And they very well may be. Fine-looking. Skilled-looking. The kind of surgical team that you want to operate on you if you need a minimally invasive hip replacement.
But we really wouldn’t know them from any other radiology team, nursing team or rugby team, for that matter.
Over the holidays, I did a lot of Midwestern driving—Illinois to Indiana to Ohio. And when my daughter was either asleep or lost in her Nintendo DS, I have nothing to do but look at billboards and give each my instant, internal critique.
There are tons of healthcare billboards, and they never cease to underwhelm me in their predictability. They tend to fall into a few categories:
• Look at our world-class medical staff. Come use our services!
• Look at our new award. Come use our services!
• Look at our fuzzy image of “compassionate care.” Come use our services!
There's only so many things you can say about your hospital to get people to notice as they drive past 70 miles per hour. Billboards are intended to be quickly noticed.
But do they have to be so easily forgotten?
Working at a hospital, I know that you are under political pressure to advertise what you know won’t make good ads. But billboards especially are expensive. So, try to make the argument that if you’re spending the money, make the billboards worthwhile.
And while your surgical team may be reasonably photogenic, I promise you, they just aren’t board-worthy.
Click here for an example of a worthwhile board.