ideas worth stealing[Series Installment] “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” –Jean-Luc Godard

Pure creativity is seldom born from a blank piece of paper. There’s nothing new under the sun, they say, but be open to sources of inspiration. Consider, for example, that Henry Ford did not invent the automobile, Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb, and Apple did not invent the tablet computer.

Is there a raw concept that you can take to the next level? Some basic ground rules…

  • Establish a goal first and then devise a promotional concept to achieve it. (Not the other way around.)
  • Be wary of “old thing, new year.” Too much repetition wears thin.
  • Not all ideas are suitable to your needs and goals.
  • Measure and report meaningful results that are connected to specific goal(s).

Despite the attention-getting alliteration of our headline, we’re not making a case for promotional plagiarism. Instead, consider ideas like these as food for thought…an intellectual springboard for your own original promotional takeoff and marketing ideas.

Baystate Health Innovation Center

This is an ambitious concept, and Baystate Health in Massachusetts is using a multi-million dollar grant to launch a healthcare-tech innovation center for public and private companies to accelerate new “patient experience-enhancing technology.” Baystate is one of several organizations in the US that are supporting innovation to lower costs and improve care at the intersection of technology and health care delivery. [More about this here.]

Houston First Responders Carry Doc-in-a-Tablet Video Chat

Firemen answering 911 calls now have the ability to connect a doctor with a non-emergency medical situation via video chat. Houston responders—who often encounter non-life-threatening events—now carry a tablet that allows a doctor to talk directly with the patient. In many instances, patients benefit from the “video house call,” and receive further help at a local clinic without a more costly ER visit. [More about this here.]

Seattle Children’s Inspires Area-Wide “April Pools Day” Events

This hospital created an water safety event. Then they recruited local swimming pool owners/operators in the community and helped stage and promote the event. Seattle Children’s posted information about hosting an event at local pools, and provided “how-to” promotional tips, suggestions and a life-jacket giveaway prize for each location. [More about this here.]

These ideas illustrate the concept that originality is not always original, and creative raw material like these are widely available as inspiration.

“Nothing is original,” advises American independent filmmaker and producer Jim Jarmusch. “Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul.

“If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.”

Please let us know if you have a hospital or healthcare promotional idea or community event—success or not-so-hot—that you want to share with others. And for other articles in this series, see:

Lonnie Hirsch

Subscribe to the Healthcare Success Marketing Blog

Join 19,000+ fellow healthcare marketers! Get Healthcare Success' latest marketing articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:

Stewart Gandolf

Stewart Gandolf

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Healthcare Success Strategies
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is CEO of Healthcare Success, a medical marketing and health care advertising agency. He is also a frequent writer and speaker. Most importantly, he is happily married and a "rock-n-roll daddy" to two wonderful girls.
Stewart Gandolf
Stewart Gandolf


Thank you for sharing. Like us to stay in touch with our latest posts.