Custom Publishing Review: KP’s Partners in Health

Colorful and personal

KP Cover
Kaiser Permanente (KP) mails a 12-page quarterly newsletter called Partners in Health, offering lifestyle advice and tips for interacting with the KP health system. The piece is unpretentious, colorful, and personal, if unambitious. I recently received the Spring 2007 issue.

Printed on a lightweight paper stock, with a simple adhesive binding, the newsletter puts a personal face on a large and complex organization. The cover includes a portrait of a real KP staffer, plus member-focused coverlines, including “You Are What Eat” (on nutrition), “Be a Hero” (on organ donation), and “Reward Yourself” (on volunteerism). The member focus continues until page 7, where it’s interrupted by a four page advertisement for KP Optical Stores. (Considering the brevity of the newsletter, I would recommend only one page dedicated to the Optical ad (in a right-hand position), with a compelling promotional offer. As it is, the four-pager does include a 40 percent discount offer, but it appears on the last, left-hand page of the spread.

Partners in Health succeeds in a few important ways: It personalizes the KP brand. It provides multiple member touchpoints with phone numbers and web addresses. It’s relatively low-cost (with inexpensive, lightweight paper), and it generally provides a member-focused perspective.

Partners in Health could do a better job of integrating with the website. While the articles provide web addresses for services, the content doesn’t continue online. I couldn’t even find any of it online through the search. This is a missed opportunity to attract and retain members online. For every member that becomes accustomed to visiting, Kaiser Permanente has the opportunity to save money by encouraging member self-service and by providing a richer menu of educational materials.END

David M. Kalman is the president of Terrella Media, Inc. and editor of BrandMagnet.

The Partners in Health Cover (click to zoom)

Kaiser Permanente's Partners in Health