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Mar 2016

AVID News – New Name for Augusta University

As the region’s only academic medical center providing world-class healthcare for patients in Augusta, GA and the surrounding regions for almost 200 years, AVID has helped with more than a few name changes over the last decade.



               Georgia Regents




MCGHealth/Medical College of Georgia to Georgia Health Sciences Health System to GRHealth to Augusta University Health – just a few of the more notable names for our friends in Augusta!



Our very best congratulations to the communications and marketing team – an efficient name change throughout web properties and a seamless brand campaign, including trade-ins for new Augusta University apparel. We so look forward to our continued work together at Augusta University Health!















AVID Design offers full-scale written and visual communication services for hospitals and healthcare systems, including Content Management SystemsSharePointWeb DesignSEO and PPC, Content Development and AssessmentOnline VideoAnalytics and Measurementand more.

Meredith Rose | Vice President, Digital Marketing | AVID Design

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Aug 2015

Facebook Updates and Opportunities to Expand Reach

Facebook’s most recent algorithm update is another step in the direction of better understanding how users interact with the platform, while continuously assessing user preferences.

The update is intended to improve user experiences by considerably reducing the reach of organic posts that appear too promotional in users’ News Feeds. After surveying hundreds of thousands of users, Facebook determined these traits as too promotional:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

What does this mean for the healthcare industry?

Meaning depends on how healthcare focused organizations view audiences and  what they intend to accomplish through a defined Facebook marketing strategy. Consider these points:

A range of healthcare organizations are playing an ever increasing role in the proactive health and well-being of the communities they serve, which requires a great deal of trust from a wide range of audiences. This trust lies in how they help sustain overall well-being and then care for both routine and complex healthcare, if needed. Based on system capabilities, clinical staff or support personnel expertise and brand promise of the organization, these strengths will win customer loyalty and increase lifetime value.

A significant part of that trust comes from real world personal experiences and interactions – more and more often communicated across social media in real time. Be sure as you set high standards to engage your communities, apply the same principles to engage your social media audiences.

While important to highlight short term classes and events, remember that true long term engagement is what will drive long term success.

Be a Community, Not a Broadcast Channel

Winning the trust and subsequent power of word-of-mouth doesn’t come from aggressively pushing a barrage of sales tactics into users’ News Feeds, nor does it come from one-sided conversations about what your organization can offer. Instead, users want to be part of an engaged community of support, through:

  • Informational and engaging content
  • Insightful articles and content
  • Short, concise messaging with a related photo

This type of engagement can better capture users’ attention and inspire them to share it amongst their network, which serves to expand your brand’s reach and influence. Sharing proactive health topics and resources can be an untapped, yet exceptionally strong, point of differentiation. One of our clients, Piedmont Healthcare, shows incredible reach with custom content through their Living Better communications. AVID Design built a dynamic category presentation of topics for easier search and share. This ease of sharing on social media provides an opportunity to serve communities beyond geographic boundaries for the improved health and wellness of a much more global community.

AVID Design offers full-scale written and visual communication services for hospitals and healthcare systems, including Content Management Systems, SharePointWeb DesignSEO and PPC, Content Development and AssessmentOnline VideoAnalytics and Measurementand more. 

Justin Small | Digital Marketing Specialist | AVID Design

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Oct 2014

Google My Business: How We’re Bringing Healthcare Back into Google’s Game

I moved closer to work at the beginning of last month, and needed to make an appointment with a new eye doctor. As AVID’s unofficial Google guru, of course the first thing I did was hit the search engines.

Even as someone who understands that there are more qualifications to look for in an ophthalmologist than “eye doctor in Norcross”, I (like many patients) was in a rush. I made an appointment with the first highly rated practice on the list, but on the day of my appointment, I showed up to an empty building.

I googled the practice again, called the number listed, but didn’t get an answer. A little angry for having wasted my time, I drove back to the office when the practice manager called my cell. The information on Google’s listing was incorrect, she explained. Would I like to reschedule? I decided that no, I would not like to reschedule. I ended up driving back across town to visit my old doctor instead.

This exact situation is happening to many hospitals, healthcare systems and physician practices across the country—sometimes totally unnoticed by the practice managers or marketing departments. As someone who works closely with Google, I totally understood that my potential ophthalmologist’s office had nothing to do with the incorrect listing. However, subconsciously the inconvenience was what determined my physician choice. This error caused the practice to lose a patient. How many others, I wondered, do they lose in a day? A month? A year?

Go Ahead, Check Yourself Out

Coincidentally enough, we have numerous clients using our digital strategy services at AVID Design for this exact issue. For a range of academic medical centers, hospitals and physician practices, we have embarked on an adventure to correct all of their Google listings. And that has been no easy feat — Google My Business is a two-headed beast!

  • Google My Business is not optional – How will your patients find you if not through Google? Your patients are most undoubtedly searching for you, and results are popping up. Managing those results is unquestionably important.
  • Google My Business is Not for the Faint of Heart – Representatives at Google have been very open that the Business platform was designed for just that—traditional retail businesses. The issues we experience with GMB are unique to healthcare, which is an unfamiliar area to the Google team. We are tackling that beast at AVID Design!

Keep in mind: Google My Business is still a new approach – with kinks and missing functionality that will all improve with time, but it is complicated by Google’s tendency is to shy away from healthcare endeavors. Defining a strategic approach to healthcare locations is beyond perplexing — and one that is tough to tackle alone.

The best way to figure out where you stand on Google’s radar is to search for your organization – down as many paths as possible. Search for your hospital name, your brand name, your physician names, practice names and so on. If you find pages for your organization, you should claim them as your own—especially if the information is incorrect.

What We’ve Learned

During our Google My Business initiation by fire over time, the most important lesson learned is that while this technology may still be emerging and imperfect, it has a very real, instant impact on healthcare organizations due to poor user experiences. Taking action sooner than later is always a good idea, but keep in mind that as with any other new online tool or functionality, flexibility is critical. The process may change direction quickly and is definitely a moving target! Be open to evolving your strategy, updating your goals and managing expectations.

Need help determining if you’ve got a Google beast on your hands? Give us a call and we can check out your page standings and see what information is being shared with your current or prospective patients. 


AVID Design offers full-scale written and visual communication services for hospitals and healthcare systems, including SharePointWeb designSEO and PPC content development and assessmentonline video and rich mediaanalytics and measurementcontent management systems and more.

Whitney Stuart | Web Content Manager | AVID Design

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Nov 2013

5 Things I Learned at CHPRMS

This week, Tom and I attended the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Society Conference in beautiful Asheville, NC. As a native New Yorker accustomed to the city and fast-paced business environments, it’s nice to visit the mountains and breathe fresh air! This year, the conference was held at the Grove Park Inn, which was truly lovely. I never wanted to leave.

The setting for 2013 CHPRMS conference

The Mountains of Asheville provided a beautiful backdrop for conference (image credit: CHPRMS)


The conference provided a fresh perspective on healthcare marketing. There were productive conversations throughout, but here are my five favorite takeaways from the CHPRMS conference:

1-      Techfast: The Breakfast of Marketing Champions– This was a great way to kick off the day, as well as learn how to experience the world of smartphone multitasking. Along with my oatmeal, apps are now a part of my morning routine. If you aren’t familiar with these apps, I highly recommend them:

  • Feedly
  • Flip Board
  • Expensify
  • Keyring
  • If this and that (IFTTT)

2-      Be in the Now – Curiosity may have killed the cat, but without embracing fear and adapting to change, we lose chances at success. The healthcare industry is fortunate to be a constant source of innovation. With healthcare marketing, we must be curious and encourage new ideas. When an opportunity comes up to market your organization, rather than say “yes, but…” think in terms of “yes, and…”. What can you add?

3-      Timing is (almost) everything – What time of year is the best time to launch a new website? Which day is best to put out press releases? Should you tweet in the morning or afternoon? Be sure your efforts are seen and heard by the people who need to hear it most. Ask a marketing expert when is the best time to launch your campaigns for a higher chance at visibility?

4-      Non-conventional physician engagement – Yes, patients are more likely to visit a physician whom they have engaged with online. However as healthcare marketers, we understand the challenges of encouraging physicians to participate in marketing efforts.

Acclimate your physicians to a strong online presence by finding a non-conventional way to attract physicians and patients. Things like an “ask a doc” live-tweet session, healthy tips feed, or even an introductory video on your website are all great first steps to online engagement.

5-      Keep Your Eyes on the Prize – Whether you are part of the clinical or supporting staff of a healthcare organization, it’s important to remember the goal: the health of your patients! Whenever you begin a campaign or find an obstacle in the project, remind yourself that changing the lives of your patients should be your ultimate goal. 


AVID Design offers full-scale written and visual communication services for hospitals and healthcare systems, including SharePointWeb designSEO and PPC content development and assessmentonline video and rich mediaanalytics and measurementcontent management systems and more.

Stephanie Imberman | Account Executive | AVID Design

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Mar 2010

The Case of Hospital Website Monitoring and Spamming

Many hospital and healthcare systems look for new ways to reach out to their patients and the community. Sometimes they implement new and possibly non-traditional hospital and healthcare strategies to reach those in their community who may not be familiar with them, or are newcomers to the area.

Spam is not good for certain hospitals

Spam is not good... for hospitals OR to eat!

A hospital client of ours recently started a service to welcome newcomers to the area.  This service allowed new people to sign up on their Website for free items–area maps and an environmentally-friendly shopping bag–from the hospital, as well as allowed them to register for things, like a gas card.  Things were going well until they noticed that all of a sudden many of the requests were from around the country and NOT their target area.

Hospital Website Monitoring = Good; Spamming = Bad

The client was, luckily, monitoring their Website and caught this before it snowballed into a huge headache and chaotic mess.  It turns out, that someone found the link on the client’s Website, copied the link and then spammed it on an online forum that caters to the “sharing of knowledge about couponing, refunding and frugal living.”

Process of Removing Forum (Spam) Posts

So, to find out about how I could get this post removed for our client from this online coupon forum, I took on a pseudo-investigative journalistic approach.   I simply contacted the moderator from the coupon sharing Website, told them I represented the client and politely emailed them about removing the post with the link in it due to the fact that it is only available for a select, targeted audience.  Although I received no email back, I did notice that within 24 hours the post was taken down.  Success!

The Point About Monitoring Your Hospital’s Website

Offering incentives is a great tactic to help you connect with your community while driving traffic to your Website, but be aware of what could happen if you are not monitoring relevant traffic to these promotions or services.  It may even be wise to put a clause or note on your Website specifying that this promotion/service is only available for a certain area of people.

This case is not closed, because monitoring never ends.

Lisa Federico | Content Specialist | AVID Design

AVID Design specializes in online healthcare marketing and offers hospital Website monitoring.

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