Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations

Marketing Women’s Health
Getting Published in Radiology: Advice from the Editors
Long-Awaited Web Site a Hit

Marketing Women’s Health

Word of mouth had been the primary means of advertising for Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center during its earlier years, and that method had worked out pretty well for the freestanding facility that opened its doors in 1983 in Knoxville, Tenn. Women raved about their experiences to mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and friends, and the center established a rapport with referring physicians.

“That was how our practice was built, on word of mouth,” recalled Andrew Gitschlag, practice administrator. But times change, and so do marketing methods.

More than a decade later, the center was ready for an expansion, and in 1997, the center added a dedicated breast surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, plastic reconstructive surgeons, and a high-risk assessment coordinator. With a commitment to utilizing the latest advancements in technology, the center acquired an Aurora 1.5T Dedicated Breast MRI System with SpiralRODEO in 2002, which presented clinicians with increased image quality in less scan time. Most importantly, Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center continued its quest to educate not only its current and prospective patients, but also referring doctors, on its personal mission to provide the best quality care.

Gitschlag explained that the center has vested much time in community outreach, sending the message out to women that they have a choice in selecting their imaging center, and that they don’t need referrals to make an appointment. The facility also has honed in on two other areas: building even stronger relationships with referring physicians through regular meetings, and constantly improving the practice by conducting surveys and listening to patient feedback. For example, the Breast Center brought in ultrasound gel warmers after patients indicated that the gel was too cold. It’s the little things that add up, Gitschlag noted, and the small enhancements all help to assuage the fears of women getting mammograms.

The center is also known in the neighborhood for two yearly community service events it hosts in October. In one, Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center sponsors a salon day for cancer survivors, and in the other, the center teams up with a local radio station to offer free mammogram screenings. This year, the center’s physicians performed 107 screenings, many of them for those without health insurance. In addition to events, the center has received success from its radio promos and print ads and, recently, television commercials. An ad that might run in a local newspaper would feature a woman consulting with a physician or in a comforting pose. This is a powerful message, Gitschlag said, because for many women, it’s really about the compassionate care they receive.

“We’ve done such a good job that we’re looking for one or two more breast radiologists to accommodate all the women who come here,” Gitschlag said, adding that the center averages 175 to 200 patients a month.

Like Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center, Radiology Ltd, of Tucson, Ariz, was built on a solid foundation, but looked to embark on an overall branding campaign.

“With more than 70 years in Tucson, we had a very good reputation within the medical community, but we had no face or name for the general public or the patients we were seeing on a daily basis,” said Stephanie Boreale, director of professional relations. “It was first necessary to start with a larger, more generic campaign that addressed who we are and why we are here and then from there expand on the details of the company.”

In lifestyle magazines and playbills, the practice ran a number of print ads that had been designed in-house. Not only was the campaign effective, it also led to accolades from the Radiology Business Management Association, which honored the practice with a gold Quest marketing award for advertising.

With regard to women’s services, Boreale said the practice had to approach its marketing in an entirely different way than the strategies used toward marketing diagnostic imaging. The focus was on educating a patient population who has control over the choice to get a mammogram in the first place, she continued.

“Women are the decision makers in most households and in most cases are the ones initiating a screening exam,” Boreale explained. “With that said, it is important for women to understand the benefits of one imaging center over another.”

Radiology Ltd has seen success from its marketing efforts. “With short runs of our women’s services campaign in print, we see immediate spikes in our centralized scheduling queue to schedule mammograms,” Boreale said. “There is a definite correlation between our advertising and the number of scheduled exams.” In fact, the combination of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and advertising had created backlogs in November and December, Boreale said, adding the practice plans to revive its marketing efforts through a direct mail campaign this month.

—Elaine Sanchez

Getting Published in Radiology: Advice from the Editors

Research is essential to establishing a professional reputation, but the editor and editor-designate of Radiology, the Radiological Society of North America’s prestigious peer-reviewed science journal, warn that attention to detail in the submission process is paramount to getting studies published. Editor Anthony V. Proto, MD, and editor-designate Herbert Y. Kressel, MD, shared submission hints and tips in the September issue of RSNA News.

First off, be sure your science is intact. “We want to publish the best of the submissions we receive regarding original hypothesis-driven research,” said Proto. “Authors should take the time and the effort to make sure the science in their study is not clouded by problems over which the authors have control.” Many of the Radiology guidelines for preparation and submission of manuscripts address these issues, which can range from conflicts of interest to authorship and clinical trial registration.

“Authors should pay careful attention to our guidelines regarding authorship and meeting the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors criteria for authorship,” said Proto. “Also, we urge authors to pay careful attention to required statements in the manuscript regarding institutional review board approval, informed consent, and HIPAA compliance for prospective or retrospective studies, and similarly appropriate approval by an animal care and use committee for studies involving animals. These are issues of human and animal rights.”

Kressel, who will take over editorship of the journal in January 2008, notes that authors need to know the purpose of their submission. “My experience has been that authors really need to pay a lot of attention to the purpose of their paper, and make sure they’re clear in their own mind as to what the purpose is,” he said. “With regard to the way that data has been collected, authors need to pay attention to any bias in case selection on a clinical paper, or lack of controls on a more basic science paper.”

And he added that brevity is key in the discussion section: “People tend to want to include a lot of information in the discussion that may not be really pertinent. I think it’s important to avoid the pitfall of being speculative in the discussion.”

Proto also warns of the importance of double- and even triple-checking for consistency among the manuscript’s sections. “An author who submits a manuscript that demonstrates internal inconsistencies, lack of clarity, and lack of focus can portray to the reviewers that maybe he or she is not that interested in publishing the manuscript in the journal,” he said.

At this year’s RSNA meeting, Proto and RadioGraphics Editor William M. Olmsted, MD, led a course entitled “Reviewing Manuscripts for the RSNA Journals.” Further information on submissions can also be found at Radiology’s Manuscript Central portal, located at

—Cat Vasko

Long-Awaited Web Site a Hit

The physicians and personnel of Carolina Radiology Associates, based in Myrtle Beach, SC, knew a Web site was long overdue.

It was, after all, 2005, and the nearly 40-year-old practice needed to get with the times. The group’s marketing committee discussed the idea at a meeting, decided to move ahead with it, and made it the year’s priority.

Two hundred man-hours and 1,500 cups of coffee later, the folks at a local full-service ad agency called T2H Advertising launched the long-awaited online resource, and it was a winner—literally.

Within 5 months, the Radiology Business Management Association awarded it the Winning Web site distinction at its annual Quest Marketing Awards. To experience the winning Web site, visit:

“We think the Web site reflects the type of practice we are,” said Marjorie Thompson, Carolina Radiology’s practice administrator. “It’s kind of a classic look, with an updated style. There are good, hardworking physicians in the practice who like to stay cutting edge in medicine.”

Designed in the form of a medical record complete with colorful tabs and vivid pictures, “Carolina Radiology—A Higher Standard” was made not to look like the typical “stuffy” doctors’ Web sites, said Jeff Thompson, T2H creative director and partner. “We wanted it to be a little more fun,” he said.

“I always liked looking behind the counter and seeing rows and rows of charts, and that was the first thing that popped into my head,” Jeff Thompson said, on his inspiration for the creative design.

Aside from its artistic originality, the site is primarily an informative resource for patients. Concise, yet detailed, descriptions are provided for a variety of modalities and procedures, from CT and ultrasound, to angioplasty and myelography.

“It can put their minds at ease when they have concerns about what these procedures are,” Marjorie Thompson said. “What to expect is usually the biggest concern for patients, and being able to see things ahead of time can really help.”

The site also includes information on individual doctors: their specialties, their educational background, and the locations of imaging centers in which they provide their services. Phone numbers and addresses of each facility are easily accessible, in addition to the contact information of the practice’s corporate office and billing services.

However, there is even more to the Web site than meets the eye. In addition to being an informative tool for patients, the site serves a functional purpose for Carolina Radiology’s staff. Through the internal network, employees can access their e-mail as well as the work schedules, home addresses, and cell phone and beeper numbers of all physicians and personnel.

Setting up this internal feature was partly why the development of the site took relatively long for T2H, said company representatives, adding they typically churn out sites every couple of months.

“The biggest challenge was for them internally being able to update all the content and have it reflected on the Web site on the fly,” Jeff Thompson said.

In the end, though, everything worked out. T2H held a photo shoot at the business, where it captured the images currently seen on the site, and later, it carried out a successful launch campaign. From time to time, minor tweaks are performed to fix little glitches people see along the way, in an effort to make the site as user-friendly as possible.

While Marjorie Thompson admits she can’t say whether the site has generated additional referrals, she noted that it has solidified their practice as a resource. It is also a source of pride for all parties involved in its creation.

T2H Marketing Director and partner Kristin Hardee agrees. “It’s really awesome to be able to achieve something like that,” Hardee said. “We wanted above else to make [Marjorie] and her practice look good, and to have that work recognized was just a wonderful thing. It was such a treat.”

—E. Sanchez