HBI Awards 2018: Building brand awareness of regional centres of excellence

$17 billion academic medical center based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. UPMC integrates 80,000 employees, more than 30 hospitals, 600 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a more than 3.2 million-member Insurance Services Division. UPMC Enterprises functions as the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC, and UPMC International provides hands-on health care and management services with partners on four continents

In 2006 UPMC launched a joint venture in close collaboration with the HSE to open the UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre in Waterford, Ireland providing radiotherapy for patients in the Southeast who often traveled over 2 hours to the nearest treatment facility. Although, the centre was performing well, local market survey results signaled low brand recognition among consumers for UPMC. In collaboration with the cancer centre staff, the marketing team embarked on a comprehensive campaign to infuse core elements of UPMC’s corporate brand DNA while ensuring the brand strategy was balanced to reflect local attitudes, behaviours and nuances. The team engaged a local research agency in Ireland to gather market insights and test localized messaging for a consumer-focused marketing campaign. The result was a new campaign highlighting the consumers ability to “Choose Close to Home” and featured real patients sharing their personal stories that reflect the unique culture in south east Ireland.

It’s still early, but we have already seen a positive impact on brand awareness, digital metrics exceeding industry benchmarks, and an increase in cancer centre employee engagement.

Full application

1. Briefly describe the organisation giving number of facilities, staff, revenue numbers.
A $17 billion world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. UPMC provides more than $900 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 80,000 employees, more than 30 hospitals, 600 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a more than 3.2 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. As UPMC works in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals. UPMC Enterprises functions as the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC, and UPMC International provides hands-on health care and management services with partners on four continents.

2. Please describe what steps the nominated organisation carried through in the best building of a brand. These are likely to include market research, changes to services, the communication of brand values and the measurement of brand impact.
UPMC has served as a joint venture partner at UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre in Waterford, Ireland since its establishment in 2006. The private radiotherapy center filled the need for patients who were traveling as far as 2+ hours daily to Dublin for their radiotherapy treatments. UPMC Whitfield has a service level agreement with the Health Service Executive so is able to treat public patients in the region as well. In anticipation of its 10th year anniversary, UPMC undertook market research to gauge the level of awareness of the UPMC brand in the catchment area and its service offerings to public patients. The results of the research determined that the UPMC name had minimal brand recognition and also showed that patients had an interest to be better informed of their treatment options. Leveraging the qualitative and quantitative data that was collected, UPMC put together a comprehensive brand integration and awareness campaign targeted toward employees, patients, and partnering physicians. T

he campaign objective was to build brand awareness of the UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre and let patients know they have a choice when it comes to their own cancer treatment. Before launching the patient campaign, steps were taken to better integrate the team at the facility and educate them on the brand value of UPMC Whitfield, which included new scrubs (within the brand color palette), new name badges, a Facebook page for employees and patients to engage and stay up-to-date on activities, and team building activities. Further, the UPMC Whitfield website was redesigned and launched to provide a more user-friendly interface and align with the brand image and values. To better educate referring physicians of the re-established brand of UPMC Whitfield, packets were mailed to physicians including a new facility brochure, letter from the lead oncologist, and other relevant information. The patient campaign centered around a theme of “choose” and featured real-life patients who reflected on their personal story of how and why they “chose” UPMC Whitfield. Advertisements were run on the local radio and newspapers and also digitally. Additional tactical activities included; participation at local events such as the National Ploughing Championship, utilizing the same consistent message and theme.

3. When were the brand changes launched?
Month : June
Year : 2017

4. What has been the impact of the change?
The brand campaign has had the intended impact to increase awareness of the UPMC brand and service offering in southeast Ireland and to build team morale by integrating the facility into the global network.

5. How has this impact been measured?
A key performance indicator dashboard has been developed to measure level of brand awareness, engagement activity, web traffic, and media mentions. The results to date have show an impressive level of engagement (above industry benchmarks) with the digital media elements of the campaign, which has also resulted in significantly increased web traffic. Additionally, staff at the facility have received continued positive feedback from patients who have seen the ads and appreciated the increased community engagement. Some have even volunteered to be the next featured patients. Additionally, on World Cancer Day, a patient at the UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre, unprompted, relayed one of our key ‘reasons to believe’ in his personal message (picture in the attached presentation).

6. Additional Documentation
Presentation

We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Zhasmina Simeonova or call 0207 183 3779.