“We’re trying to make people healthy so they don’t have to come here,” said Boyer, Inova Health System’s senior manager of digital communications, of the wellness-based promotion Fit for 50.
Using former All-Pro NFL cornerback and wellness enthusiast Darrell Green as its frontman, Inova has launched a Web-heavy campaign to encourage those in the metro Washington, D.C., area to get in shape regardless of where they are in life.
While initially targeting the audience of 50-somethings — the name of the program came about as Green turned 50 this year — Boyer said they have found that the wellness tips offered by Green and Inova physicians have broad applicability to people of most age groups.
“We use this to get [people] engaged and start to build trust, and eventually we might be able to get them involved in something else,” Boyer said, mentioning wellness classes offered by a hospital, as well as a variety of specialty services that segments of the population may find applicable.
Having the personality-laden Green as the face of the endeavor has meant a huge success, as more than 6,500 people have signed up to personalize their fitness challenges, encourage one another on the Fit for 50 Facebook page and watch Green’s fitness video clips on the Fit for 50 website.
“I didn’t realize the extent to which physicians would become part of the program,” Boyer said. “We did video tips with Darrell, and unscripted at a hospital, he pulled a doctor aside and started talking about fitness. It was very approachable and had that right tone.”
Boyer said there is often a challenge in getting physicians involved in marketing efforts, but this one became easy for Inova.
“Once we did one or two of those (video clips), word began to spread,” he said. “We had 50 individual doctors talking to us about a variety of different topics.”
The chance to have doctors participate in giving wellness tips, along with having nearly 2,000 of the 6,500 people who signed up for the self-driven fitness challenge having never been Inova patients, has shown the success of the program — so much so that it will be extended from the original 50 days to more than one year into 2011.
Boyer’s analysis of the program also led him to find that the Facebook and website audiences were somewhat different — almost half of those who signed up on the Facebook page didn’t use the fitness-challenge information on the website.
“I believe social media is where communities of interest gather,” Boyer said, describing the Facebook page as almost its own little community. “Sharing fitness tips was something people were very open to doing.”