Bob Dylan said it best in 1964, “The times, they are a changin’.” We’ve officially entered the late 2010s, and I can’t help but notice the shift in health care marketing strategy. Easy access to data and information has ushered in the era of patient empowerment, creating challenges and opportunities for health care marketers.

Health care marketing initiatives are evolving to attract more patients and establish position within the market. As we enter a brave new world in health care marketing, here are the five trends we are most excited about.

Growing demand for health-related video content

One trend in marketing that will never go away is video. MarketsandMarkets predicts that global video streaming will grow to more than $70 billion by the year 2021. With millions of consumers googling their conditions and treatment options, there is a big opportunity in the market for qualified physicians to provide health information through videos without dispensing clinical advice.

Influencer marketing

You have probably heard the term “influencer” a lot over the past few years. Influencers are the bread and butter of marketing strategies, reaching consumers through their respective networks of blogs and social media channels to help brands build valuable relationships.

But wait, don’t influencers only work for food and travel brands?

Not quite. Research shows that nearly 71 percent of patients are more likely to book an appointment based on a reference from social networks. Influencer marketing is all about taking advantage of “word-of-mouth” posts. Don’t limit your influencer search to celebrities and social media darlings. Look for niche publications and websites that reach your core audience, and seek ways to partner with influencers there, rather than simply looking for the people with the most followers. More engaged patients means more appointments and increased referrals.

Data is the new creative

In 2018, we expect to see a continued shift toward data-driven marketing. Hospitals can use sophisticated techniques, such as patient analytics and predictive modeling, to extract valuable insights from this vast and growing pool of data. If a privately insured woman is pregnant, marketers can use that data to proactively promote childbirth preparation classes or prenatal fitness exercises to her. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Evariant are combining data from content management systems (CMS) with digital marketing best practices to deliver hyper-targeted messaging to prospects most likely to convert.

User experience (UX) is king

UX design is a broad field that encompasses all interactions that a user experiences on a website. Today’s health care websites should provide users with trouble-free experiences that make it easier for patients to find doctors, book appointments and so on.

Failure to meet UX standards can result in harm to your reputation and bottom line. According to Klein & Partners, 11 percent of visitors to a hospital or health system say their website experience created new, negative feelings about that brand.

Health care marketers should constantly be thinking about what they can do to improve UX at each touchpoint, ultimately creating simpler pathways to high-value content.

Online reputation management (ORM)

You only get one first impression. According to Software Advice, nearly 72 percent of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor, so your online reputation is often the first impression for many patients. In 2018, we’ll see more physicians adopting ORM monitoring and reporting services to stay on top of what’s being said, as well as bringing a specialist on board to regularly make updates and address reviews.

Do you have a trend for 2018 that we missed? Tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG and let us know what you think.



When a client calls in crisis, you answer. Timeliness is essential when it comes to a crisis, that’s a no brainer. And wondering if you’ll encounter a crisis is not a matter of IF but a matter of WHEN.

With health care clients, crisis can literally become a matter of life or death. Luckily for our team, we’ve never had to be involved in such a situation. However, working with health care crises can be both enlightening and stressful. Serving as a strategic partner to our crisis clients is what we do best. However, there’s also a difference between responding to a crisis from our own office and work space and being on-site, in the trenches with the crisis communication team at your client’s office. Many PR practitioners might not realize, but there are a number of things we can do to make our and our client’s lives easier in these circumstances:

Executive Summaries are gold

As a partner, we obviously want to provide as much content and detail as possible. In a crisis, it’s likely your client or the communication director has their hair on fire. So, while all the detail is great when proving your thoroughness to a new client, this is not the time. Provide an executive summary of traditional and social media monitoring, then provide backup should they want to investigate further.

Respond often and regularly, even if there is no update

Avoid the client asking what’s going on, what’s the update. Set morning and afternoon times to provide updates and check-ins, regardless if there’s an update or not. This will provide a sense of security and ease, one less thing for your client to think about.

Crisis ≠ sloppy

Just because you’re sending reports, emails and correspondences quickly, does not allow for quality to slip. If anything, quality in a crisis situation should be higher, due to increased risk level and demand for airtight content. Also consider, crisis clients often are billed at a higher rate, so they should receive the quality they’re paying for. Often times your work is being shared directly with the highest level of an organization, so make sure it’s tight, professional and worthy of a CEO’s immediate review.

Be conscious of stakeholders, policyholders and general consumers involved

With health care, a crisis could mean the potential threat to patient privacy. To ensure all laws are withheld and critical information is kept secure, communications teams often have to address reporters with an air of ambiguity. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to answer the reporters questions (obviously wanting to maintain an air of transparency) it just means there are laws bigger than them to protect those most important, the general public.

Research all the sticky parts

Before walking into a client’s office for a crisis briefing, be sure to research as much of the company, situation and current climate of the situation. Again, research seems like a no brainer, but being in the midst of those who live and breath an industry will automatically make you feel lost. Try to brush up on jargon specific to the industry you’re working in, so you can easily keep up during those high-intensity briefings.

Find a way to be helpful

When a group of presidents, CEOs, physicians, CMOs and communication team members gather to talk about a crisis, the climate is likely tense. It may be easy to fade into the background, but always find a way to contribute something to the conversation or situation. Whether that’s including a relatable anecdote (John Deveney’s greatest talent) when providing an update, or jumping behind a computer to take notes on the big screen, the crisis command center is a place for collaboration, so no idea is a bad idea. Who knows, your suggestion might be just what the team needs to hear.

Is your team equipped to handle a crisis? Tweet your questions to us @DEVENEYMKTG




1 healthcare professional, or leader

4 tsp adaptability

¾ cup storytelling, sliced into strips

1 cup collaboration

12 oz partnership, cut into bite-size pieces

1 clove data-driven insights



1.    Place leader or professional in a position to contribute to the development of healthcare strategy.

2.    Add 3 teaspoons of adaptability. The external environment will be evolving fast, so you’ll want the professional to be nimble, framing problems, asking questions and driving action in the organization. Repeat until desired result is achieved.

3.    Once adaptability is established, stir in ¾ cup of storytelling. Some recipes call for demographic information and clinical data, but we find that there is no substitute for genuine storytelling. It is packed with emotional components that bring out the flavor of your brand.

4.    Stir remaining adaptability in with collaboration and add to the pot. Set on high until well done. The ideal strategist should be helping parts of the organization work together to achieve common goals, facilitating the exchange of ideas, helping leadership parse out the best ideas and driving ideas to action.

5.    In a separate bowl, prepare partnership opportunities. A thriving healthcare organization relies on the development of accessible, integrated systems of care. In order to compete with new innovations, strategists should consider if end-to-end solutions should be owned or executed through a partner for mutual benefit.

6.    Garnish with data driven insights before serving. This secret sauce will help the strategist zero-in on areas that need attention and unify the organization toward a new direction.

Got a marketing mix recipe to share? Tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG


Do you believe in the power of media training? At DEVENEY, we most definitely do! And while most public relations agencies have a method of media training that is fairly standard, the process at DEVENEY is a different and best-in-class approach in terms of enabling a participant for message-driven preparedness.


Prior to each media training session, participants are asked to complete an in-depth survey that provides a deeper understanding into their history in working with the media. Upon receiving survey results, DEVENEY prepares a customized curriculum that is tailored to each attendee. In addition to this survey, we carefully consider the trainee’s position within the company, their background and expertise, and how to best prepare them for subject interviews relative to their role.

As an example, we recently trained Chef Abdiel Aleman, vice president of culinary development for Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Our survey did well to inform us of the concerns Chef Abdiel had in regard to cooking demonstrations during broadcast segments. As a result, we provided recall methods for him to ensure he could balance his messaging with meal prep!

In advance of each media training, we also work closely with our clients to develop real-world practice scenario themes for the participants. This process involves research and collaboration to determine potential issues that could be broad, like industry related problems, or very specific, like a public-facing litigation. We work with the client to approve the scenarios and ensure they are appropriate for each trainee.

Did we mention that we hire actual journalists?

We do! This is one of the elements that sets the DEVENEY process apart from other media trainings. For on-camera training scenarios, we utilize a professional journalist with extensive experience to deliver the most accurate interview situation.

Our journalist takes participants through several scenarios and interviews, with each being carefully reviewed and analyzed. The ultimate goal of these exercises is to provide feedback and tips to help improve a message-driven interview approach.

That’s the DEVENEY media training approach in a nutshell, or at least SOME of it, the rest is something you might have to experience yourself.

Do your executives know how to navigate a tough interview? Ask DEVENEY about our unique media training experience by tweeting us @DEVENEYMKTG.


Social media is making a big impact in the health care field, but when it comes to hospitals, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The techniques that work in other industries don’t always translate to the medical field. Here are some tips on how DEVENEY can make social media work for your hospital.

1. Be mindful of interacting with customers. 

It’s important for all of the health care professionals in your network to understand what is and isn’t okay when it comes to speaking with patients over social media. Our DEVENEY team can help you draft and implement a social media policy that will protect patients’ privacy and create guidelines to help employees understand whether it’s appropriate to friend, follow or otherwise communicate with patients outside of work.

2. Monitor feedback closely. 

In today’s world of instant feedback, it’s easier than ever to gauge public perception of your brand. When it comes to a hospital, it’s crucial to maintain an honest and dependable image to attract potential patients. At DEVENEY, we monitor your accounts to quickly answer complaints and interpret your analytics to help you understand how your hospital is being viewed.

3. Create engaging content. 

More people than ever are turning to social media for medical advice. This is an unprecedented opportunity to build good will for your brand within the community. At DEVENEY, we can help you create compelling content – using hashtags, pictures, videos and infographics – to capture the attention of your audience and make a long-lasting impression.

What are your thoughts on the relationship between hospitals and social media? Let us know by tweeting your ideas @DEVENEYMKTG.


We are excited to announce that our hard work and client successes have earned DEVENEY 18 awards in the past month, with honors awarded for public relations, advertising, video production, marketing collateral and social media. These prestigious awards were bestowed by leaders in the marketing and communication field from professional organizations across the country.

Most recently, AIVA Communicator Awards honored DEVENEY with two Awards of Excellence for the Windsor Court Hotel’s 2016 Windsor Wishes holiday card and the agency’s blog, DEVENEY Insights. DEVENEY also excelled in the 2017 Hermes Creative Awards, garnering six gold awards, as well as platinum honors for: Public Relations Magazine Placement for the grand opening of Meril restaurant in Garden & Gun, Print Media Design for the Bayou Rum media kit, and Social Media Overall Blog for DEVENEY Insights.

Below is a complete list of DEVENEY’s recently garnered awards:

AIVA Communicator Awards

Awards of Excellence (Gold)

·      Holiday Card – Windsor Court, Windsor Wishes

·      Digital Online Advertising and Marketing, Business-to-Business Campaign – DEVENEY Insights Blog

Awards of Distinction

·      Digital, Website, Health – UMC New Orleans

·      Digital, Website, General Marketing – DEVENEY

·      Digital, Website, Cultural Institution – Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses

·      Video, Commercials, Nonprofit – Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Be an Everyday Hero

·      Design, Marketing, Collateral, Packaging – DEVENEY, Holiday Gift

·      Design and Print, Outdoor, Billboard – Children’s Hospital Northshore Center, Grand Opening

·      Integrated Campaign, Nonprofit – UMC New Orleans, Grand Opening

Hermes Creative Awards


o   Public Relations, Magazine Placement – Emeril’s Meril Opens with a BAM!, Garden & Gun

o   Social Media, Blog (Overall) – DEVENEY, DEVENEY Insights Blog

o   Print Media, Design, Media Kit – Bayou Rum, Media Kit


o   Holiday Card – Windsor Court, Windsor Wishes

o   Infographic – UMC New Orleans, First Year by the Numbers

o   Infographic – Touro, Mardi Gras Calorie King

o   Packaging – DEVENEY, Holiday Gift

o   Logo – Windsor Court, Café Anglais

o   Agency Website – DEVENEY


Need pointers on how to create an award-winning entry? Tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG and let us know.


It’s the dream of PR professionals to have a plethora of visual, timely and engaging topics to pitch to media. Those pitches that immediately lead to a flood of excited replies and calls from journalists are the goal, but often are a rarity. Each day, we’re faced with the challenge of turning a client’s dream story into an appealing topic for media and consumers alike.

We faced this dilemma while working with a Medicare Advantage company that wanted positive media attention of its organization and plan offerings during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Knowing that the topic of AEP was a tough sell at best, our team decided to come up with an event that would interest the media and secure more coverage than a standard morning show. In looking at the client’s sponsorships and the timing of AEP around Thanksgiving, we opted to start a competition-style event that would benefit local food banks while highlighting the client’s commitment to end senior hunger and support the community. Five years later, the Peoples Health Supermarket Sweep event has expanded to three Louisiana markets – New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette – and garnered hundreds of positive stories and millions of impressions for the organization.

So, how can you turn a snooze-story into a must watch for your brand? Below are some tips for generating ideas that turn into big wins.

Get weird.

Map out every idea that comes to mind, and discuss it with your client. We would have never guessed that a childhood addiction to the Game Show Network would birth an idea that became one of our client’s signature marketing events, so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.

Remember the end goal.

Sometimes the hottest media topics aren’t the best fit for your client. Understand parameters and what your client wants to achieve. If the story isn’t a match, it’s not worth doing.

Be the consumer.

Think about the stories and segments that have stuck with you and headlines that make you want to click. If you aren’t the intended audience for your client, poll friends, family and colleagues to get ideas about what might grab attention.

What tips and tricks do you have for story makeovers? Tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG and let us know.


In working with several hospitality clients throughout the years, dress policy is inevitably an issue that rears its head time and time again. Many clients struggle with putting a policy in place, and even more face backlash when it comes to enforcing it.

The most recent issue of United Airlines refusing to allow a Pass Rider from entering the plane due to her apparel choice – in this case leggings (we’ll call it Legging Gate) – brings up the question of why we put dress policies in place and why enforcement is important.

From our experience, here are a few considerations:

1. What are you trying to convey to your guest/consumer?

Pass Riders are either employees of an airline or their friends and family who are typically extended the privilege to fly for free on-board the airline, given they adhere to a strict set of rules. Setting a standard within your category sends a message to your guests of what you stand for as a brand.

In the case of a luxury setting, for example, there is an expectation of level of service that directly correlates to the overall aesthetic of an environment, inclusive of its employees. Excellence of experience = expectation of excellence in the environment.

2. Consistency is key.

The uproar surrounding Legging Gate has many begging the question as to why it seems that a dress policy has appeared out of thin air. It’s for this very reason that consistency of enforcement is crucial. A system-wide rollout of a policy is necessary to ensure that parameters put in place are visible to all employees. Regular check-ins are also important, and a refresh of the policy is always a good idea to keep all parties informed.

3. Public Notice, Yes or No?

Depending on the type of business you operate, your policy should be made public. For service industry businesses, this is especially critical. Framing the policy with language about the mission is a good place to start. The case with United Airlines is unique in that the rules only applied to a small internal group – employees, friends and family. In this case, internal communication pertaining to company policy is a better approach.

What are your thoughts on the great debate of #unitedleggings Legging Gate? Do you think United was justified in turning away this Pass Rider? Tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG and let us know.


DEVENEY is honored to have recently claimed first place in the TV Ad Campaign category of PR Daily’s 2016 Video Awards for “The Future of Healthcare is Here” campaign, created on behalf of University Medical Center New Orleans (UMC). The video successfully established and repositioned the new hospital as a leader in the health care industry.


“We are honored to be recognized by PR Daily for the video we produced on behalf of UMC,” said DEVENEY President John Deveney, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, IABC Fellow. “We are proud of the work we do for our clients, and it’s especially rewarding to receive positive feedback and honors from industry peers who recognize the quality of our efforts.”


The video, which featured interviews with doctors, residents and employees from across the organization, was created to provide a better understanding of the legacy of the hospital’s predecessor, Charity Hospital, and learn what the opening of UMC represents for patient care in the region. The video was an opportunity to brand the new hospital and introduce the community to the facility.

Congratulations to DEVENEY team members, including UMC account leads, Garick Giroir and Kate Fauquier!


Applaud the team on this honor by tweeting @DEVENEYMKTG.


DEVENEY recently named Chief Financial Officer Chris Costello and Senior Account Executive Carrie DeVries, APR, as partners. The installation of the partner role, which was made at the firm’s annual strategic planning retreat in January, marks a significant milestone for the 21-year-old agency.

“As the agency grows, DEVENEY remains committed to making valuable investments to prepare our team and our clients for the best possible future. Our internal structure continues to evolve, and the addition of partner positions is an exciting next step in the future of those investments,” said President John Deveney, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA and IABC Fellow.

The newly promoted duo represents leadership from the executive team and PR division. Costello joined the agency full time in 2005 and as CFO, he leads overall agency operations. He serves as the America’s region finance chair for WorldCom, a global PR agency, and his professional achievements in the industry were recently recognized when he was named a 2016 Money Maker by New Orleans CityBusiness.

DeVries joined the firm in 2012 and leads the agency’s LifeStyle practice area (tourism, travel and hospitality). A 12-year veteran of the communications industry, she serves as president of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana (PRAL) New Orleans Chapter. DeVries has frequently been recognized for her leadership, hard work and dedication to the field. In 2015, she received her accreditation in PR (APR) and was honored as an Agency Awe Professional by PRNews. In 2016, she earned the distinction of PRAL-NOLA’s PR Practitioner of the Year and accepted the Individual Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) New Orleans Chapter.

Congratulate the team on this exciting milestone by tweeting @DEVENEYMKTG.