South Florida Hospital News
Thursday October 19, 2017
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December 2009 - Volume 6 - Issue 6

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The Making of a Magazine

When the North Broward Hospital District changed its operational name to Broward Health, we looked to all avenues – print and broadcast advertising, billboards, Web, internal publications, media relations, community outreach and partnerships – to raise awareness of the name change.

Rebranding a well-established organization required every opportunity to introduce Broward Health as the exceptional healthcare system serving Broward County residents for more than 50 years.

One such opportunity came from a successful publishing company and a proposal to partner to create a unique, glossy magazine reflective of good health and Broward County – i.e. Broward Health magazine.

The concept was to design a health and lifestyle magazine that would include interesting articles about health, wellness, prevention issues, health care services, nutrition, beauty and advances in medicine. Above all, it had to be eye-catching, edgy and engaging.

Because content would be a well-rounded mix of articles, about half of them linked to Broward Health, the magazine would look and feel autonomous. There would be no overt branding. The business plan required no start-up cost or initial investment by Broward Health as the magazine would be funded through advertising.

To produce the magazine, Broward Health partnered with Worth International Media, a local publisher with 40 years of experience producing custom magazines for a variety of clients. Worth’s managing editor, Abel Delgado, had previously edited health magazines and books for Rodale, publisher of Prevention and Men’s Health magazines, and was able to leverage this experience in creating the concept for Broward Health magazine.

"We wanted the magazine to be an effective communications tool for Broward Health but not feel like one big press release, because readers would tune out and this would defeat the purpose," explains Delgado. "So we centered Broward Health-related articles on the people it helps, turning them into human interest stories. Then we added health articles on a variety of topics with practical tips from experts. With that, the magazine promoted Broward Health’s services yet still offered direct value to the readers."

The first bi-annual issue was published in April 2008. Copies were mailed to donors and local residents; placed in hospital and physician office waiting areas; distributed at community and fund-raising events; and displayed in magazine racks at Broward Health hospitals.

Reaction has been very positive – and sometimes unexpected. One woman, unaware anyone was watching, thought she was stealing the magazine from a hospital waiting room when she furtively slipped it into her purse. Healthcare practitioners – including a few from competing hospitals – have tried to get a story about their work into the magazine.

The fourth issue of Broward Health magazine was published in November. Each new issue is available in an easy-to-read format on the Broward Health website and can be mailed upon request.

Many advertisers have continued to renew in what has been a sustained down economy. While it wasn’t required, Broward Health has purchased full-page ads in each issue to support the magazine while promoting Broward Health programs and services.

Along with local and national advertising, each issue contains:

  • Articles on leading medical professionals at Broward Health hospitals and affiliated medical practices
  • Success stories of Broward Health patients whose lives were in the balance due to chronic illness, chronic disease or emergency situations
  • Feature stories about local celebrities
  • Tools to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle, along with resources to help assist with all aspects of health living
  • Self-help articles with actionable tips from experts to help readers lose weight, stay fit and deal with specific health problems, such as emotional eating
  • Evaluative pieces that tackle specific health concerns, such as whether infant learning products really work and if name-brand pharmaceuticals are superior to generic drugs
  • Expert Q&A on common medical conditions
  • Profiles of people making a difference in Broward County in a health-related context
The magazine benefits the community by building awareness among readers and healthcare professionals, informs health decision-makers and caregivers, and helps residents navigate the health care resources available in Broward County.
Trish Power, Manager of Media Relations at Broward Health, can be reached at tpower@browardhealth.org.
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