December 13, 2017

Cardiac Campaigns: Who’s Your Real Audience?

It’s December. Which means it’s just about time—if it hasn’t started already— to start feeling the pressure of launching a cardiac campaign in time for February’s Heart Month.

Your physicians are getting louder about their needs to your leadership in the C-Suite.

Your C-Suite is applying pressure for you to make it happen.

And if you notice, a very important audience is missing from the conversation entirely.

Your patients.

There are two ways to approach heart campaigns:

Rushed and on-demand from your cardiac docs.

Or a unified strategy with planning and elongated campaigning.

When you have a friend or family member miss their window for preventative heart health—like I have—you realize the cost of choosing the former. But bringing arguably your most important audience into the conversation sooner and more often, will give you a chance to place those who need your message most at the heart of your next campaign.


Many health organizations have what they call ‘annual planning.’ And most of them approach their cardiac campaigns the exact same way. Waiting until their rockstar cardiac surgeon comes knocking (read: banging) on their door with the arbitrary deadline of you guessed it…February.

But what if you brought your service line leaders—and their goals—to your annual planning meeting to start the conversation early. Task them with providing a few patient stories to help guide the conversation.

Over the course of consulting with clients on service line volume, we’ve found these questions to be crucial: What are your goals for the service line? What is the greatest cardiac need of your current patients? What about prospective patients?


Aside from patients who are already in your system for cardiac care, do you know the touch points and future needs of patients who don’t know they need you yet? At Franklin Street, we use a few simple questions to help us frame our patient’s journey in meeting them where they are instead of where we ultimately want them to be. The most successful ways to reach this audience can be anything from screenings promoted through social media, community outreach, environmental tactics or grassroots efforts.

Find out: Where does it make the most sense to meet patients with a known risk of heart disease or other heart-related conditions? Is there any barrier for them to take preventative measures sooner? How can you get their attention?


They say it takes the average person five to seven times before they commit something to memory. And with today’s overwhelmed population and crowded world of media, it takes that many times just to ensure your message has been received. Find ways to captivate your audience through patient testimonials, monthly touch bases and tips to engage them with heart-related content. Spend more time and resources on speaking to a more targeted, refined audience instead of trying to cast too wide of a net.

Is your health organization on social media? Are you using a good mix of engaging content that includes video? Are you making it easy for your audience to take action if they do receive your message?

Remember that one in four deaths is caused every year by heart disease. Which means we have a lot of people to reach beyond Heart Month. And if you keep a steady and consistent message out there about heart disease, you’ll do a lot more than just keep your cardiac surgeon happy. You’ll be saving lives, too.