Chris Preston, Chief Creative Officer, and Jennifer Spire, CEO, Preston Spire
Chris Preston, Chief Creative Officer, and Jennifer Spire, CEOSince the global pandemic hit, the healthcare industry has witnessed major upheavals, both good and bad. On the positive side, the industry saw a surge in medical technology breakthroughs. But, on the flip side, some of the age-old healthcare inefficiencies became more pronounced. For instance, the crazy quilt of cost overruns and mind-numbing workflow complexities already perturbing the healthcare industry reached a whole new height. As a result of these upheavals, people started panicking and displaying widespread distrust. In other words, the healthcare community started being looked on as a means to an end—a necessary evil—rather than a force for good.

In response to the trends, Preston Spire—a leading-edge marketing agency—felt the urgency to revamp the current marketing strategies and help people restore faith in medical frontline workers in such a difficult time. The key was to publicize and narrate the umpteen positive sides of healthcare that were going unheard in the midst of the chaos.

Irrefutably, no other marketing firm was better suited to fulfill the needs than Preston Spire. The full-service marketing agency is powered by a unique ‘good wins’ approach, which aims at creating experiences that are so meaningful they are welcome in people’s lives. “We believe that when you find, grow, and spread the good, it comes back to you. In the same way, we are helping healthcare organizations, from medical device manufacturers to health systems, to share positive stories and create meaningful connections with people while fighting one of the biggest marketing hurdles of our times,” shares Jennifer Spire, chief executive officerof Preston Spire.

However, Preston Spire is not exclusively a healthcare marketing firm. The company utilizes its same ‘good wins’ approach to marketing for a myriad of other industries, namely retail and e-commerce, consumer packaged goods, and services like banking and insurance, and travel and tourism, while catering to some of the biggest brands in those spaces. Some companies might view this diversity as a lack of niche expertise but not Preston Spire. According to Chris Preston, the chief creative officer of Preston Spire, it is this multi-disciplinary practice that helps the company stay on top of the market trends and implement best practices and out-of-the-box thinking for a particular domain. Simultaneously, it also helps the company gain a stronger footing and recognition in the market. For instance, when the company started working on a wellness marketing project for YMCA, a leading non-profit wellness organization, they ended up gaining more healthcare companies based on wellness trends in healthcare networks as well.

Leading the Charge of Innovative Healthcare Marketing

Preston Spire’s experience in diverse business and industry categories always helps them maneuver healthcare marketing projects uniquely. In that regard, Jennifer sheds light on three particular industry trends that are currently stirring the healthcare marketing domain and how their company is adeptly catering to those needs.

At the top of the list is attending to increased consumer demand for digital-first experiences. Ever since people’s movement has been restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been resorting to online services. Hence, people are expecting even the healthcare industry to offer their services online, not only in terms of medical care delivery via telemedicine practices but also from a healthcare brand’s digital engagement standpoint.

Preston Spire: Perfecting the Art of Positive Messaging

Preston Spire is attending to this through effective and differentiating web and social content; innovative SEO strategies that bring together the best of content and user experience thinking. “We are giving consumers greater control over their health with tools like digital health assessments, care dashboards, search and schedule tools, and even a virtual care clinic,” mentions Jennifer.

A testament to this, as pointed out by Chris, is Preston Spire’s collaboration with HealthPartners, a Minnesota-based non-profit organization providing healthcare delivery and insurance services. When the client had the vision to do something exceptional in terms of their care delivery and coordination, Preston Spire aided them by naming, branding, and launching a 24/7 online clinic, Virtuwell. What made Virtuwell stronger and more potent than any other online care service was its ability to align with the parent brand, HealthPartners, and communicate a cohesive idea seamlessly with patients. Virtuwell is, in fact, considered one of the most successful regional clinics with more than 50,000 customers by its second year, and a 98-99 percent satisfaction rating.

The second trend among hospitals is adopting a more programmatic digital media approach to connect with the right people, at the right time, with the right message. That, coupled with Preston Spire’s ‘good wins’ messaging can help healthcare organizations attain better results for partaking in people’s (community’s) lives positively.

The third, and an associated trend, is communicating with the target audience through omnichannel media. Today’s Gen Z and millennials expect a brand experience and its storytelling to flow through every touchpoint of a health system. Hence, it becomes essential for a healthcare organization to work with a single agency that acts as their brand steward and keep track of all the messaging that goes through each channel. Preston Spire is keen to fulfill all those needs precisely.

Creating T-Shirt Worthy Campaigns

Besides leading the charge of the industry trends, one of the biggest differentiators for Preston Spire is manifesting far-reaching marketing campaigns. The company, in this regard, has an unusual way of judging a campaign’s success. Chris says, “If the partakers of the campaign, the healthcare organization’s employees, are not willing to wear the t-shirt of the campaign with pride, it hasn’t hit its mark.”
Under the hood of making this ‘t-shirt worthy’ campaign possible is Preston Spire’s four-phase process: discover, direction, imagine, and manage. While discover and direction aim at auditing all of the client’s internal and external communications to identify their brand relevance, imagine and manage relate to developing an outstanding branding or marketing strategy and bringing it to fruition.

A case in point is healthcare provider, CHI Franciscan’s Northwest Healthy campaign. Research suggested deep-seated regional pride for Franciscan Health Network in Seattle and Tacoma, but a recent organizational merger with CHI led to market confusion, lowering patient satisfaction. Preston Spire, therefore, created a brand-building, community-positive health movement centered on wellness. The aim of the campaign was to emphasize the role of CHI Franciscan as a healthcare provider to showcase the health and vitality associated with the people living in the Great Northwest. In weeks, the Northwest Healthy campaign became a regional phenomenon. “We started seeing people wearing the dark navy-blue t-shirt with Northwest Healthy logo like a badge of regional honor and clicking selfies and posting on social media,” says Chris. Such is the power of a t-shirt worthy campaign.

Blazing a Trail in Positive Marketing

Preston Spire believes that the path to achieving great marketing outcomes is only possible when they practice what they preach. Rightly so, the company has strong brand values driven by strong DEI initiatives that make each of their employees heard and empowered. Preston Spire also follows an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that makes the employees equal contributors to the company’s success. The aspect of positivity is at the center of everything that the company does. So much so that they kickstart every week with an employee sharing an inspiring and positive message to the organization.

The full-service marketing agency is powered by a unique ‘good wins’ approach, which aims at creating experiences so meaningful they are welcome in people’s lives


From the business growth standpoint, Preston Spire is always looking to expand its horizon. A testament to this is the company’s recent relocation to a bigger office with a dedicated content studio for more meaningful, positive, and targeted messaging for its clients. At the same time, the company is working on conducting a Good Brand Index this year that is specifically dedicated to gathering insights for the healthcare category. The future shines positively for Preston Spire.