Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Walker, Albert, 1920-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


Hospitals--Illinois--Marketing; Public relations--Illinois--Hospitals


Experts are predicting that between 1,000 to 1,500 hospitals will close in the next five years, Professor Philip Kotler said in 1979. "One reason they'll fold," he said, "is that instead of marketing, these hospitals do nothing but pray." More than 20 years ago, Theodore Levitt argued in Marketing Myopia that the price of a static definition of an organization's business may be its extinction. For too many years, the health care industry held a static definition of its business. Levitt's prediction is coming true for many hospitals as they find their business disappearing because of the economy, new government payment plans and regulations, alternate health care delivery systems and competition. In 1979, Alan Blitz wrote a thesis on "Marketing Health Care: Case Studies for Chief Executive Officers in Illinois Hospital Association Facilities." In it, he concluded that hospital marketing, while in its early stages in Illinois hospitals, was expanding and would eventually be used by most successful hospitals. This study, "A Survey of Health Care Marketing in Illinois Hospital Association Hospitals—1979-1986," updated Blitz's work and demonstrated the remarkable growth of marketing in Illinois hospitals since 1979. It drew upon a survey administered in 1985 by the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA). It compared results of the 1985 study with the 1979 study used in Blitz's work. In addition, follow-up interviews of those persons interviewed by Blitz, and interviews of professionals active in hospital marketing in Illinois and IHA staff detailed marketing growth and trends in Illinois hospitals. Evidence from current literature in the health care field also was presented to support claims of marketing growth. Another focus of this study drew upon Blitz's work on the role of public relations professionals in the marketing function. This role, too, had expanded since 1979. However, it also was threatened by the marketing growth in hospitals as many institutions bypassed public relations professionals to hire others to carry out the marketing function. The threats to this field were discussed in a survey of the literature and in-depth interviews. Recommendations were made as to how public relations professionals can enhance their positions and growth in management through a knowledge of marketing.


Bibliography: pages [139]-147.


258 pages




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