Tunheim helped positively position MHA hospitals while simultaneously engaging internal and external stakeholders to create better educated advocates for hospital issues.

Insight

The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) sought to better position itself to address major external affairs issues, in particular attempts to mandate hospital staffing levels and attacks on hospital non-profit status. Over the past several years hospitals have faced increased nationwide pressure from interest groups driving legislative mandates on hospitals. These groups have the resources and the will to execute protracted campaigns to the detriment of hospital reputation and financial bottom line. MHA was looking for opportunities to take the initiative before getting slogged down in a long and expensive fight.

 

Strategy

Tunheim conducted statewide focus groups to learn about the current perceptions and opinions of hospitals and health care in Minnesota. Tunheim also launched a public-facing digital campaign to highlight the work being done by hospitals to strengthen the health of their communities.  Tunheim also participated in an internal stakeholder engagement with Tunheim’s PropoNET service to identify strong employee advocates and learn how to better engage employees across the MHA member network. Tunheim facilitated an external stakeholder engagement initiative for members to educate key community members on their work and listen to issues of concern in the community. Tunheim created a proactive legislative affairs strategy to drive legislative focus to issues of importance for hospitals and supported campaign elements with integrated marketing campaign, including paid and earned media tactics on digital, social and traditional media platforms.

 

Results

Tunheim passed two priority legislative issues in 2015, including telemedicine expansion and increased state funding for mental health services. Tunheim successfully facilitated the defense and defeat of negative legislation in 2015, including staffing mandates, reporting mandates and major cuts to health care funding. Tunheim launched a new digital content campaign featuring stories from MHA member and successfully executed the association’s first Capitol press event, securing 10+ media hits across the state. Tunheim engaged members in outreach to Greater Minneapolis editorial boards and identified more than 1000 potential internal advocates through first PropoNET assessment, including nearly 800 relationships with elected officials.