This past year has been a wild ride for the healthcare industry, as the pandemic forced everyone to shift and adapt to the rapidly changing needs of healthcare workers, patients and all associated parties in between. These challenges have drastically changed the healthcare experience and priorities for how we access and deliver care. It’s also changed how companies market themselves and implement PR for healthcare strategies.
We’ve seen widespread adoption of telehealth, patients enduring hospital stays alone, complete overhauls of doctors’ offices to adhere to the new restrictions, and a pandemic-induced mental health crisis that has behavioral health services in high demand. These things have spurred innovation in healthcare unlike anything we’ve seen in recent times, but it has also created a highly competitive media environment for companies with real solutions and resources looking to get in front of large audiences.
Despite the challenging news cycle, there remains significant opportunity for PR for healthcare success, if you formulate the right strategy and stick to it. Here’s how to get started:
Know your audience. This may seem obvious, but now more than ever it’s important to know and understand your audience. Hone-in on their pain points and what they’re most concerned about during the pandemic, and how you can help. Whether you’re a durable medical equipment supplier, a practitioner, or an insurance provider, think about what information your clients need during this time, such as telehealth services to help with in-home set up, how to identify trusted health resources online, or what mental health benefits are covered by their plan. Find a way to speak to them directly.
Tailor your message to these audiences. There is so much information out there on any healthcare topic under the sun – everyone on Twitter is an expert apparently – but in times when consumers want and need a trusted voice or brand to deliver the answers they’re looking for, you want to make sure your messaging addresses any questions or concerns in a way that is thorough and actionable. Show your target audience that you understand the issue at hand and provide them with your expert opinion and insight to guide them through the best next steps.
For example, one of our clients is a provider of medical products and equipment. Throughout the pandemic, new mothers were not receiving adequate breastfeeding support in the hospital due to the restrictions shortening the time spent with labor and delivery nurses. We leveraged the company’s medical director who is a neonatologist and certified lactation consultant in our media relations efforts to share insights on why this is so detrimental to mom and baby, her best tips for successful breastfeeding, and trusted resources moms can turn to for help from the comfort of their home. We were able to generate impactful media coverage by speaking to a topic that hit home with their audience and offering help in the form of tips and educational resources.
Be strategic in your promotion of the message. While tailoring the message to your audience is a super important part of a successful healthcare campaign, you’ll want to make sure it actually reaches them as well! This brings this entire strategy full circle, as knowing your audience will help you best identify the publications they actually read.
With the campaign above, we knew we needed to target publications that reached new moms and would prioritize the story, such as Motherly and SheKnows, as opposed to sending it to mainstream national outlets where it might take a backseat. Even if the audience isn’t as large as those mainstream outlets, it can be more valuable because it’s being read by those who are searching for the insights provided and can start the important process of brand trust and recognition.
Beyond media relations, paid social promotion is another great way to reach your target audiences. Whether it’s driving traffic back to a blog post on your site or to a piece of media coverage that showcases your expertise and will resonate with your audience, there is plenty of opportunity to establish yourself as a trusted resource on a specific issue or topic – cutting through the noise to speak directly to your audience.
It’s easy to feel intimated with the amount of information and healthcare-related headlines in the news right now, but by following the above tips you can ensure your expertise and advice will reach the audiences that matter most – your customers.
Are you a healthcare company looking to amplify your message in 2021? FischTank PR can help you cut through the noise and generate media awareness that brings real business impact. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.