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Posted on 02.21.2020

Telling Your Hospital’s Story

Solid community relationships are essential to your hospital’s long-term clinical and business success. Regular engagement with your community and its key stakeholders helps ensure these ties stay strong and your hospital’s messages are heard loud and clear.

But how can you most effectively communicate these messages? Tell a story.

Storytelling is a way to share facts, provide explanations and advance narratives while creating an emotional connection with your audience. Defining your hospital’s brand within the context of a story is a powerful way to build relationships. Stories make you memorable, differentiate you as desirable and can turn critics into advocates.

Whether you are hosting a breakfast for community leaders or making a speech to your local civic group, here are some things to keep in mind when telling your story.

Define Your Objective

Begin with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want your audience to learn, do or feel as a result? Answers to these questions will determine what information you should communicate and how.

Consider Your Audience

Storytelling is about your audience and the value they get when engaging with you. Put yourself in your audience’s position. What would motivate them to make a decision or perform an action? What facts, anecdotes or arguments would they find most persuasive or important – and still meet your intended objective?

Find Your Hero

Every story needs a hero – someone or something your audience can support. Think about your organization’s heroes – key physicians, inspirational leaders, caregivers who deliver exceptional care or other team members who make a unique contribution – and feature them prominently in your story.

Do Your Research

Find convincing details to tell your story. These could include patient or employee testimonials, project updates, community involvement initiatives, charitable contributions, service statistics, economic impact numbers, awards won, and service line additions or improvements.

Build Your Story

Ask yourself why your audience should care about your hospital? What makes it unique? What impact does it have on the community? What motivates you to come to work every day and do what you do? These answers could be the building blocks for a solid story.

Make Your Ask

End the story with a specific call to action. Don’t assume your audience knows what to do with the information you’ve given them. Tell them what you want.

And Remember These Tips

To help your story make the most impact:

  • Have a clearly defined beginning, middle and end. Take time to organize what you want to say and how you want to say it.
  • Have a personality and speak with authenticity. Be true to who you are and honor your history.
  • Say it with pictures. People retain 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read and only 10% of what they hear.
  • Keep in mind, less is sometimes more. There is no need to overwhelm your audience with too much information or tell them what they already know.

Storytelling can strengthen the ties between your hospital and the community you serve. When you engage with your audience in a relatable and distinctive way, they’ll never want your story to end.

Do you need help creating your hospital’s story? If so, click here to learn more about Elevations – our community outreach program.

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