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Social Media Drives Community Support for Hospital CON

Trinity Medical Center needed a positive and decisive vote from a state review board to move forward with plans to relocate their operations. Two competing hospitals were doing everything possible to defeat Trinity. An innovative and aggressive campaign was necessary to drive public opinion and position Trinity for a positive outcome.

Strategy and Tactics
Lovell Communications developed an interactive and integrated three-week campaign designed to increase community awareness and stimulate dialogue. Trinity’s plans involved relocating into a hospital facility that had been abandoned (and never finished) more than seven years earlier. The iconic, million-square-foot facility, located on a main highway in the fastest growing community in Alabama, would serve as the graphic centerpiece for the campaign. A rallying cry of “NOW” was emblazoned every night in the windows of the unfinished hospital, and the top floor of the building was lit with red lights to support Trinity’s slogan of “we need a green light.”

The campaign included print, radio and online advertising, but social media was the primary platform from which Trinity communicated with supporters and local media. A robust Facebook page was launched with photographs, videos, and graphic renderings of the unfinished hospital. A viral micro-campaign encouraged supporters to upload photos creatively showing the word NOW; polls and provocative updates stimulated engagement. Local media outlets ran stories on the page’s popularity.

Trinity received unanimous approval from the state board and the lights on top of the hospital turned green. In just four months, the Facebook page attracted 6,134 likes, 2,925 wall posts and 66,575 views. More than 250 news stories about Trinity’s relocation had run; many cited the hospital’s innovative and successful use of social media.

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