For hospital marketing and PR professionals, team silos and organizational structure often runs up against the need to quickly produce highly impactful content under a consistent narrative. The reality is that advanced content marketing takes a lot of timeplanning, coordination and resources.

On the flipside, the challenge is that most hospitals tend to be slow moving with operational change that ultimately enables effective content marketing. In that vein, it may be time to think about hiring a Chief Content Officer (CCO) to join your team. Here are five supporting reasons why that’s a wise decision:

1. Storytelling is Decentralized

In many hospitals, PR/communications departments are still separate from Marketing. A CCO help serve as the tie between the different departments to make sure there is clear coordination between target audiences, overarching content strategy, engagement tactics, production needs and timing, while providing a single framework for content measurement and analysis.

2. Marketing Efforts are Episodic

Hospitals love to identify a few key events, announcements or research milestones to center their storytelling around over the course of a year. While still critically important, a CCO will view this approach as a sliver of what’s possible for bringing a hospital’s story to life through content. The shift in approach under a CCO’s guidance will be one that takes a hospital from communicating under an “episodic” approach to becoming an “always on” storyteller that finds new and unique ways to provide ongoing touchpoints with target audiences.

3. Content Consistency is a Mess

Content creation and publishing to the Web has become to easy to the point where we are all facing a deluge of content clutter. Smartly targeted content needs to always achieve a goal of educating, informing or entertaining your target audience. To do so, your hospital’s brand voice, tone and visual ID must be consistent across every piece of marketing content. A CCO will serve as a consistent strategic filter to help guide the development, production and distribution of impactful content and know when to draw the line when an idea or produced piece is not up to par.

4. Project Management is a Beast

It always is. But it’s also the factor that’s going to ultimately determine the success of your hospital’s content marketing efforts. I have no doubt that most hospitals can come up with a great strategic vision and content ed-cal, but it all comes down to orchestrating and guiding the process from planning through execution. Writers, editors, graphic designers, video producers, paid syndication coordinators, analytics coordinators…there are a lot of moving pieces to maintain an “always on” content marketing operation. The results are worth the effort.

5. Digital and Social DNA is Still at a Premium

At the heart of it all, a CCO is going to fill the senior role necessary to educate key internal stakeholders on the importance and value of content marketing, push operations along and serve as an external “connector” to help keep your hospital abreast of new trends and technologies that will support your content marketing efforts. It’s a key starting role that can open up the door for supporting junior marketing hires down the line.

So, how does one go about finding one of these cherished CCOs? It will no doubt be a challenge. Talent with this type of deep cross-functional skills is hard to come by but the pool is growing. The best part? The always fantastic Joe Pulizzi has done all the hard work for you with this excellent job description outline. Happy CCO hunting.


Image courtesy of Josh Ardle Photography.

Author: Scott Meis

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