When I moved from IT to Marketing in 2000, there was still that little techboom feel in the air. Our Marketing department at the time was small and multi-functioning. We started looking at ways for Marketing to be a financial gain, instead of a “drain” on resources. Marketing may bring money into a hospital, but most believe Physicians drive patients. Physicians can only bring so much, the elective surgeries are the bread and butter of the industry. One of the ways we thought about making money, was to sell ads in our magazine and on our a new hospital website (never launched).
The largest obstacle was with being a non-profit. We started to look at pulling the magazine and website out, forming a for-profit corporation, hiring one extra person to sell ads and getting the darn thing published. Most hospitals are in the publishing business, either with newsletters or 10-30 page magazines like we had. Why not actually use it as a revenue base?
We had about a 65k quarterly run, a small magazine for the area. We probably were getting more subscribers than the local newspapers in the counties we served. We were also low cost staff, with most of our expenses going to the publishing company.
So why didn’t we do it? Honestly, there were lots of regime changes in the facility and that air of experimentation was almost nil. It’s part of the reason it took them until September 2003 to replace a website from October 1998). Plus,
most all of the key people left within the first 6 months of 2000, leaving 3 of the original 9 staffers to manage everything else.
We had the air knocked out of us, but I still believe it’s a good idea.