Saturday, April 20, 2019

Hospital closing? Control rumor and go public with the news ...

The news about a hospital having financial woes and potentially closing is pretty devastating to any community. 

With changes in the medical world and how bills are paid, this news is becoming more common place. It's a sad state of affairs and isn't the type of news anyone wants to discuss. 

So what do you do if you are the hospital? You have two options. You can either let local rumors fly or you can address the issue head-on. 

Rumors are just plain bad. Departing doctors share information with their patients and the rumor mills start. Poor service and empty parking lots signal more. 

To offset that mounting bad news, leadership has an opportunity to go public and be honest. You've always heard that "honest is the best policy." Well, it is. By going public, hospital leadership can ward off most rumors and build community consensus. After all, no community wants to lose a hospital. The next closest one may be a good drive away; patients can die in the meantime.

MARKETING TIP: If your organization affects the public in any way and is facing a rough go of it, embrace your local media and share the news with them. They will let the public know. Work closely with your local media and be honest about the situation. Don't sugar-coat it. Don't hide it. Be up front and honest. The end result will open doors that will help remedy your situation. 

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