Carol Dobies Joins Gift of Life Board of Directors

Carol Dobies, MBA, Founder and CEO of Dobies Health Marketing

Carol Dobies, MBA, Founder and CEO of Dobies Health Marketing

Carol Dobies, MBA, founder and chief executive officer of Dobies Health Marketing, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for Gift of Life, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating Greater Kansas City communities about transplantation.

For more than two decades, Gift of Life has served as a national model for support, awareness and success of organ, eye and tissue donation. The organization collaborates with the transplant community, civic groups and area schools – driving the conversation through education and providing opportunities for transplant recipients to support and mentor current patients.

“I am honored to join the Gift of Life Board of Directors because I share their passion for greater awareness, understanding and collaboration,” Dobies said. “As a new Board member, I believe my marketing expertise and experience with the organ donation and transplantation industry can contribute to the mission, and I am eager to do my part to reduce the number of people on transplant waiting lists in Kansas and Missouri.”

As owner of Kansas-City based Dobies Health Marketing, Dobies has worked with numerous organizations associated with organ transplantation and donation over the past 30 years. She previously served on the board for the American Board for Transplant Certification, and she has long supported Midwest Transplant Network and regional and national clients with missions to elevate awareness of the life-saving power of organ donation and transplantation.

“Gift of Life’s vision and goals align closely with our company’s commitment to community service and our mission to help people make better decisions about their health,” Dobies said.

About Dobies Health Marketing

Since 1992, Dobies Health Marketing has offered highly specialized expertise in strategy-first marketing for health companies. The Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire health industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to technology firms, medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. With a promise to always engage strategy first, their mission combines strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

Students Get a Taste of Healthier Eating Through Apple a Day Program

Carol Dobies works with Cristo Rey seniors for the Apple a Day program.

Carol Dobies, CEO of Dobies Health Marketing, helps teach high school seniors about eating healthy.

April 11, 2019 – Dobies Health Marketing and Natural Grocers joined forces again yesterday for the third annual Apple a Day event at Cristo Rey Kansas City, a Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth High School. This year, the focus was on engaging the senior class in healthy food choices as they transition into adulthood. By creating healthy foods together with the seniors in small-group sessions, the Apple a Day presenters provided hands-on guidance, resources and recipes that will serve the students well in college and beyond.

The Apple a Day program, created by Dobies Health Marketing, is available to pair corporate sponsors with schools to demonstrate to local students how easy it is to eat healthier. Inspired by the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” the program is designed to educate youth and their families on the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day, so they can begin to offset their risks for chronic diseases and obesity.

Natural Grocers shares nutritious recipes during interactive Apple a Day educational sessions.

The Apple a Day event is part of Cristo Rey’s Health Day, when students take part in a variety of fun programs related to health, fitness, safety and wellness. Courtesy of Dobies Health Marketing and Natural Grocers, each senior received a fresh, organic apple along with take-home tips, recipes and food suggestions. In addition, the seniors were encouraged to enter a prize contest by sharing photos of themselves eating the healthy foods on social media.

The seniors then prepared some easy, nutritious snacks with Brooke Seiz, Nutritional Health Coach at Natural Grocers. Seiz, a graduate of the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, Colo., is board certified by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals and has additional training in functional medicine and counseling psychology.

Social purpose is an important part of our company ethos,” said Julie Amor, president and chief strategy officer at Dobies Health Marketing, adding that Apple a Day is one of three elements that comprise the firm’s GIVE-JOIN-CARE approach to corporate social engagement:

  • GIVE: Dobies Health Marketing donates one percent of its net revenue back to the local community each year, providing funds to causes that promote better health.
  • JOIN: Dobies Health Marketing, in partnership with Natural Grocers, inspires healthy choices and addresses childhood/adolescent obesity – one apple at a time (through the Apple a Day program).
  • CARE: Dobies Health Marketing employees regularly volunteer for causes and events that create healthy Kansas City communities.

“We love to engage in creating healthier communities and support a cause-driven culture – not only for ourselves, but for our clients as well,” Amor said. “There’s no better feeling than knowing we are making a difference in how people think about health.”

RELATED READING: Dobies Health Marketing Named Healthy KC Company for Third Straight Year

View more photos and details from the event on Facebook. Sample some delicious but nutritious foods for yourself by trying out the recipes below (click on an image to view the full recipe). Companies interested in sponsoring a school through the Apple a Day program can contact us online or call 816.753.3336 for more information.

Picture of Salmon Dill Dip with VegetablesPicture of No Bake Apple CookiesPicture of Healthy Avocado ToastPicture of a woman making a healthy smoothie

About Dobies Health Marketing

Since 1992, Dobies Health Marketing has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. Together, we combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

The Authentic Art of Doing Good

Corporate social responsibility is good for healthcare.

image of the letters "C", "R", "S" which stand for corporate social responsibility There is a growing body of evidence around the benefits of corporate social responsibility (and its more modern, team-inclusive counterpart, corporate social engagement). A strong strategy can help build consumer loyalty, recruit and retain employees, and differentiate the brand in a competitive market.

Regardless of the brand benefits, for a corporate social responsibility strategy to be successful, it must be authentic and intimately connected to the culture of the organization. As author Edgar Papke wisely noted, brand is a lagging factor of culture, and social purpose must come from within. You must decide what you stand for and ensure your actions and behaviors reflect that choice.

The Authentic Art of Doing Good – 3 reasons why healthcare companies should embrace corporate social responsibility strategies Click To Tweet

As President and Chief Strategy Officer of a healthcare branding, marketing and advertising firm, I see three important reasons to define your corporate social responsibility strategy now:

  1. Leaders lead: Leader brands tend to own the ‘central benefits’ of their marketplace (in this case, social purpose). First to market is an opportunity to own the position. As others do the same, it creates a halo affect that reinforces your decision and position even further. Research shows that social goodwill can enhance consumer perceptions of product performance – in other words, doing good can indeed translate into doing well.
  2. Authenticity is in demand: In today’s over-communicated world, people long for meaningful communication. An article in Forbes magazine recently stated, “Humans are emotionally driven and crave the security of knowing there is an underlying foundation of mutual respect, honesty and trust between them and the establishments they associate with.” It’s time to give your customers something good to talk about.
  3. Success is implied: Corporate social responsibility is not a marketing tactic. Rather, it is an opportunity to extend your mission beyond the immediate customer and make the world around you a better place. Companies that dedicate resources to corporate social responsibility initiatives send a signal about the overall health of the company. In essence, doing good for others implies success.

Healthcare often trends behind other leading industries in terms of transformational change and customer engagement. At Dobies Health Marketing, we believe a strategic focus on corporate social responsibility is also lagging, and healthcare companies can and should make it a higher priority. We all know a governing philosophy across healthcare for centuries has been, first and foremost, “do no harm.” Through social purpose in action, your organization can go a step further: “do more good.”

Reader tip: If you are looking for a good book to provide a solid background on this topic, consider one of my favorites: Just Good Business, A Strategic Guide to Aligning Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand, by Kellie McElhaney.

About the Author

Julie Amor, Chief Strategy OfficerJulie Amor, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, has 30 years of experience elevating healthcare brands. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.

Strengthening Healthcare Brands Through Corporate Social Engagement

person holding a sign that says "make a difference"As 2017 comes to a close and we embark on a new year, it is an opportune time to think of how you can continue to build and strengthen your brand. At Dobies Health Marketing, we are fortunate to work with leaders across the healthcare spectrum, frequently advising on brand strategy. We often recommend our clients consider corporate social engagement as a key strategy for building brands, fostering loyalty and enhancing recruitment. Unlike corporate social responsibility, which typically is viewed as a corporate-driven, top-down obligation, corporate social engagement is a thoughtful, mission-driven approach that unites a company and its employees to make a greater social impact and ultimately build better brands.

Inspiring Employee Engagement

While organizations have long participated in supporting charitable organizations and social movements, efforts to inspire, excite and engage employees historically have fallen flat. Examples of organizations writing hefty checks to support causes abound, while examples of willing and eager participation by employees are far less prevalent.

Driven largely by Millennials (those born between 1980 and the early 2000s), corporate social engagement is rapidly becoming a key tenet of companies’ brand platforms. Millennials, who will comprise as much as 75% of the workforce by 2025, report having the lowest levels of engagement in – and subsequently low loyalty to – their workplaces than any other generation. Beyond a paycheck, Millennials seek jobs that feel worthwhile and contribute to a purposeful life.

While both corporate social responsibility and corporate social engagement serve to benefit society – and ultimately, the organization – there are distinct differences:

Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate Social Engagement
First seeks to benefit the corporation, partners and shareholders First seeks to inspire employees
Top-Down/Prescriptive Participative
Give back, often in the form of a charitable contribution from the organization Give back through employee engagement
Ultimately promotes an organization’s product or service Ultimately promotes causes associated with the organization’s mission
Drives employees to participate in activities Inspires employees to become brand ambassadors

Leaders who recognize the importance of engaging and inspiring employees through their organization’s mission not only are building better brands, cultivating loyalty and strengthening recruitment, they are working toward a greater good that will pay dividends in ways tangible and intangible.

According to Fortune magazine, leading employers are actively engaging their employees in charitable efforts, resulting in a more inspired and productive workforce. According to a survey of 357,000 people for the 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back, those reporting a positive experience of giving back at work were four times more likely to state that their teams were willing to work harder and give extra to get the job done. They also were more likely to be brand ambassadors for their companies – to express pride in their employers and missions – and say they want to stay with their companies.

Engaging employees in charitable efforts result in a more inspired and productive workforce. Click To Tweet

At Dobies Health Marketing, social purpose is an integral part of who we are as a company. We engage in creating healthier communities and support the effectiveness of a cause-driven culture. We leverage our resources, talent and time to improve our local communities through a Give-Join-Care approach:

GIVE: Each year, we donate 1% of our net revenue back to our local community, giving funds to causes that promote better health.

JOIN: Through our Apple a Day program, we are inspiring healthy choices and addressing childhood obesity in our local community by sponsoring schools to educate and bring apples to kids.  We encourage other organizations to join the movement and impact childhood obesity – one apple at a time.

CARE: Individually, we each volunteer a minimum of one hour per month for causes and events that create healthy KC communities. In 2017 we have proudly contributed more than 200 community service hours collectively in schools, churches, hospitals and boards as our way of creating healthier communities where we live, work and play.

Other examples of organizations that are active in corporate social engagement in their communities include:

  • CHG Healthcare Services – Dedicated to helping doctors serve rural areas through a locum tenens staffing model, CHG Healthcare improves the lives of 25 million patients annually. Based in Salt Lake City, CHG Healthcare has more than 2,200 employees (51% Millennials) worldwide.
    • “Since day one I have been shown on a daily and weekly basis that CHG cares about its employees, their families, and the community as a whole. Departments are always doing service projects and charity work. Yet we’re still a highly profitable business, which proves you can be kind AND successful.”
  • Novo Nordisk – One of the world’s leading diabetes care companies, Novo Nordisk discovers and develops innovative medicines and makes them accessible to patients throughout the world. With nearly 43,000 employees worldwide (17% of U.S. employees are Millennials), the organization reported $19 million in philanthropic donations in 2016.
    • “I’ve never worked for a company that gives so much back to the community and allows its employees to take part in charitable activities during work hours. I’ve always been really impressed by this.”
  • Etsy – Located in Brooklyn, New York, Etsy is a global commerce platform for creative entrepreneurs. With more than 800 employees (76% Millennials), Etsy became a certified B Corp* to foster community, shared success, commitment to sustainable operations, and use the power of business for a higher purpose.
    • “There are so many things that make this a great place to work, but I think the main one is the impact. It’s the impact we’re making on our community, the impact we’re making on the environment, and the impact we’re making in corporate America as we explore what it can mean to be a public company.”

Regardless of company type or size, a common thread in corporate social engagement is the enhanced sense of purpose employees gain from contributing to a greater good that is aligned with corporate mission.

Looking Forward

As you prepare for the challenges and rewards in the coming year, consider enhancing your corporate social engagement strategy to more fully inspire and connect your organization, your employees and your community. Options to expand health-related, mission-driven activities are vast – including sponsoring community exercise activities, providing educational programs on a variety of topics, contributing to improved shared public spaces, or offering healthy cooking classes – and will provide returns to all involved.

To the many organizations who make corporate social engagement a priority, thank you. All of us at Dobies Health Marketing wish you, your communities and all those you serve a happy and healthy New Year.

*B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lap to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

About the Authors

Julie Amor, President and Chief Strategy OfficerCarol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Health MarketingJulie Amor, President and Chief Strategy Officer for Dobies Health Marketing, brings more than 20 years’ experience elevating healthcare brands. Julie co-authored this article with Carol Dobies, our CEO and Founder, who has been bringing healthcare brands to life for more than 25 years.

Share your thoughts about this article by tweeting @DobiesGroup or commenting on our Facebook page.

New Community Give-back Program Inspires Healthy Eating, One Apple at a Time

Dobies Health Marketing launches “Apple a Day” – a program for corporate sponsors to choose a school and provide fresh, organic apples and nutrition education to local children, teens and families

Dobies Health Marketing launches “Apple a Day” – a program for corporate sponsors to choose a school and provide fresh, organic apples and nutrition education to local children, teens and families

As part of its Apple a Day program, Dobies Health Marketing (pictured above) handed out apples and nutritional flyers to students at Cristo Rey Kansas City.

April 6, 2017 – KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dobies Health Marketing and Natural Grocers came together yesterday at Cristo Rey Kansas City to teach nearly 450 local high school students and staff about healthy food choices. The event, which included free apples for everyone in attendance, was part of Cristo Rey’s Health Day, a full day of interactive education related to health, fitness, safety and wellness.

The nutritional presentation took place in the school’s gymnasium. Upon entering the gym, each student and faculty member received an apple and a set of flyers with nutritional information in both English and Spanish. Meghan Meneely, nutritional health coach at Natural Grocers, delivered the presentation, while the team from Dobies Health Marketing and digital partners Group 3 Solutions handed out the flyers and apples.

Students from Cristo Rey Kansas City learned about healthy food choices through the Dobies Health Marketing Apple a Day program

Through the Apple a Day program, students from Cristo Rey Kansas City (pictured above) learned about nutrition and healthy food choices.

The occasion marked the inaugural event in Dobies Health Marketing’s newly launched Apple a Day program, which is part of the healthcare marketing firm’s social purpose and Give-Join-Care initiative.

“As a healthcare company, we are driven by one primary goal – inspiring people to make better choices about health,” explains Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Health Marketing. “Our vision for the Apple a Day program is to put an apple in the hands of every child, one small but powerful step toward inspiring a lifetime of health.”

There’s good reason to do just that. Obesity is among the most serious threats to our nation’s children, according to The State of Obesity, a project of the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Nearly one-third (31.3%) of people ages 10-17 are overweight or obese, often due to lack of access to fresh, healthy foods. The link between poor nutrition and chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes is well known, and healthy diets are essential for lifelong health.

To educate children, teens and families on the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day to offset the risk of chronic disease and obesity for generations to come, Dobies Health Marketing and Natural Grocers say they are united in their commitment to the three pillars of the Apple a Day program:

  • GIVE: an apple to each child in a sponsored school
  • JOIN: with schools to host an interactive, age-appropriate educational session with a highly trained nutritional health coach on the benefits of healthy eating
  • CARE: for kids and their families by providing each child with a healthy eating guide to take home and share with their families

“Knowledge is power, and we are thrilled to put our time, talent and resources into a program that delivers the tools people need to get the healthiest start in life, and to stay healthy for a lifetime,” says Julie Amor, Chief Strategy Officer at Dobies Health Marketing, adding that the Apple a Day program is designed to make it easy for other healthcare companies to sponsor schools in the same way for their own corporate social engagement initiatives. “It means so much to us to give back to our community in ways that foster better health and wellness, and we are so thankful to our partners at Natural Grocers and the administrative staff at Cristo Rey for joining us in bringing this program to life.”

View more photos from the event on Facebook. Companies interested in sponsoring a school through the Apple a Day program can contact Dobies Health Marketing online or by calling at 816.753.3336 for more information.

About Dobies Health Marketing

Since 1992, Dobies Health Marketing has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. Together, we combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.


Media Contact:
Sam Carlson
Dobies Health Marketing

Corporate Social Engagement: What It Means for Healthcare Brands

corporate social engagementWhat do toothpaste, beer, shoes and hospitals have in common? A mission to do good. If you have been watching television or online ads lately, you may have noticed an upward trend of companies infusing corporate social responsibility into their brands. Corporate social responsibility refers to a business practice that involves participating in initiatives that benefit society. However, it is often viewed as a corporate-driven, top-down, obligatory duty that does not connect employees with the mission of the company.

Thanks in large part to the influence of Millennials (those born between 1980 and the early 2000s) in the workforce, corporate social responsibility is transitioning to a more palatable approach called corporate social engagement—a thoughtful, mission-driven approach that brings companies and employees together to make a greater social impact.

While corporations have a long history of writing checks to support charitable organizations, efforts to truly engage and inspire employees to be part of the cause have historically been lackluster. Only recently has engagement become an expectation for companies seeking to build their brands, improve customer loyalty, and attract and retain talent.

In fact, Unilever—a marketing firm representing some of the world’s most recognized brands—has added social purpose to its own brand positioning, even making it their primary brand platform.

This shift in advertising has been quite apparent, with companies promoting their causes rather than their products. For example:

  • You may have seen Colgate® toothpaste recently use Super Bowl 50 to shine a spotlight on the need and value of water conservation. In its 30-second television spot, the company encourages people to turn off the tap while brushing their teeth to “make every drop count.”
  • Stella Artois, a Belgian beer company, launched their “Buy a Lady a Drink” campaign, a new initiative aimed at ending women’s journeys to fetch water.
  • TOMS® has long promoted itself as a “One for One” company. As explained on the company’s website, every time a TOMS product is purchased, TOMS helps provide shoes, sight, water, safe birth and/or bullying prevention services to people in need around the world.

It is not hard to see the trend. Millennials are driving a consumer economy focused on sustaining the world—and their influence has grown. The Millennial population as a whole has surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And in 2015, with 53.5 million strong, Millennials became the largest share of the American workforce, according to Pew Research Center.

So how does all this fit in with healthcare? Hospitals and healthcare companies by nature have a mission to do good. Using social responsibility as a brand platform is an opportunity ripe for the taking. Like the companies featured above, healthcare organizations can embrace corporate social engagement as a strategy for building brands, fostering loyalty, and enhancing recruitment.

Corporate social engagement as a brand and loyalty strategy

Millennials choose products and services provided by companies that are committed to making a difference in the world.

In fact, a recent Nielsen survey found 55 percent of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. Consumers around the world are saying loud and clear that a brand’s social purpose is among the factors that influence purchase decisions.

Consumer attributes common among Millennials include:

  • Active and highly participatory
  • Value corporate affiliation with a social cause
  • Seek brands with benefits beyond the bottom line
  • Believe companies and individuals should work together for greater social impact
  • Want to be actively engaged to do good in the world

Healthcare is about engaging consumers and gaining lifetime loyalty, in part, by sharing the story of how your health organization is making the world a better, healthier place. Healthcare organizations can expand their brand platforms by using cause-marketing to drive brand affinity.

Corporate social engagement as a recruitment strategy

A 2014 Bentley University study of more than 3,100 people found that Millennials are not as enthusiastic about entering the business world as they should be, considering the demand for them in the workforce. This could be in part because Millennials have a negative perception of traditional businesses. As a result, Millennials say they seek out employers who are committed to social responsibility:

  • 85% prefer to work for a socially responsible or ethical company
  • 95% prefer to work for a company with a positive corporate reputation
  • 91% prefer to work for an employer based on social impact efforts

We are just beginning to see the Millennial influence in our workforce. What is taking root now is likely to grow and spread and flourish—it’s not just a passing trend. After all, the oldest Millennials are still in the early stages of their careers. It would be surprising if they didn’t bring major changes as they continue to join the workforce and advance into positions of influence. With the healthcare industry facing an impending workforce shortage, healthcare organizations can attract and retain a talented workforce by inspiring employees to become loyal employees, brand ambassadors and engaged consumers simply by doing what they want to do: change the world.

Infusing corporate social engagement into your brand

Corporate social engagement is not simply about making monetary donations. It has to be meaningful to employees and the cause must relate to the mission of the organization. Without a strategy for corporate social engagement, employees can become disconnected from the cause and lose interest in the mission. Based on my experience, the most successful corporate social engagement strategies include a three-way approach, offering employees options: giving money to a corporate-sponsored cause, joining a corporate-sponsored community initiative, and/or extending care into the community through corporate-sponsored community service.

Using this strategic approach in a purposeful, mission-driven manner will position your health organization to do more than provide care, services or products – it will engage employees in becoming brand ambassadors who are happy to be part of the organization and build a brand that extends beyond its core services. As a healthcare marketing strategist, I see infinite possibilities for the healthcare industry to build a brand platform on corporate social engagement. Enlist your employees to expand your corporate footprint by giving, joining and serving in order to make an honest impact in your communities.