Advertising in health and medicine: using mass media to communicate with patients

James K. Elrod, John L. Fortenberry
2020 BMC Health Services Research  
Background Advertising—a marketing communications method involving the paid use of mass media to deliver messages to desired audiences—represents one of the most common and effective avenues for engaging current and prospective patients. Although late to proliferate in the health services industry due to tradition, the medium of communication is now firmly established and routinely deployed by health and medical organizations far and wide. Despite widespread use, healthcare providers must take
more » ... roviders must take opportunities, when and where possible, to stay abreast of the latest details concerning advertising and its associated applications, increasing the likelihood of successful audience engagements. Discussion Maintaining an awareness of current developments in health services advertising can be facilitated by acquiring operational perspectives and practices from peer institutions. Most any healthcare provider can benefit from experiential views as they can shape and hone advertising approaches. Gaining such insights can be difficult, given competitive sensitivities, but occasionally healthcare institutions are compelled to share knowledge in published accounts, with this particular article following suit. Specifically, insights and experiences from Willis-Knighton Health System's extensive and historic use of advertising are shared, bolstering the experiential accounts available in the literature and supplying operational guidance for health and medical providers. Conclusions Advertising, if well devised and deployed, offers healthcare providers opportunities to dramatically improve their fortunes by successfully engaging current and prospective patients, hastening exchange and building vital market share. In pursuit of advertising excellence, health and medical establishments can bolster associated endeavors by tapping into the experiences of other healthcare providers, permitting insights which might potentially be incorporated into communicative pathways. This account sheds light on the advertising operations of a major health system, supplying food for thought for the advancement of advertising acumen.
doi:10.1186/s12913-020-05599-3 pmid:32928190 fatcat:biijpkpotzhcne4kvc3h6zu3pm