Together in Health: HGB launches new branding campaign

With the help of a new branding campaign – which launched over the last two weeks – people from Charlotte to Olivet and Grand Ledge to Holt will soon know more about the breadth of HGB's capabilities, physicians and relationships.

Together in Health is the new tagline developed after nearly four years of marketing research and planning. Marketing Communication Director Carrie Rathbun Hawks, APR, explains what it means.

"We believe it conveys the relationship concept we are so good at when it comes to getting our patients the best care they may need," says Rathbun. "It fits with our mission of contributing to community vitality. Together in Health levels the playing field, suggesting we'll work with a patient, not in spite of him or her. Those three words also allow for a growing focus on preventative/wellness initiatives."

HGB arrived at Together in Health after much deliberation and study, according to Rathbun. Over the past two years specifically, hospital leaders have conducted a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative research, and worked intently with branding experts to evaluate the results of that research, including:

· biannual community perception surveys,

· focus groups,

· review of competitor campaigns and messaging,

· feasibility studies,

· Avatar patient satisfaction surveys, and

· staff feedback.

"All of this data helped us determine our niche and how we should define our brand," shares Matt Rush, FCHE, president and CEO of HGB. "Over and over we heard several key words: trust, health, source, vitality, community-oriented and convenient. When we thought about what these words meant, and where HGB is going strategically in the future, Together in Health was the phrase that pulled it all together."

To execute its new campaign, HGB will focus on three key facets: physicians, relationships and capabilities. Ads will initially feature HGB in general. Eventually, however, Rathbun explains that there will be sub-campaigns that highlight the facets in more depth, including talking about HGB's high-caliber medical staff and their relationships with other healthcare professionals inside and outside of HGB. The organization's services, facilities and people will be showcased when Hayes Green Beach features its capabilities.

"A brand is a promise you make to your constituents," says Rathbun. "This campaign will not only introduce HGB to a wider population, but it will help us tell more of our story to the people who already know us. We have the people, relationships and capabilities to deliver on the promise, because every day we are Together in Health."

The campaign can be seen in local newspapers; regional health, women's and family magazines; and on billboards, radio and TV. It can also be found on a variety of news Web sites and in area theatres. HGB also plans to eventually have a social media campaign through sites such as Facebook and possibly YouTube.

"We know social media is the wave of the future for getting out grassroots messages and building relationships," says Rathbun. "But we want to do it right so it's an effective strategy for us."

HGB has a unique standing in mid-Michigan, according to Rush. It is still independently owned and not affiliated with any other larger health systems. Its services are expanding and physicians are being recruited to answer a demand for more local care. And although the hospital has certainly felt the pinch of the recent economic struggles, it has continued to make strategic decisions that will ensure its long-term success.

"We didn't just cover our heads and hope things would get better," explains Rush, who has led HGB for the past 11 years. "We dug deeper and figured out exactly who we are and what we do best, and we're focusing on those things. The leadership of HGB, including a very visionary board, understands that health care is changing quickly, and to survive, we must change with it.

"Community involvement is another very important commitment of ours. In fact, it's in our mission statement. The people of our region have supported us for 77 years. In return, if we are part of the economic, social and physical well-being of the areas we serve, then everyone benefits. I'm proud to lead this organization. Our people, our relationships and our capabilities are making a difference."

To learn more about HGB, its services and healthcare professionals, visit