beyond to support the patient or their family. You could partner with patient families or even local schools to decorate the luminaria. If space allows, you could even plan a drive-through luminaria ceremony honoring and remembering all those who lost their battle with COVID-19.
2: Plan Acts of Appreciation
There is really no adequate way to tell your care team how much you appreciate them, but marking a historic, unprecedented year with words and acts of gratitude for their sacrifices and compassionate service to others is a great place to start. In addition to promoting the ongoing availability of employee wellness programs and mental health resources, consider doing a full week of appreciation starting March 11th for your healthcare heroes, maybe honoring a different department each day.
You could partner with local companies to deliver different items each day for the team to enjoy. Consider meals, flowers, or maybe even hire a local musician to play in the lobby. Partnering with local companies also gives them needed exposure, as many small businesses and artists have taken a hit this year.
You could even turn this week-long event into a giving program with your organization’s philanthropic arm or foundation, asking your community to show their appreciation and support through donations to employee relief or other funds.
Be sure to capture the acts of appreciation on camera, interview the care team on what it’s like looking back, and share all of it through your eNewsletters and social media channels.
3. Get Leaders Involved
The one-year anniversary is an important milestone, and your leadership team may already have some thoughts on how to mark the occasion in the context of the organization’s strategic goals. Consider doing a video recapping the year and having executive, clinical, and service line leaders make statements thanking the team for their hard work and dedication. Also, consider creating a video or blog post from your CEO reflecting on the year and sharing areas where the organization has grown. Even if this content isn’t for public consumption, sharing videos and posts from key members of the executive team on your intranet can be inspiring and boost employee morale.
In it together
Remember, your community has lived the last year right there beside you. From depending on you for facts about the virus to delivering homemade PPE to trusting you with their care – COVID-19-related or not – your entire community has ridden the same ups and downs. They will likely respond well to commemorating the milestone with you.
Counterintuitive to traditional event marketing, it’s important to think about the events you plan and be thoughtful about not attracting a crowd. That’s where content marketing and digital come in. Plan to release content on your online content hubs and through social. You can Facebook live certain interviews or events, record videos ahead of time and release the day of, or even partner with your local news stations who are likely going to be looking for this very content. Digital is a great, socially-distanced way to safely share the experience with your community and continue to build those bonds.
If you need assistance interviewing patients or care team members for articles and blog posts, our expert team of writers can help. We know you have a lot on your plate and would love to share our expertise in whatever way possible.