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Health care is an issue that hits close to home for nearly every Minnesotan. And as it continues to be top-of-mind, Minnesotans are overwhelmed with negative stories about health care – rising costs, decreasing access to mental health services, opioid overprescribing, vaccine misinformation and youth concussions.
Absent in the public conversation, though, were stories about the many ways hospitals were already partnering with their communities to meet demonstrated community needs. As the statewide trade organization for Minnesota’s 145 hospitals and health systems, the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), was the right group to tell positive stories about how hospitals are proactively stepping up to address health needs in their communities.
In the highly regulated, highly publicized industry of health care, an easy answer to almost any public policy question is “no.” Tunheim believed this reactive opposition was often detrimental to the hospitals and challenged them to “be for something.” To strengthen its position in public policy debates, MHA needed to ensure that hospitals’ commitment to work outside their walls to strengthen their communities was understood by both the general public and lawmakers.
Tunheim guided MHA to use owned media, social media, digital advertising and email marketing to showcase the many ways hospitals across the state proactively work to improve the health of their communities. To broaden the impact of each story, stories were framed as one example of Minnesota’s hospitals extensive work throughout the state.
Tunheim worked with MHA to proactively identify stories that would resonate well with Minnesotans based on our initial baseline data and follow-up polling. Tunheim creates written and video content that is hosted on mnhealthycommunities.org, a campaign website that Tunheim designed and manages. Traffic is driven to the content using Facebook, display and pre-roll ads.
In 2016 alone, Minnesotans encountered campaign content on the website and through social media and advertising about 18.4 million times, up 13 percent from the previous year. Website traffic to the campaign’s website was up 30 percent from the previous year. In 2016, one in six social media impressions resulted in engagement with the campaign’s content.