Six of the seven award winners pose with their awards in front of a sign with the 2019 Fall Conference themeWinners of the the 2019 Award of Excellence competition were announced during the MHSCN Fall Conference.

Thank you!

Thank you to all those who submitted award applications. You provide strong examples of the high-quality PR, marketing and communications work happening across our state every day.

Our appreciation also goes to the 2019 Award of Excellence judges from Nebraska Healthcare Marketers (NHM). They reviewed each entry and scored it for situation analysis, objectives / strategy / tactics, results, overall quality and submission. 

Best in Public Relations, Marketing and Communications

The category of Best in Public Relations, Marketing and Communications honors a marketing, public relations or communications project or effort. Examples include marketing campaigns, media efforts, video series, print or digital publications, and other communications, marketing or public relations work products.

Opioids Awareness, Russell Herder and the Minnesota Department of Human Services

Russel Herder with Best in Public Relations, Marketing and Communications award

Best in Public Relations, Marketing and Communications award was presented to Opioids Awareness, submitted by Russell Herder and conducted on behalf of client the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

This was a statewide education and prevention campaign to address the opioid epidemic. The intensive initiative was designed to reach those who were statistically identified as higher-risk within the state – American Indians, the LGBTQ community, women parenting and pregnant, and African Americans – as well as those able to influence preventative action and treatment. The goals were to reach and engage these target audiences who frequently were underserved or located in remote areas.

A detailed audience journey map was created to illustrate the four stages of opioid use disorder encountered by those affected. To ensure the campaign brand was definitive, relevant and original, existing research and background documents substantiating opioid use disorder were reviewed. The team also searched for and analyzed dozens of outreach campaigns that had been launched across the United States to evaluate and gain from those experiences. The team next conducted extensive primary research including numerous in-depth interviews with experts in the field and held listening sessions among those in recovery or still using opioids within all of the diverse communities.

For the opioids awareness and engagement initiative, multiple co-creation partnerships were formed with populations to be reached. Target audiences actively participated in developing the concepts and helped deploy them in the field with a genuine, deeply committed sense of ownership.

Reach and engagement were priorities for the campaign. Google ads were viewed over 23 million times. Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users saw campaign content a total of over 12 million times and shared, liked or otherwise engaged nearly 220,000 times. Twitter ads were viewed over 1.1 million times. Videos were viewed more than 115,000 times.

This entry received highest marks from the judges for its extensive research, robust approach and sophisticated strategy. “No stone was left unturned,” commented one judge. “It is apparent that the team working on this project had passion for the subject.”

Best in Public Relations, Marketing and Communications Awards of Merit

We’re Here for Life Brand Campaign, Hennepin Healthcare

An Award of Merit was presented to the We’re Here for Life Brand Campaign, submitted by Hennepin Healthcare.

After 130 years, the health care entity known as Hennepin County Medical Center was constrained by its name. Many Minnesotans pictured an urban trauma hospital, not the multifaceted medical system it had become. Hennepin Healthcare and its agency partner Padilla developed a new brand that tells a more complete story of how it improves the health of its community, with a goal of increasing preference and visits to the system.

The new brand was introduced in March 2018 to coincide with the opening of a new, state-of-the-art Clinic and Specialty Center that improves access to care by offering primary and specialty care, same-day surgery and procedures, specialty dental care and a comprehensive cancer center in one convenient location downtown.

The new identity expresses the brand in a way that encompasses all of Hennepin Healthcare’s offerings. The tagline “We’re Here for Life” lets Minnesotans know that Hennepin Healthcare not only saves lives, it celebrates them too.

The campaign exceeded its three objectives. It increased visits to the Hennepin Healthcare website by more than its goal of 15%, including to its “schedule an appointment” page by 1,380% and to its “find a provider” page year-over-year by 108%.

It increased visibility of Hennepin Healthcare with priority audiences as measured by online search activity, sustaining an average click-through rate through the campaign on highly targeted search terms of 7.65% from paid search, which is 2.3 times the industry benchmark.

It also increased visits to clinic landing pages by 595% and new patient visits to four priority clinics by 21%.

The judges were impressed with this entry’s market research, detailed objectives and comprehensive campaign results. One judge commented, “Overall wonderful job building the rebranding. It looks like you accomplished your goals of becoming a quality hospital and clinic in the eyes of the community. Your passion for going into the community and making your presence known was a wonderful objective and sounds like the community responded very well.”

Charter House Magazine Campaign, Johnson Consulting Services and Mayo Clinic

An Award of Merit was presented to the “Charter House Magazine Campaign,” submitted by Johnson Consulting Services and conducted on behalf of client Mayo Clinic.

Johnson Consulting Services’ client, Mayo Clinic’s Charter House senior living community, needed to find unique ways to connect with its prospect base. Johnson Consulting Services developed a magazine focusing on the fitness and wellness resources available at Charter House, using images that projected strong and independent older adults – often residents who actually lived in the building. They included a Mayo Clinic physician to provide expert insight for further credibility.

The ultimate focus of the magazine was to build awareness of what contributes to healthy aging and to then use the images and articles to showcase how this healthy aging lifestyle is deeply embedded into this senior living community.

The magazine was released in early June 2018, sent to an existing prospect list and a mailing list that had been purchased for this direct mail effort.

Within the first six months after the magazine was mailed, there was a substantial jump in the number of households signing up for the Future Resident Club – reflecting in a 178% increase over all of 2017. These sign-ups resulted in nearly doubling the rate for 2016 and 2017 combined, which reflected the most successful marketing result to fill the pipeline for prospective residents in more than a decade.

The magazine effectively positioned Charter House as the appropriate home for a younger and more active older adult. The average resident age at move-in was reduced from 82.1 in 2016 and 80.8 in 2017. During the 12-month period following the magazine’s publication, the average age at move-in dropped to 77.5.

This entry earned high marks from the judges for situation analysis, objectives and results. One judge commented, “The addition of the doctor’s articles within the publication was great. It not only lets the potential client get to know the doctor, but also shows them that they are knowledgeable in the area.”

Judges’ Choice

The Pursuit of Healthiness Vlog, Lake Region Healthcare and H2M

Katie JohnsonA Judges’ Choice award was presented to The Pursuit of Healthiness Vlog, submitted by Lake Region Healthcare in partnership with H2M.

Lake Region Healthcare wanted to creatively convey its commitment to its mission of helping people improve their health and give community members a fun and easy way to learn about healthy activities and opportunities from an inspirational team member. The marketing team brainstormed doing a vlog hosted by executive assistant Tom Rufer, a well-known staff member with a humble and genuine attitude about his own health and wellness goals. The goal was to reach community members – particularly a younger demographic – interested in improving their health while positioning Lake Region Healthcare, its staff and providers as an expert resource.

The team purchased equipment to make self-recording easier for Tom on his iPhone and gave him talking points to help him interview his guests and capture the best video for the team’s editors.

During 2018, the vlog was expanded to include a weekly series called “Wake Up Healthy with Tom.” Tom went live on Facebook once each week to debut a weekly challenge topic and educate the community about how to practice and improve in the dimension of wellness of focus for that week.

The vlog met the goal of engaging the community. Impressions reached well over 100,000. Actual views via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the Lake Region Healthcare website combined for over 50,000 actual views and engagements. This does not count the views shared internally via the staff intranet or public viewings of the vlog held at events such as Lake Region Healthcare’s Community Health Expo and Chamber of Commerce breakfasts.

When asked why this entry earned a Judges’ Choice award, a judge wrote, “I loved this project! I am very jealous and would like you to come to my hospital to do a vlog. This project left me wanting to see all of the vlogs. I felt motivated, and as a patient I would share this with all of my friends!”

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Video, Tri-County Health Care

A Judges’ Choice award also was presented to the “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Video,” submitted by Tri-County Health Care.

In December 2018, Tri-County Health Care wanted to find a creative way to involve each department in the holiday spirit and to share that with the community. The communications team assigned each department a line from “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and they were given full freedom to come up with an imaginative way to film members of their team saying the line. Some took complete advantage of this freedom while others opted for a more conservative approach, which made for a unique variety of clips that were compiled into a montage.

Tri-County Health Care posted the four-minute video on Christmas Eve. It reached nearly 15,000 people on Facebook and proved to be one of the most engaging posts of the year, with 549 reactions, comments and shares. For their page that has almost 3,600 likes, this level of engagement and reach far exceeded their expectations.

When asked why this entry earned a Judges’ Choice award, a judge wrote, “I chose this because of its uniqueness. It was very creative and fun to watch. I am sure the people within the community enjoyed seeing everyone come together to make this fun video. You made all of your staff famous!”

MHSCN Professional of the Year

The MHSCN Professional of the Year award honors a health care communicator, marketer or public relations professional who has demonstrated exceptional skills and leadership in health care communications, marketing or public relations. To be considered for the award, the nominee must be a MHSCN member.

Wendy Burt, Minnesota Hospital Association

Wendy Burt with awardThe MHSCN Professional of the Year award was presented to Wendy Burt of the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA). Wendy is the vice president of public relations and communications for MHA, which represents Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems. She has 30 years of experience in communications, public relations, politics and government in Minnesota and Washington, D.C. She leads communications strategy, member communications, external public relations and media relations and is a part of the senior leadership team for the association.

In addition to regularly supporting hospitals and health systems across the state with a wide range of communications and public affairs services, Wendy’s communications and public affairs guidance this year on the high-profile issue of the provider tax demonstrated exceptional skills and leadership.

During the 2019 legislative session, a top priority of MHA on behalf of hospitals and health systems was to preserve health care coverage for low-income Minnesotans by repealing the scheduled sunset of the state’s 27-year-old provider tax. Wendy directed a multipronged communications and public affairs approach to gaining public and legislative support for the provider tax. As a result of this advocacy, the provider tax sunset was repealed.

Wendy’s effective communications and public affairs strategy directly contributed to a legislative outcome that was aligned with the goals of her membership constituency and will benefit over 1 million Minnesotans.

MHSCN Rising Star

The MHSCN Rising Star award honors a health care communicator, marketer or public relations professional in the first five years of their career in health care communications, marketing or public relations who demonstrates strong abilities and growing expertise in health care communications. To be considered for the award, the nominee must be a MHSCN member.

Dayna Stroik, St. Francis Regional Medical Center

Dayna StroikThe MHSCN Rising Star award was presented to Dayna Stroik of St. Francis Regional Medical Center. Dayna has been the senior marketing communications specialist at St. Francis Regional Medical Center since April 2018.

She balances a multitude of roles, managing St. Francis’ marketing campaigns, public relations, website, blog, social media, brand and collateral materials. These varied responsibilities have given her the opportunity to dive headfirst into the health care industry, knowing that the ultimate outcome of her job benefits patients. She has also taken advantage of the resources MHSCN has to offer, including attending conferences and networking.

“My most valuable resource when it comes to my health care marketing career is my network,” said Dayna. “I have a great group of colleagues at Allina Health with a wealth of knowledge, and they often are the first place I go with questions. I look at MHSCN as another valuable way to glean information from a network of health care communicators, as well as hopefully share knowledge I’ve gained along the way!”

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software