Communications & Marketing Report
Lisa Ramshaw, Director, Communications & Marketing
2013 has proven a challenging and exciting time for the Communications and Marketing team at APHA. We continue to find new ways to showcase the private hospitals sector and the valuable work of our member facilities.
Our first big event of the year was the APHA National Congress which was held in Melbourne at the Crown Conference Centre from 3-5 March 2013. For the first time, we organised the Congress in conjunction with our colleagues from the New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association. Around 40 Kiwis joined APHA members in attending the Congress and many of the delegates took part in our pre-Congress excursion to visit four private hospitals: Melbourne Private Hospital, The Avenue, Epworth Richmond and Epworth Eastern. 2013 was also the first year that we developed a Congress app which was very well received by delegates and sponsors alike.
In May we ran our fourth annual Private Hospital Week 12-18 May with more than 200 private hospitals taking part. Thanks to our partnership with HESTA, we were able to provide event kits to our participating hospitals which were put to excellent use to mark the week with staff BBQs, morning teas for patients and staff, open days, information stalls and many other events.
APHA partnered with ME Bank to run our first ever video competition for Private Hospitals Week. ME Bank provided $5000 and iPads for the competition winners Northpark Private Hospital in Melbourne and MetroRehab Hospital in Sydney.
For the second time, APHA marked Mental Health Week (6-12 October 2013) with a sector-wide campaign. Continuing our ‘What do you know… About Mental Health’ theme, we provided hospitals with materials to educate the Australian public on four specific mental health conditions commonly treated in the private sector: Eating Disorders, Anxiety, Depression and Substance Abuse. This year we also added in Mental Health in Older People to tie in to the World Health Organisation’s theme for the week.
Neither Private Hospitals Week nor Mental Health Week could be achieved without the support of the hospital champions. These special people, although they have ‘real’ jobs at their facilities, make time to organise the campaign on the ground and support promoting private hospitals.
APHA has a strong tradition of excellent communications centring on our flagship publication, Private Hospital magazine. This year, despite advertising revenues falling across publications industry wide, we have continued to produce an excellent colour magazine for the private hospital sector.
We have also launched a new APHA website with a secure member’s login area. The new website allows us to focus on events and news from our member facilities as well as provide industry information for those who are involved in day to day hospital management.
Our big success story this year is our Facebook page. We began the year with around 1000 people ‘liking’ our Australia’s Private Hospitals page and have ended the year with more than 8000 ‘likes’. Our influence on Twitter continues to grow as well and I’d like to thank Lyndal Bailey, APHA’s Communications Officer for her efforts this year in managing our social media campaigns.
In October I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to the Mayo Clinic in the United States to participate in their international Social Media Week. It was an amazing experience and I met and networked with hundreds of other who are passionate about social media in healthcare. I returned to Australia and with the assistance of HESTA and ME Bank, provided workshops on social media in healthcare to our members across the country and shared some of my learnings from the Mayo Clinic. These forums were held in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide. Other presenters included Belinda Hughes, Marketing & Communications Manager at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Kristina Garla, Marketing & Digital Strategy Manager at Epworth HealthCare and Lyndal Bailey, APHA’s Communications Officer.
HESTA was the APHA’s Diamond Sponsor again in 2013 and I would like to thank both HESTA’s CEO Anne-Marie Corboy and Executive Manager Lynn Hart for their continued support of the work of the Association.
It is only through the support of HESTA and APHA’s Major Sponsors that we are able to conduct our many activities throughout the year and we appreciate their assistance. Major sponsors for 2013 were:
- Access ID
- Forbo Flooring Systems
- Fresenius Kabi
- Gow-Gates Insurance
- ME Bank
I’d also like to thank the members of the APHA Communications & Marketing taskforce for their efforts and time in assisting me with the promotion activities of the association. Taskforce members in 2013 included:
- Anne Crouch (Chair), Eye-Tech Day Surgeries
- Steve Atkins, Healthe Care Pty Ltd
- Alan Cooper, Friendly Society Private Hospital
- Robert Cusack, St Vincent’s Private Hospital (Darlinghurst)
- Christine Gee, Toowong Private Hospital
- Belinda Hughes, The Wesley Hospital
- Carmel Monaghan, Ramsay Health Care
- Kathy Nagle, Western Hospital (Adelaide)
- Denise Thomas, Metropolitan Rehabilitation Hospital
- John Tucker, Nepean Private Hospital
- Lucy Fisher, PHAQ (observer)
Taskforce members have also been involved in developing a new look for our campaign materials that we hope to unveil early in 2014. I look forward to working on this and a host of other activities on behalf of APHA members over the coming year.