- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2003

Inova Health System, faced with the nationwide nursing shortage, is using an ad campaign to help recruit qualified nurses and retain those already there, and the program is showing results.
The Northern Virginia not-for-profit health system, which has five hospitals in its network, last year hired RightMinds, a Richmond-based ad agency, to design an advertising and marketing program to help combat the nursing shortage and distinguish Inova from the competition.
"The campaign is designed to recruit nurses, help retain [Inovas] nurses and generally build an awareness of Inova," said Peter Habenicht, vice president at RightMinds.
In the first quarter of this year, Inova saw a 56 percent jump in online nursing applications compared with the fourth quarter of last year. Since September, Inova, which employs 4,000 nurses, has reduced its nurse vacancy rate to 6.2 percent from slightly more than 10 percent, said Maureen Murphy, senior director of recruitment at Inova, which also has other health services, such as emergency and urgent care centers, nursing homes, home care and mental health services.
The competition for nurses is fierce as they are bombarded with recruitment messages from all across the country and lured by such perks as signing bonuses, Mr. Habenicht said.
"They are being recruited like they are sports stars," he said.
RightMinds created print ads featuring real Inova nurses telling their stories. Those ads have run in at least a dozen magazines and other publications. In October, 5,000 direct-mail pieces were sent out in the region and as far as Kentucky and Delaware. Inova also has 6-by-4-foot signs at Tysons Corner Center and Fair Oaks mall.
Mr. Habenicht said the agency is gearing up for the next wave of advertising, which will include more print advertising and another direct-mail wave later in the year. Radio may be added to the campaign in the fall.
New wins
Capital One Financial Corp. has selected McCann-Erickson Worldwide, which had its headquarters in New York, as its new agency of record. Billings are estimated between $145 million and $170 million, industry trade publications reported.
The McLean-based bank holding company started its search for a new agency in the fall and invited several agencies to participate in the review. D'Arcy Advertising was the incumbent and designed the "What's in your wallet?" campaign to create awareness of Capital One's services and products.
Walczy.hamilton.tran.meyers was hired by the PGA of America to unify the identity, branding and overall graphics for the more than 25,000-member organization. The Bethesda-based agency will create a virtual graphics standards manual linked to the PGA Web site. PGA golf professionals then will be able to download corporate materials, tournament logos and design guidelines to use in their individual marketing and advertising.
Weber Shandwick has been hired by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade to promote Egyptian cotton in the United States and Europe. Six Weber Shandwick offices around the world, including Washington, will work with Promoseven | Weber Shandwick in Cairo on a fully integrated campaign to market the Egyptian cotton brand and its logo.
Imre Communications, which has its headquarters in Towson, Md., has added two clients to its roster. The agency will handle public relations and marketing for Louisiana Pacific's Specialty Siding Products division in Charlotte, N.C., and Castrol Heavy Duty Lubricants in Baltimore.
Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.

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