Tarpon hospital's ad campaign receives national praises

TARPON SPRINGS - Rather than simply telling area residents of its recent accomplishments and services or feeding statistics, Florida Hospital North Pinellas allowed some of its own patients to tell their stories.

The hospital's recent advertising campaign, dubbed "I Choose," focused on what are dubbed "experience stories," said director of marketing and public relations Jennifer Candler.

Conveyed through various media, from television to online to billboards, the ad spots featured patients, physicians and hospital employees recounting their experiences at the hospital in Tarpon Springs formerly known as Helen Ellis Memorial.

Adding a more personal touch to promoting the hospital's services has gone over well enough to result in some national recognition, as well.

Last week, the "I Choose" television campaign received a silver award from the national Healthcare Advertising Awards. The awards are presented by the publication Healthcare Marketing Report.

The ads provided a broader level of recognition for a campaign that has been viewed favorably in the community, Candler said.

"We've absolutely gotten positive feedback from everyone on the "I Choose" campaign," Candler said. "I think it really showcases the type of care we provide at the hospital and sheds a different light on healthcare and what we do."

The tone of the campaign can be viewed by going to www.myhospitalofchoice.com. There, a rotating home page panel offers previews of local cancer and heart attack survivors, as well as a testimonial from a hospital physician.

In a press release announcing the award, the hospital's president and CEO, Bruce Bergherm, said the ad campaign represents another step in the facility's continued evolution.

"After investing heavily into capital improvements and top-notch medical expertise, Florida Hospital wanted members of the community to see evidence of why we should be their hospital of choice."

The "I Choose" advertisements began running late last year and the marketing department will soon be rolling out its next effort this month, which focuses on emergency room activities.

While Candler said the hospital's advertising message changes every few months, personal messages integrated into the "I Choose" campaign will continue to be used in the future.

"We're definitely going to be continuing the experienced story approach and sharing our patients' experiences, our physicians' experiences and our employees' experiences."