February 6, 2015
As an independent community pharmacist, you’re well aware of the importance of national health observances—special days, weeks and months dedicated to highlighting different health issues. They create awareness for important public health topics, raise money for research and make important services available to the public.
By celebrating health observances in your pharmacy, you can gain new patients and community partners, and create greater awareness for your pharmacy’s services.
Here are some ways you can use health observances to boost business at your pharmacy.
Planning your promotions ahead of time is easy. The dates for national health observances are already established, so it’s simple to set a timeline and a framework for your promotions around them.
Just pick a few observances that relate to what you offer in your pharmacy, or what’s important in your community (some good ones for independent community pharmacies are American Heart Month, National Nutrition Month, Stress Awareness Week, Men’s Health Month and Women’s Health Month.) And, fill your calendar with in-store events, themed decorating ideas, social media blasts and more. Even better, you’ll already have a theme, educational materials and event ideas from the sponsoring organizations to get you started.
(Learn more about creating a promotional calendar for your pharmacy.)
Health observances are a great time to inform your community about products and services you offer that people might not know about. You can promote your immunization services during National Immunization Awareness Month in August, for example, or your in-store nutritionist during National Nutrition Month in March.
Try posting a special coupon on your social media sites, or sending out targeted direct mailings with discounts to get new patients into your pharmacy. Let as many people as you can know about what your pharmacy can offer them.
Use health observances to make all of your patients feel special. Look into Every Kid Healthy Week (April 20-24), National Minority Health Month (April), National Women’s Health Week (May 10-16), National Senior Health & Fitness Day (May 28) and more to help you make sure everyone gets the VIP treatment.
You could offer front-end discounts for patients during the observances, or you could partner with local schools, women’s groups or clinics to bring your pharmacy to them. Reaching out can help your pharmacy appeal to all demographics in your community.
If you’re not sure how to reach out to physicians in your area, why not use a health observance? Celebrate different health observances by thanking physicians for the work they’ve done in your community. At the same time, you can introduce your pharmacy and demonstrate how you can help them improve patient outcomes.
National Doctors’ Day is March 30, but that’s not the only time you can do this. Take advantage of specific health observances to reach out to specialists. Make an office visit to your local dermatologists on World Psoriasis Day (October 29), or contact your local nephrologist on World Kidney Day (March 12).
Hosting a celebration for a national health observance is a great way to get media attention for your pharmacy. Sponsoring organizations will often list your events on their websites, and local news outlets will happily promote an event that benefits the community.
Whether you offer free glucose screenings for American Diabetes Month in November, or host a CPR training session for American Heart Month in February, find as many partners as you can to promote the event. Or, pitch a story about your specialty services during the health observance.
Check out healthfinder.gov for even more health observances you can celebrate in your pharmacy.