Case Study: Health Care Services – Overcoming “NIMBY”

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Case Study: Health Care Services – Overcoming “NIMBY”

Case 2: Overcoming a “Not in My Back Yard” Attitude to Build a New Hospital

Before Hiring Ethridge

Baptist Memorial Health Care, a world leader in quality healthcare, headquartered in Memphis, TN, wanted to build a new hospital branch in a suburban community, Collierville, TN. When word reached the Collierville community that Baptist was considering building this branch, there was a “fire storm” of both positive and negative public reaction. Citizens who responded positively recognized the need for a hospital in their community. However, citizens who reacted negatively were more concerned about the commercialization that building the hospital would bring near to their home. Therefore, the hospital faced a major public relations battle before they could get community approval to build the new hospital. The hospital wanted to conduct a Community Attitude Survey to understand opinions on the issue and the messages that the hospital would need to use to gain public approval of the new hospital.

After Hiring Ethridge

Having conducted numerous image and positioning studies for Baptist Memorial Health care using our proprietary Marketing Opportunity Analysis service, as well as Employee Satisfaction Surveys among doctors, nurses and administrative staff in the past, Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C. was contacted to conduct a custom-designed, scientific Community Attitude Survey in Collierville on this issue, using a scientific telephone sample survey methodology. We found the barriers to approval and the benefits that outweighed the barriers in the minds of the majority of those who represented the “Not in My Backyard” and the “undecided” groups of citizens. We recommended the strategic message themes that the hospital would need to use in the public relations campaign to convert people from these negative or neutral segments into the segments of citizens who supported building the new hospital.

Results of Following Ethridge’s Recommendations

The hospital’s communication department followed Ethridge’s recommendations. As a result, the hospital branch gained public approval, was opened, and has been benefiting the Collierville community now for several years (

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