On May 15, 2014, the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) recognized Brattleboro Memorial Hospital with top honors, a Gold Lamplighter Award, for its YouTube video, “We’re Here for You” BMH Employees Reach Out to the Community.

The video features hospital staff and physicians who made contributions to BMH’s “Doorway to Exceptional Care” fundraising campaign, singing and dancing their way through the Emergency Department construction space. Images and sounds of opening and closing doors, and lyrics touting the merits of the new Emergency Department were the foundation of the video, encouraging viewers to “Join Us. Give Now.” The final video also included out-takes and bloopers from the participants to provide an additional level of engagement with the audience.

Nicole Zinn, Social Media and Communications Manager at BMH spearheaded the project. BMH Development and Community Relations staff wrote the “We’re Here for You” song, which was performed by Dover, Vermont-based singer/songwriter Colby Dix. Mondo Mediaworks of Brattleboro shot and edited the video, and Brattleboro School of Dance faculty and talent were on hand to aid with choreography. The YouTube video was played 3,712 times from September through December 2013.

According to Executive Director of Development and Community Relations Ellen D. Smith, “In a community with a total population of approximately 12,000 people, the distribution, awareness, and engagement this video garnered was amazing. One would hear ‘brags’ about it in Rotary meetings, comments in grocery stores, and feedback from hospital patients and volunteers. The fun, feel-good, and viral quality of the video was instrumental in successfully increasing awareness of our fundraising campaign and had a direct impact on the level of engagement and assisting the hospital in exceeding its $3.5 million fundraising goal.”

BMH was among 53 other hospitals, healthcare facilities, and marketing/advertising agencies recognized by NESHCo for excellence in marketing, public relations, and communications. Awards were presented at the annual NESHCo Spring Conference’s Lamplighter Awards Gala, held this year in Mystic, Connecticut.

The Lamplighters were established to showcase and honor healthcare communications excellence in the New England region. The 2014 competition included 365 entries from 69 organizations throughout the region. Entries were judged by the Georgia Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations, the Illinois Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations, the Louisiana Society for Hospital Public Relations and Marketing, and the Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society. Altogether, 208 awards (gold, silver, and awards of excellence) were given to 54 organizations.

According to NESHCo President Scott Orstad, “Hospitals, healthcare facilities, and marketing/advertising agencies are submitting works of excellence to the Lamplighter Awards in record numbers. Being recognized by the New England Society of Healthcare Communications has taken on its own stature as an acknowledgement of excellence in marketing, communications, advertising and overall strategy. We are proud that our association has created this level of recognition for New England professionals who excel in their work.”

For four decades, NESHCo has served as the region’s premier professional development organization for communication professionals working in the healthcare industry. The Society is composed of nearly 300 members throughout New England. For more information, visit NESHCo online at www.neshco.org.

For more information, contact BMH at 802-257-0341 or visit the hospital online at www.bmhvt.org.