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Event Recap: How My HealtheVet Helped the VA Drive Programmatic Success

Government programs can’t be successful if potential participants don’t know about them. In order to achieve this awareness, organizations need to have a strategy for meeting the right audiences, on the right channel at the right time.

Some organizations like the Department of Veterans Affairs are already doing this. So Granicus brought in Chip Harman, Content Strategy Manager for My HealtheVet, to share his wisdom with other public sector communicators about how they’ve accomplished it.

The My HealtheVet Newsletter was created in late 2015 with really just one purpose. “The whole point of the newsletter is to drive people to the website so they can sign up for services to better manage their health,” Harman said.

These critical services include refilling prescriptions online, sending and receiving secure messages with members of the veteran’s health care team, and setting up doctor appointments all in a centralized portal.

Before the launch of the My HealtheVet newsletter, communicating the available services to veterans was difficult. Harman explained, “Prior to the newsletter launch, we saw veterans visiting the portal every three weeks, and we decided we needed to drive more traffic.”

Through the first newsletter send, they were able to secure 20,000 subscribers, but Harman knew this wasn’t enough, especially as they prepared to change their content management system and website design. “Our average age of subscriber is 64 years old – we knew we had to be proactive about our communications about these changes because a 64-year-old does not adapt to digital change as well as a 24-year-old.”

To get his message to the right audience, Harman and his team partnered with Granicus to implement a communications strategy that utilized the 2.8 million email addresses they had collected over 13 years.

Through this multi-year campaign, Harman saw My HealtheVet subscribers jump from 30,000 to over 500,000. “The subscriptions are good, but they’re not the best part,” he said. “The best part is that because of these subscriptions, we have more people reading through the content on our website and getting the critical information that they need.”

However, Harman isn’t stopping there. By continuing to refine his content and communications strategies, he is optimistic that he can increase subscriptions and ultimately increase veterans’ access to health care information.

To learn more about how Granicus can help you achieve your programmatic goals, contact us here.