Digital Employee Communication Tool Delivers Inspiration, Engagement

Cape Cod Healthcare
Hyannis, Massachusetts
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New England health system applies proven content marketing and storytelling techniques to an internal employee communication tool, engaging staff when they needed it the most.

Opportunity

Building on the engagement of their public-facing online news hub, Cape Cod Healthcare wanted to reinvent internal employee communications with a digital version of their print publication.

Outcome

Cape Cod Healthcare and Geonetric built a new digital employee communication tool, The Pulse, which uses storytelling as a vehicle for empathy, compassion, and team building across the health system.

Impact

Launched during the pandemic, The Pulse quickly became a relied-upon source of news and inspiration. The newsletter regularly sees 40% open rates and 20% click-through rates and had more than 17,300 page views on the site in the first five months.

“We relied on Geonetric’s expertise to help execute our vision of reimagining digital employee communications. From the strategy to the design to the VitalSite platform, The Pulse amplifies key messages and helps our organization connect and engage with the care team, employees, and volunteers in valuable ways.”

Christina Peaslee, Executive Director of Marketing Communications & Content Strategy
Cape Cod Healthcare

Cape Cod Healthcare (CCHC) is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. CCHC has two acute care hospitals, with more than 450 physicians, 5,300 employees, and 1,100 volunteers.

Communication with their care team, staff, and volunteers have always been a top priority. The organization had a print publication, The Pulse, which was mailed to staff, as well as emails that were sent from leadership teams and departments as needed.

Both communication vehicles got the word out but left opportunities for improvement. The print publication was costly to produce and made it difficult to move quickly on timely topics with the production schedule. With department and leadership emails, the marketing team wasn’t always part of the messaging. There was no analytics to track engagement, and content “died on the vine” with no easy way to revisit the information later.

When considering how to deliver internal news and information better, the organization considered their intranet, but it wasn’t the right place. It was more focused on being a document repository and less focused on employee engagement and communication. It was also important to the marketing team that employee content was available outside the network so it was more easily accessible. The team recognized this need even before the pandemic, but it became even more important once COVID-19 hit.

To accommodate their needs, CCHC looked to their digital partner, Geonetric, to create a new platform and leverage the strategy and design behind the health system’s popular Cape Cod Health News content hub for a new, more robust, digital version of The Pulse.

Building on a sophisticated foundation

It was essential to the CCHC marketing team to establish a robust content strategy which centered on aligning digital content on The Pulse to key organizational priorities. That meant they needed to use the platform as an amplifier of key messaging. The CCHC team defined strategic objectives for The Pulse which were translated into content categories aimed to build a patient-centered, healthy, diverse and inclusive culture. The CCHC team partnered with Geonetric team to implement a sophisticated framework and taxonomy to organize and prioritize content to support an employee-centered content journey.

The Pulse site was built on the VitalSite content management system and leverages a similar design and build as CCHC’s public-facing news hub on their main website. The Pulse showcases a featured story, the ability to subscribe to the newsletters, submit a story idea, and search by themes, topics, or a general search.

Launching during a pandemic

When The Pulse launched and CCHC sent the first all-health system newsletter was in June of 2020, Massachusetts has just passed its first COVID-19 peak. The initial edition shared a timeline of pandemic on the Cape, photos of employees and the community, and an inspirational message from their CEO about adjusting to the organization’s new normal.

screenshot of the pulse article depicting cape cod's healthcare heroes
The Pulse article showcasing images of Cape Cod’s Healthcare Heroes.

Over the months, the CCHC team has created many different types of content for The Pulse, including slideshows, videos, and articles, and see how it performs. One of the most popular content types is their ‘10 Questions with…’ feature. Created to help meet the goal of focusing on employees at all levels of the organization, not just physicians, this interview-style article asks different team members to answer ten questions about themselves, their work history, and their favorite pastimes.

screenshot of pulse interview with Patty Vigneau
The Pulse article showcasing 10 questions with Patty Vigneau.

The Pulse has also been instrumental in CCHC’s launch of EPIC as part of the organization’s large scale transformation vision. Although the EPIC launch has its own microsite, The Pulse has been a critical channel to push messaging and training to teams.

Engaging teams on and off-campus

Since its launch in June of 2020, engagement with The Pulse continues to grow. The newsletter emails have seen open rates as high as 50%, with an average of 43% across five-months. There has also been a 23% unique click rate and 17,315 total page views. Every month, the site continues to see improvement in sessions, page views, and pages per session. Having the site live outside the organization’s intranet has also likely continued to those numbers, as employees can access the content off-campus.

Digital Employee Communication Tool Delivers Inspiration, Engagement