By Marie K. Fitzpatrick, ABC
Here’s a refreshing statement from an unlikely source. According to a Canadian medical sciences society, “this is only the beginning.” It’s all part of a recent innovative marketing and communications strategy that delivers “hands-on” learning at the click of a mouse. Got a lab test? We’ve got a follow-up story for that. Want to know how you might be diagnosed? We’ve got a follow-up story for that. This customer-friendly website gives you the power of information at your fingertips.
And that’s why this cool and interactive website recently won an International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Gold Quill Merit Award. The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS), located in Hamilton, Ontario, is the national certifying body and professional association for medical laboratory professionals and took home the international honours.
Raising Awareness during National Medical Laboratory Week
How did this communications opportunity come about? Every year, CSMLS sponsors the “National Medical Laboratory Week.” This week is hosted to raise awareness about the important work in the laboratory (lab) as part of ongoing patient care.
The marketing and communications team set out to educate the public on the science happening “behind the scenes” in the laboratory. The business objective was to provide the public with a better understanding of how the lab is closely connected to their health care.
“We created a website, medlabprofessionals.ca, as a hub of information throughout the Lab Week campaign,” says Michael Grant, Director of Marketing and Communications.
“The messaging and images on the site were designed to tie together the patient experience with their lab work.”
Anatomy Graphic makes it Real
“Most people are only familiar with the lab from the standpoint of giving a sample to be tested,” says Cathy Bouwers, Project Lead and IABC Golden Horseshoe member. “To change this, we used images of empty sample containers with the line “This is only beginning” on the webpage to help reinforce the message that lab testing goes well beyond giving a sample.”
The website featured an interactive component showing how lab tests are performed on different parts of the body. This was done to help remove the stigma that the lab only deals with blood tests.
Click. See the Test. Understand the How…
By clicking on different buttons on the body, the website user learns about a test and possible diagnosis done on that body part/area. For example, fluid samples taken from the lungs are shown stained under a microscope to depict abnormalities in the cells and how a lab professional detects them.
The website also included information about the different lab professions and specialty areas to help highlight the complexity and education involved in this life services industry.
Have a look yourself! To view the website, go to http://download.csmls.org/medlabprofessionals/.
Marie K. Fitzpatrick, ABC
Marie is an award-winning, accredited business communicator with 25+ years of experience implementing strategic communications. She holds Bachelor of Arts from Ryerson University in Journalism, a certificate in Public Relations and an executive education certificate in Risk and Crisis Communications from McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business. Marie is an avid community builder with more than two decades of volunteering on numerous boards.