A campaign to get Oregonians to rethink those famous blue "H" signs helped spotlight the critical investments hospitals make in our local communities


ABOUT THE PROJECT

Hospitals are vital to any healthy, vibrant community. They are a kind of “central command” during some of our most significant life events.

The importance of our hospitals always becomes clear when we face a personal health crisis, a natural disaster, or a community epidemic. This is why Oregonians give the state’s diverse network of hospitals high marks for quality, satisfaction, and performance.

But what about the role of hospitals beyond the walls of the emergency room?

This is where public understanding is lacking. In fact, public opinion research shows many Oregonians remain unaware of the $1.9 billion in community benefit investments provided by hospitals across the state.

In 2013, on the heels of federal healthcare reforms, Oregon’s hospitals and health systems knew they couldn’t rest on high satisfaction rankings alone. To ensure Oregonians would support them through today’s rapidly changing healthcare landscape, they needed the public to see them as more than just a building.

Designing a creative + paid media strategy

Last year, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) hired Quinn Thomas to design a public education campaign that would address this challenge.

We knew OAHHS didn’t need to reinforce the critical lifesaving services Oregon’s hospitals provide every day. Instead, this campaign had to show those famous blue “H” signs are present in many hidden areas of the community – from our homes to the local farmers market to the school soccer field.

We wanted Oregonians to see hospitals aren’t just there as responsive providers. Using new research and focus groups, we designed a creative strategy focused on a singular message: hospitals are already outside in your community before you need them.

This led us to the media campaign’s core theme: Hospitals are with you wherever you are.

Working with hospital communications teams, we developed an integrated multi-media and public relations campaign. In addition to building a website dedicated to information about hospital community benefits, our creative team produced two TV spots, designed radio ads, took over wallscapes, and secured billboards and out-of-home placements in targeted areas of Oregon with low awareness of community benefits such as medical research, home health visits, and nutrition education.

Our team extended the creative media effort with a focused media relations campaign, resulting in coverage on everything from OPB’s “Think Out Loud” to in-depth articles in The Oregonian and The Salem Statesman Journal.

The campaign received a 2015 Spotlight Award from the Public Relations Society of America for excellence in community relations.