Woman’s Hospital has just completed an Olympic-size event. Woman’s built and moved into a brand new facility 6 miles down the track. The move happened during the Olympics and the parallels were strong. The years of prep, especially the last four years, hard work, pushing yourself, setbacks and finally making it to the finish line. I’m part of the marketing team and my main job has been about the branding of it all. But there are so many details about something this vast that it is remarkable that it happened as smoothly as it did. It feels great to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
Four Years Ago
Marketing started four years ago to refresh our brand. Our brand had become diluted over the years. Imagine our department was an ad agency and every other department was our client. It required a shift in focus and to convince our clients that the public saw us as one entity. We created brand guidelines and started shifting to our new look for every job/campaign/patient handout and on and on. Woman’s had to reprint everything because of the move. Our refreshed look is now accepted internally and recognized by the public externally. The biggest logo change was to become just Woman’s, which is what the hospital was already called in the community. Our corporate colors were updated from 80’s mauve and gray to magenta and black. Any time you see magenta these days in the Baton Rouge market, you know it’s for Woman’s. In a rather conservative healthcare market, magenta is a bold marketing move.
We partnered with MESH to help with the advertising connected with the move. An outdoor campaign was created that has dominated the market for nearly a year. And Digital FX was added to the team to create a commercial that reflected who Woman’s is and not just be about looking at a new shiny facility. Woman’s really is a warm and fuzzy place. It’s about to pass the 300,000 marker for babies born since it’s 1968 opening, we truly are the Birthplace of Baton Rouge.
Requiring Different Strengths
Everyone in the organization has done different things and done whatever was needed to get the job done. There were things we didn’t know that we needed to know. Someone had to make the decision what caliber of bulletproof glass to use in the pharmacy (a scary realization). And that on move day, after each patient transfer, each ambulance had to be sterilized.
Mock move simulations with complicated patient stories were created to test all systems. When staff was asked to be actors for the roles, I said, “Sure.” They didn’t tell me that they were making me a 475 lb. bariatric patient! My actor “husband” was a nurse’s 16-year-old son (who was drafted as he was home with nothing to do). As admitting was checking me in, I told them I was a big ole cougar!
I also signed up for the labor pool to move equipment. The real movers kept asking me why I was there because I’m so obviously not a manual laborer. But I rolled equipment from the loading dock to the department that it belonged to and even sanitized the wheels of equipment before it was wheeled into sterilized areas.
The Big Event
We hired an award-winning, cinematographer with years of experience to help us document the event. YES, we hired my fella, Steve (and it was great to learn how well we work together). I was the interviewer and interviewed patients and staff. We had been practicing the actual move for months and it went off without a hitch. The patients, who were our top concern, came in with big smiles on their faces and there was a real excitement and energy in the air. Patients and staff were all aware of being a part of something historic.
Like a gymnast, I fell too
The day after the move, we had a ribbon tying, That’s right, not a ribbon cutting, a tying to symbolize bringing the community together. The only glitch was me falling down bringing some VIPs to get their photo taken. Yea, can’t have a big event without me falling down. (My falling down at ADDYs was months ago).
The Finish Line
Team Woman’s crossed the finish line in top form and it did feel like winning the gold. It’s time to start thinking about that next Olympian goal. But for now, I see a drink with an umbrella in my immediate future.