Three Essential Elements in Healthcare Planning


In marketing, and specifically healthcare marketing, it’s remarkably easy to get caught in the weeds of executing a marketing plan, and eventually lose sight of who you are talking to. In order to establish manageable objectives with clear cut expected results for a campaign, we’ve found it’s helpful in the initial phases of planning to anchor the marketing strategy around three essential elements.


1.  Identify primary and secondary audiences

Most healthcare marketing campaigns target multiple groups of different audiences. This may be because there are numerous groups of end users and they need to cast a wide net (for example: a marketing campaign advertising an urgent care facility may target a lower income urban millennial man at the same time as targeting a high income middle aged suburban woman). Alternatively, there may be various groups of decision makers for the product or service, but with only one end user (a nursing facility may target the aging senior, the aging senior’s adult caregiving children, and referral sources such as hospital case managers and discharge planners).

The primary audience could be quite small (example: individuals with diabetes ages 65-70 in one specific zip code), or it might be quite large (example: all healthcare consumers in Pennsylvania).

Whatever the case, it’s important to define these separate audiences, as well as identify which audiences take priority over others for the campaign. It may be impossible to communicate to everyone you wish to reach, so, by establishing a clear group of top prospects, it will likely be easier and more manageable to create a successful campaign.


2.  Develop messages for each specific audience

It can be difficult to craft overall messaging that works for all audiences, and it’s downright impractical to think that one message can cover all your bases. It’s important to decipher which audiences are looking for which messages, and then create a portion of the campaign centered around that messaging.

In the example of the nursing facility, a hospital case manager (referral source) may be looking for a center that has a quick turnaround with admittance, while the caregiver/adult child is looking for a center that is close to their home. The aging senior may just be looking for a nursing facility that has friendly people, social interaction, and good food. Each of these messages is very distinct, and could stand on its own for a full campaign. If possible, separate creative executions should be developed to communicate these values to the multiple audiences.


3.  Use the appropriate media tactics to communicate each message

It is critical to connect the messaging you have with the people who are looking for it and want to learn more. You can’t communicate everything to everyone. Once the audiences have been identified and proper messaging has been developed, each audience needs to be served the content through a medium they are familiar with and actively use.

With the nursing facility, the caregiver/adult child will be more likely to see brand related material on social media or through Google Adwords while searching for solutions for their aging parent. The hospital case manager may consume messaging while viewing a brand sponsored eblast from a trusted resource. The aging senior might be more likely to see a TV spot during the 5 pm network news or read a print ad in the newspaper.

By mapping out these three elements before planning for a campaign, agency and client are more clearly able to establish specific objectives and expected results. Once the campaign is implemented, the campaign success can be measured by referring back to these components of the plan.


Anna Radder, Vice President

At Elisco, Anna leads the account and media team, in addition to handling key agency operations. She has worked with healthcare companies including Bayer Healthcare, Senior LIFE, Community LIFE, LIFE Pittsburgh, HealPros, Solevo Wellness, Medrad, medSage, Ohio Valley Hospital, Kane Regional Centers, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Lewistown Hospital, and others. Before joining Elisco, she worked at Energy BBDO in Chicago and GO Media Co. in Phoenix. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. in Communication Arts.


4 Reasons PR is Essential When Launching a New Medical Company or Product.


When launching a new medical company or product, PR is a cost-effective, powerful promotion tool. Effective PR will not only get your company or product seen and heard, but will inspire conversation; get people interested, invested, and active with your company.

A strategic PR plan will ensure that your company generates the awareness necessary for success. The PR plan will outline objectives, goals, message, tactics, audience, budget and timeline, and will produce measurable results.

Here are 4 ways PR can help launch a new medical company or product:


1.  Establish brand identity

By offering a story, you can lead the narrative about who you are, why you are here, and what purpose you serve, rather than letting the public fill in the blanks. You can position yourself the way you want to be seen, and avoid risking media portray your company in an undesirable light. You start the conversation and address possible questions before anyone has to ask.

2.  Position you as the expert

Establish a spokesperson for your company to talk with media to offer quotes and provide information. The media will then turn to your company as a trusted resource for information. You will become experts - leaders in your industry. Because consumers can be skeptical of paid advertising, your story told through trusted intermediaries will be more credible. In addition to quotes, offer other forms of expert content including video and photography.

3.  Raise awareness and increase engagement

With effective PR, people will know your company exists. When searching for information, most consumers turn to the internet. The more your company is featured online in news articles, blog posts, social media, etc., the higher your business will appear in Google search results.

A variety of content including video, infographics and photography, will increase interest and engagement, including post-sharing. 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it, and 1 in 4 consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video (source: Additionally, 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others, according to Invodo.

4.  Hiring invested, qualified employees

It is important to also market your company as an employer. Sharing news of recent hires, exceptional staff stories and accomplishments, and promoting a great company culture will attract employees who want to be a part of your team. With a positive brand image, people will want to work for you and will seek you out, meaning less time needed for job posting and expensive recruitment tactics. 


Industry Example: PR to launch new medical marijuana dispensary, Solevo Wellness™

Based on a new law called Act 16, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016, medical marijuana is protected for registered patients and their physicians. For PA medical marijuana dispensaries, developing brand image and generating awareness, while promoting the benefits of medical marijuana is very important. Because medical marijuana is new in PA, public knowledge is limited and often skewed towards stigmas. A strong brand identity, PR and community education is crucial for company success.  


Solevo Wellness is a Pittsburgh based medical marijuana dispensary opening in January 2018. It is expected to be the first dispensary opening in the greater Pittsburgh region. Elisco developed the Solevo name, logo, brand identity, sales materials, and promotional video. Through educational and hiring events, paired with media pitching, press releases and social media promotion, the Solevo Wellness brand is gaining attention. The agency continues to work with Solevo to promote their first dispensary opening in January 2018 in Pittsburgh, as well as future dispensaries in Butler County, PA and Washington County, PA.




Melanie works with a variety of clients including Solevo Wellness, Community LIFE and LIFE Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Pitt with a B.A. in Media and Professional Communication, with concentrations in Corporate/Community Relations and Digital Media.