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Multilayered approach helps Union Hospital raise awareness of its advanced services

Union Hospital is a 116-bed facility providing inpatient, outpatient and emergency services in Elkton, Maryland.

Union Hospital has made successful efforts to attract highly trained clinical staff and stay up to date with the latest medical technology. When First Marketing conducted a Relationship Index Survey among recent patients, however, some of the results were surprising: Less than two-thirds (63.7 percent) of respondents agreed that the hospital “is a leader in providing state-of-the-art technology.” Apparently, many people in the community were driving long distances for care that was available in their hometown.

The overall objective was to drive more patient traffic to Union Hospital. To achieve that goal, First Marketing needed to:


Raise awareness about the scope of services available. Inform people in all walks of life, of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, about the advanced medical services being offered at Union Hospital.

Explain the benefits of getting care close to home. Trust, personal convenience and the proximity of family are just the start. Usage also brings strength to the institution, which helps lay the foundation for better care for future generations.

Emphasize the client’s past and future leadership role in the community. The hospital’s growth and its introduction of new services have reflected not only advances in medical care but also the unique health care needs of the Elkton community.

Inform. The patient base simply did not know about the range of advanced services available.

Educate. The public had to know that a particular procedure was new and special, offered important advantages and helped ensure a healthier tomorrow for the community.

Overcome a mind-set. Only a sustained, multistep educational message would effectively change the public’s entrenched perception of Union Hospital as a second-tier facility.

Through First Marketing, Union Hospital produces a quarterly community newsletter, Good Health. Redesigning the newsletter and including a stronger educational component were steps that could be implemented quickly. Additional print pieces would communicate core messages over a longer period of time. These pieces included:

A 24-page, full-color booklet that offered an extensive overview of Union Hospital’s services and capabilities.

A promotional physician newsletter highlighting the training and experience of the hospital’s medical staff.

An eight-page, full-color, self-mailing guidebook that detailed advanced procedures offered in surgical specialties such as breast health, orthopedics and urology.

A four-page self-mailer highlighting the hospital’s diagnostic imaging services, including nuclear medicine, ultrasound, MRI and PET/CT scanning.

Finally, expanding the content on the hospital’s Web site,, is seen as crucial to communicating effectively with community residents in the key 18-34 and 35-54 age groups — adults who are establishing lifetime health care access habits for themselves and their young families.

After all phases of the project are launched, follow-up surveys will provide specific information about the effectiveness of the marketing campaign. However, early results suggest that the campaign is working.

“We have had many comments from community members, staff and physicians about how professional and informative the direct mail pieces have been. I am receiving requests from other specialties to produce similar pieces for their areas,” says Kathryn McKinney, Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Union Hospital.

“The process is seamless, once I turn over the information to First Marketing. They have been very helpful in creating a consistent look and message for Union Hospital.”



Union Hospital —
Elkton, Maryland


Change the public perception of Union Hospital, creating awareness of its state-of-the-art medical services.


Encourage usage of hospital services by:

Raising awareness about the scope of services
Explaining the benefits of receiving care close to home
Emphasizing the client’s past and future leadership role in the community


A multilayered print and Web site campaign that includes:

Services overview booklet
Promotional physician newsletter
Surgical specialties guidebook
Imaging services direct mail
Web site enhancements


Positive feedback from hospital staff and community suggest improved awareness of specialized medical services

Surveys to provide specific information after launch of all materials


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