Marketing Your Mission

by Thomas Crocker, Copywriter - 02/28/18


Nonprofit and faith-based healthcare organizations have an inherent advantage when it comes to content marketing: missions that transcend medicine. How can they capitalize?

Mission-driven marketing is having a moment in many industries, but for nonprofit hospitals and health systems, the concept of marrying mission and message is nothing new. For these organizations, mission is more than a statement of purpose—it’s identity. That identity is a reservoir of storytelling opportunity.

If yours is a nonprofit hospital, its mission is, unquestionably, an inexhaustible source of compelling, inspirational content. Whatever your organization’s raison d’être, content marketing infused with your mission can help you connect with your audience because it capitalizes on the very thing that makes your hospital unique.

Show Them What You Stand For

Content marketing is fairly pervasive in the nonprofit world—nearly eight in 10 nonprofit marketers use it—but budgetary and staffing constraints, as well as lack of a coherent strategy, keep most organizations from maximizing its potential, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

These tips can help you get the most out of mission-driven content:

  • Embrace every piece of content as a vehicle for furthering your mission. Whether you’re announcing the opening of a new clinic, the acquisition of a new piece of technology, or offering prevention and wellness tips, frame your content in the context of your mission. (“Our new CT unit is making scans safer, faster, and more comfortable for patients.”) That means putting your audience’s best interests at the heart of everything you produce.
  • Ensure your language aligns with your mission. The words you use are powerful reflections of what you stand for, so be sure to choose the right ones. Your language should be positive, empathetic, hopeful, thoughtful, and reassuring. Steer clear of verbiage that runs counter to your core values. Many Catholic health systems, for example, avoid using violent words, such as “bullet points” and “combat cancer.”
  • Let your audience know they can count on you. You want your audience to think of you as a pillar of the community. When mission guides your messaging, you let potential patients know that creating a healthy community motivates everything you do—and that they can always rely on you, even when the unthinkable happens.
  • Spread the love. Use your communications to highlight the individuals who bring life to your mission, including employees, volunteers, donors, and, crucially, patients who have benefited from your care. When you let others shine, your message glows.  
  • Tell stories that show you know what really matters. At a roundtable meeting of CEOs and CFOs last year, Nancy Howell Agee, president and CEO of not-for-profit Carilion Clinic in Virginia, shared an anecdote about what it means to be a mission-driven organization. Her staff arranged to bring a dying patient’s horse to the hospital so the man could say goodbye. “Bringing a horse to a hospital stretched us a bit, sure, and there was nothing in this significant exercise we could measure,” she told her peers. “But it was the right thing to do.”

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Topics: Content Marketing

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