“Wellness marketing” for hospitals tends to bring us the same kinds of images and copy.
It goes a little something like this:
- Here’s a fun, nice-looking couple running together on their neighborhood street.
- Get 30 minutes of exercise each day.
- Quick tip: Take the stairs, instead of the elevator—you’ll burn 5 calories!
- Look at this older couple riding a tandem bike.
- Are your kids eating too many cookies?
- Don’t forget to go to the farmers market this weekend.
- Speaking of food, have you tried buckwheat?
Wellness marketing is a big trend—and everyone can support people living healthy, active lives—but what’s missing from most wellness marketing is the old-fashioned joie de vivre that a person wants to see in the copy or pictures in order to inspire them to make healthy changes.
Here are a few ideas to make your wellness marketing come alive:
- Feature real patients who’ve made big changes in their lives. Take a cue from Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Weight Loss. Their patient-testimonials aren’t stuffy or filled with jargon. Listen to Cheryl: “I was disgusted with myself and I got depressed. Then, gastric bypass surgery changed my life. I lost more than 100 pounds. I’m more confident now. I’m not down on myself. I’m not embarrassed. I’m happier with the way I look. I don’t feel trapped in my body anymore.”
- It’s great that your hospital is sponsoring a 5K, but beyond just putting your name on T-shirts, be available to participants once the race is over. Hint: Get your physical therapists to offer massages to runners, or have clinicians on hand to check heart rates or blood pressure levels.
- Wellness isn’t all about running around and burning up calories. It’s also about learning how to relax your mind. We found a few hospitals that put an emphasis on mindfulness meditation. Take a look: The Mindfulness Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals , The University of Iowa Health Care’s mindfulness course for undergraduate students and The UW Health’s Integrative Medicine Program. Bravo to these organizations for saying “ommmm.”
- Ask your nutritionists to go to local schools or nursing homes to lead seminars on healthy eating.
- Live-tweet from your hospital’s farmer’s market. This is a perfect opportunity to snap photos of your staff and patients shopping for produce. In addition, you could tweet infographics about the benefits of certain kinds of fruits and vegetables. Want a challenge? Tweet out 140-character limited recipes.
Readers, what would you add to this list?
Jessica Levco is a freelance health care marketer.