Vanderbilt Health Marketing Leaders Illuminate the Path to Population Health

by | Oct 7, 2020 | Healthcare Industry Insights | 0 comments

In these highlights from our healthcare marketing podcast, Megan Pruce and Mallory Yoder from the business engagement strategies team at Vanderbilt Health share insights on their journey from a small, siloed department to a leading voice helping advance the shift to value-driven care.

The mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions team at Van­der­bilt Health is instru­men­tal in advanc­ing the organization’s pop­u­la­tion health ini­tia­tives. We recent­ly spoke with Vice Pres­i­dent Megan Pruce and Senior Man­ag­er Mal­lo­ry Yoder for our health­care mar­ket­ing pod­cast, and among oth­er insights they offered the fol­low­ing guid­ance for peers who are cham­pi­oning val­ue-dri­ven care.

Marketing and communications is a critical piece of the population health puzzle.

When devel­op­ing pub­lic health ini­tia­tives designed to change behav­ior, Megan says strate­gic mar­ket­ing and cre­ative teams like hers are unique­ly qual­i­fied to help pack­age and present crit­i­cal ideas while con­nect­ing the dots across mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary teams.

“If you had mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sion­als at the table for the design and roll­out of these change man­age­ment pro­grams, you’d get much more buy-in from the audi­ences,” says Megan. “So much of the suc­cess with these ini­tia­tives is based on the first impres­sion, and mar­ket­ing will ensure it is inter­est­ing, com­pelling, mem­o­rable and clear.”

Finding the right people is critical to building an innovative team.

Megan says the most impor­tant thing she looks for when hir­ing is not one of the typ­i­cal traits asso­ci­at­ed with a health­care mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions team. She points to Mal­lo­ry, who is work­ing toward her master’s degree while work­ing full time at Van­der­bilt, as a great exam­ple of the skills and mind­set required to move the orga­ni­za­tion forward.

“We want peo­ple look­ing for a pro­fes­sion­al chal­lenge,” she says. “We are nat­u­ral­ly very curi­ous and cre­ative, we con­tribute in meet­ings, we raise our hands and take on stretch projects. We’re real­ly care­ful about the types of peo­ple we wel­come on the team because it’s not for everyone.”

Megan notes that a key to her suc­cess in build­ing a high-per­form­ing, inno­v­a­tive mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions team is an often-over­looked part of the hir­ing process.

“One of my secret approach­es [to hir­ing] is cov­er let­ters,” she says. “If you don’t take the time to pitch your­self in a cov­er let­ter, you’re prob­a­bly not going to take the time to get invest­ed in a prod­uct and a solu­tion. If you are tru­ly inter­est­ed in doing this work, you will take the time to write a cov­er let­ter or email to me that is very spe­cif­ic to what you’re try­ing to do and what we’re try­ing to do.”

Success takes talent, tenacity and time.

Megan and Mal­lo­ry encour­age their peers that like any suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tive, it takes peo­ple will­ing to chal­lenge the sta­tus quo—and a healthy dose of resilience—to lay the foun­da­tion for a suc­cess­ful pop­u­la­tion health strat­e­gy. Over the past two years, their team has evolved from a small group that was pri­mar­i­ly focused on physi­cian com­mu­ni­ca­tions to a high­ly val­ued strate­gic partner.

To fol­low this path, Mal­lo­ry rec­om­mends start­ing small and find­ing ways to demon­strate val­ue along the way.

“You have to present short-term wins,” she says. “To get a seat at the table from writ­ing newslet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tions to where we are now was not an overnight suc­cess. You have to prove your­self by keep­ing up with what’s going on with the clin­i­cal side and being able to speak their lan­guage. Even­tu­al­ly, those short-term wins stack up and you’ll find a part­ner who’s open to try­ing some­thing new and dif­fer­ent than what’s been done before.”

Megan encour­ages her peers in health­care mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions to real­ize the val­ue they bring to the table when design­ing and imple­ment­ing strate­gic initiatives.

“We don’t have let­ters after our name as some peo­ple do, but we are equal­ly as valu­able when it comes to putting togeth­er real­ly good plans and strategies—and that’s the dream that we all want­ed in our careers.”


Listen to the Full Interview

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