Division C - Audio/Visual Tools of Public Relations
Category 9 - Web Site
Brooks Rehabilitation Web Site
Cheryl Munn, Matthew Brady, Brooks Rehabilitation

Award of Distinction

Research/Situation Analysis: In 2005, Brooks Rehabilitation launched a branding campaign, during which we developed a new image and overall message—“So you can be you again.” With our new brand in place, we went about converting all of our marketing materials to reflect the new face of Brooks. Through focus groups conducted with both employees and stakeholders, we learned that our old site was not consumer-friendly or easy to navigate, and the content was outdated. It was clear that our website, www.brooksrehab.org, needed to be rebuilt with a new look and new content that would attract and engage consumers looking for rehabilitation. This would require an outside contractor to update the site. In addition, our Marketing & PR team knew we needed a Content Management System (CMS) so that we could update content ourselves. Brooks hired Boston -based, MedTouch, to handle the site design. As part of the process, MedTouch added Google Analytics to our site to comprehensively track all visitors. We found that 62% of our visitors didn’t look at any pages on the site aside from the homepage. The site was used primarily as a way of finding contact information, rather than for the actual content.

Objectives: 1. To increase website traffic by 25% by December 2006
2. To increase the amount of time visitors spend on the site from 2.3 to at least 3.3 page views
3. To reduce home page exits from 62% in March to 25%
4. To create an online resource for patients with information about the admission process and post downloadable admissions forms. Success would be measured by web traffic, and patients filling out admission forms before coming to Brooks. Our goal was 10 patients coming to Brooks with admission forms completed
5. To make it more convenient for Worker’s Comp Case Managers to get their patients admitted to Brooks by posting e-mail ready referral pages. The goal was to receive 10 by e-mail

Implementation: The Marketing & PR Department met with Brooks Management to determine what different departments wanted to see on the site. As a result, a list of functions and features to build into the website was developed. We made the decision to design the site around our three distinct, yet integrated business lines: our inpatient hospital, outpatient centers, and health and fitness center. With these organizational decisions made, we created the blueprint, or “wireframe”, of the site. During the wireframe stage we also conducted primary research with paid subjects who were assigned four tasks to determine if they could find the information they needed to complete those tasks. The research was successful in three out of four tasks. The fourth task, directing patients to get a referral from their physician was only 60% successful. Those results led to a design change for the website. We added “Get a Referral” to the top navigation on each page of the website and highlighted it in a blue box. Next, more than 100 pages of content were written. Throughout the writing process, our goal was to develop the content with a clear message that was in line with the branding campaign of the previous year.

Evaluation: The new site was launched on August 15, 2006 and was an immediate success. Informal research reinforced that our new brand objectives were supported by the site design. From August 1 through 14, our website had 2,347 visitors and 6,008 page views. Once the new site was launched, traffic increased remarkably. From August 15 through 31, 3,288 visitors came to the site for a total of 16,621 page views.
1. Our site experienced a 40% increase in visitors and a 176% increase in page views
2. More people come to the site, and they spent a significantly longer time on the site. Average page views nearly doubled from 2.3 to 4.5 per visit
3. We reduced home page exits from 62% in March to 18% in September
4. Since launching the website so far, more than 20 patients have filled out admissions forms before coming to Brooks. Our Coming to Brooks section is among the top 10 pages viewed
5. Posting referral forms for Worker’s Comp case managers has lead to 36 e-mailed referrals. Our outpatient referral coordinator’s call volume has tripled and we hired three new employees to answer those calls
As 2007 progresses we are seeing an upward trend in website visitors, with a whopping 35,000 page views in January. We are consistently receiving more than 25,000 page views per month. Now instead of complaints about the website we are getting compliments and requests for additions to the site.

Budget: The budget for the project was $150,000 which included $62,500 for site design, architecture and template production. Writing and page design was $59,400. We also purchased monthly service hours at $22,200 for one year to help us build out the site. Other costs included photography, travel, etc. Our actual was slightly under budget at $149,500. We spent approximately 500 staff hours on the site.