Paul Holmes 07 May 2001 // 11:00PM GMT
Imagine you’re the CEO of a newly formed healthcare Internet company, supported by such powerful partners as VHA Inc. and Eclipsys Corporation. It’s fourth quarter 1999. Your company has no Internet presence as confirmed after a search engine audit, and your prospects continue to question how you compare to Healtheon/WebMD. You decide to begin year 2000 with public relations counsel from BSMG Worldwide. By April, your company is listed among the ‘Top 10’ sites for 62 different keywords, you’ve been interviewed by publications ranging from “CIO Magazine” to “Healthcare Business” to “ComputerWorld” and two of your company’s senior executives have been secured as speakers at two international healthcare conferences.
BSMG Worldwide immediately knew there was a need for our services when we did a ‘keyword search’ for HEALTHvision on various Internet search engines and found no reference to our new client. Alta Vista: Nothing. AOL Search: Nothing. And according to a Modern Healthcare survey of information services trends, a top priority identified was the need to link information networks with physicians. Action item number one: Introduce HEALTHvision to BSMG CyberPR.
When we contacted key Internet healthcare reporters, the first question most of them asked was, “How is HEALTHvision different from Healtheon/WebMD?” Action item number two: Educate reporters that HEALTHvision’s products and services are transparent. HEALTHvision enables hospitals to become community champions.
BSMG Worldwide immediately created a public relations plan that would generate buzz among reporters that HEALTHvision was a key competitor in the race to connect doctors, patients, pharmacies and laboratories over the Internet via secure, co-branded community portals. Action item number three: Work with HEALTHvision to leverage new customer relationships.
The objectives BSMG identified for the HEALTHvision strategic public relations program included:
- Raise visibility for HEALTHvision brand among key audiences: healthcare industry, technology and Internet industry, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, investment community, consultants and industry analysts
- Position HEALTHvision as the leading Web-enabled information services provider to integrated delivery networks and key constituents: physicians and employees of physicians and healthcare systems
- Heighten visibility for HEALTHvision executives as industry thought leaders
- Assist HEALTHvision customers to generate physician, employee, patient and consumer use of the individually branded healthcare information systems
BSMG also developed the following strategies to support the HEALTHvision public relations program:
- Execute an aggressive media relations campaign to position HEALTHvision as an industry leader in providing Web-enabled solutions for the healthcare industry
- Position HEALTHvision as defining the use of the Internet within the healthcare industry
- Implement an executive visibility program to position HEALTHvision executives as visionaries and spokespeople for the industry
- Leverage the Internet as an additional vehicle to reach HEALTHvision customers and prospects
- As appropriate, create an awareness of HEALTHvision among target financial analysts for upcoming announcements
- Establish clear benchmarks against which to measure success of the public relations program
A variety of activities were employed to achieve the objectives, including traditional PR, CyberPR, trade show support and executive visibility. BSMG had a very short period in which to work – January 2000 to April 2000. With an allocated monthly budget of $25,000, BSMG developed all media relations materials, developed strategic plans for promoting HEALTHvision and began implementing the plan successfully.
BSMG’s proactive media relations resulted in HEALTHvision being prominently included in stories appearing in CIO, ComputerWorld, Information Week, Healthcare Business, AISHealth.com, The Bond Buyer and HealthNewsDigest.com.
BSMG’s consistent effort to leverage new customer relationships resulted in top-level administrators from 4 different hospitals being willing to take part in media interviews on behalf of HEALTHvision.
BSMG developed an entire online media center for HEALTHvision, from designing the look and feel of the Web site to writing content and creating a media center ‘flow chart’ for the Web site developer.
BSMG worked to increase traffic to HEALTHvision.com through a process called Search Engine Optimization. BSMG CyberPR audited HEALTHvision’s preliminary search engine placement and compared their search engine results with those of other key industry players. In addition, BSMG:
Audited current search engine results
Developed additional audience-specific keywords, phrases and site descriptions to better optimize page content for search engines
Developed a series of doorway pages tailored to the specific requirements of search engines
Submitted HEALTHvision’s Web site home pages and key sub-pages to search engines and directories
Monitored leading search engines and directories for inclusion and positioning, and resubmitting registrations as appropriate
Provided monthly reports on search engine positioning
Listed new content areas as they developed and added to HEALTHvision’s sites
BSMG provided HEALTHvision with extensive support at HIMSS 2000, the largest annual healthcare technology conference with 18,000 attendees and 650 exhibitors. BSMG secured media briefings for the CEO of HEALTHvision with outlets such as Modern Healthcare, Hospitals & Health Networks, Health Management Technology, Healthcare Informatics and Healthcare Information Technology, ComputerWorld and WFAA-TV…the top rated ABC-television affiliate in the country.
BSMG secured speaker positions for two HEALTHvision senior-level executives at e-Health Europe and e-Healthcare World.
As a result of BSMG’s efforts, HEALTHvision.com went from having no presence in any search engine to being listed as one of the ‘Top 10’ sites for 62 different keywords. HEALTHvision is listed in the ‘Top 10’ sites as follows:
- Alta Vista: 11 keywords
- Infoseek/Go: 16 keywords
- AOL Search: 6 keywords
- Google: 9 keywords
- Lycos: 4 keywords
- Northern Light: 4 keywords
- Open Directory Project: 8 keywords
- Excite: 4 keywords
BSMG also helped to increase the number of Web sites linking to the HEALTHvision site, leading to more than 140 sites providing inbound links to HEALTHvision.com. Television coverage from the WFAA story extended to ABC affiliates around the country, introducing HEALTHvision to target audiences in several kinds of markets.
Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, Mich.
Providence/New Bedford, R.I.
Total Potential Audience: