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Healthcare

Use the Right Digital & Social in Health Care Marketing

Image via http://www.brandchemistry.com.au/blog/how-to-identify-the-right-social-media-channels-for-your-target-audience/
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For years, marketers have been searching for the precise digital and social media messages to reach the Gen-Xers, millennials and Generation Z.

We’ve been breaking our backs trying to find the perfect way to reach and target these groups in all industries, from food and beverage to technology, and health care marketing is no exception. However, the same digital and social media strategies do not necessarily follow the newest, “hottest” platforms trending on a broader level.

Some health care audiences—those who can be motivated to seek out providers and pharmaceutical products—are not likely posting on Snapchat or Instagram. They’re swapping health care stories on some of the more traditional channels like Facebook or Twitter.

Millennials—one of the largest digital target groups on the planet—may have surpassed baby boomers in population numbers, yet Americans born between 1946 and 1964 are also online and are projected to have an enormous impact on the purchase of heath care services for many marketing years to come.

Health care marketers will need to develop digital and social strategies that will target the 74.9 million baby boomers. By 2020, this group will account for a 74 percent increase in the population aged 65 and up, according to

Healthcare

Building a Better Newsroom INSIDE Your Company

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When I was a reporter, I was skeptical of any “news” issued by businesses or other organizations. At the time (I’m dating myself here), that “news” was in the form of press releases and the occasional (rehearsed) media interview or press conference.  Even when we did report on company-generated news, we researched the heck out of it to make sure it was objective – and to make sure we identified bias and included other points of view.

Fast forward to today. As a PR professional, I’ve used my skepticism to help organizations develop and deliver newsworthy content.  But it wasn’t until recently that I gained a new found respect for how seriously a growing number of organizations are taking the responsibility of being a respected news source. It happened when a health care client of ours asked us to help them build a world-class news operation.

Courtesy: enterpriseflorida.com

Now this client already had a well-run media relations and consumer news operation, but realized that in today’s competitive and cluttered news environment, it needed to become even more proactive and efficient in leading the discussions around health topics of interest – not just those that involved their own achievements. The challenge was finding an efficient way to involve multiple internal…

Healthcare

The Hidden Health Benefits and Brand Opportunities in Pokémon Go

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It’s official. Pokémon Go is taking over the world.Get in Loser - Catch Em All

Maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but not by much. Over the last eight days since Nintendo launched Pokémon Go in the U.S., the app has quickly surpassed the number of daily users on Twitter and engagement on Facebook, and has broken the record for the biggest U.S. mobile game ever in terms of daily active users. The app was initially launched in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and just launched in Germany yesterday and the UK today. The company plans to continue its world domination roll out the app to additional countries in the near term.

How did Pokémon Go get so popular so quickly? The short answer: It hits all the sweet spots.

  • Users can participate from wherever they are, whether that’s on their commute to work or taking the dog out for a walk.
  • It creates the “surprise and delight” effect, because you never know which Pokémon you might find where.
  • It triggers nostalgia for all of us who grew up with Pokémon.
  • It’s accessible to all ages – whether they were familiar with Pokémon before the app or

Healthcare

It’s 2016 and I’m still going to the doctor’s office

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do-patients-trust-telemedicine-01

Fitting in a doctor’s appointment during the week is no easy feat. By 2016, I thought I would have adapted to virtual consults – but so far that’s not the case.  While technology continues to transform healthcare, whether it be fitness trackers or online communities, the majority of patients still prefer to discuss their personal health face-to-face.

See also: Are fitness trackers the future of healthcare?

According to Fierce Healthcare, 62 percent of people rely on their doctor for information. However, online patient portals are growing in popularity, with 21 percent of patients using this technology to communicate with their physician. Data like this makes you wonder…

Where are we at with telemedicine?

PrintIt is projected that there will be 1.2 million virtual doctor visits in the U.S. this year. With more than 300 million people in the U.S., you might expect that number to be higher. However, according to the American Telemedicine Association, more than 15 million Americans received some kind of medical care remotely last year, and those numbers are expected to grow by 30 percent this year.

It…

Crisis Management

When Tragedy Strikes: Communication Lessons from Orlando Regional Medical Center

Orlando Surgeons
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In the wee hours of Sunday, June 12th, Orlando Health’s Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) was thrust into the spotlight as the Level 1 trauma center responded to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.  49 dead, 53 injured.  44 of the victims arrived in the emergency department at one time.

A nightmare on every level.

ORMC has been praised for its response to the tragedy. The hospital has received an outpouring of support locally and nationally, recognizing the heroic efforts of the medical team.

Thankfully, this tragic scenario is an unlikely one for most hospitals, but it does demonstrate that organizations have to be ready for the worst – sometimes even worse than they could ever imagine. As health care communications professionals, what can we learn from the ORMC response?

1) Plan for the worst – and drill for it regularly  

In a recent blog post, Brian Ellis, PadillaCRT’s Crisis and Critical Issues practice leader notes, “In crisis management, the name of the game is speed. The faster a crisis team can get ahead of the issue, the less damage will be caused to the company. Speed is based on three factors: the flow of information

Healthcare

It IS What You Say, AND How You Say It: Four Tips for Providers Communicating With Male Patients

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Men Facing Their Fears

It’s the gender twist to the old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

When it comes to health, men* often are cast in the role of the horse, with “water” being played by any of the health care providers he needs to see when “dehydration” (illness or injury) sets in.

I recently had my own experience with this when my husband was diagnosed with ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. He spent three miserable days with a fever, chills and fatigue before he even considered calling the doctor. It was the classic and highly caricaturized “man-healthcare” scenario, with excuses including:

  • “I’m fine” (because real men don’t ask for help)
  • “I’m too busy” (Because men believe they don’t the time to take care of the problem)
  • “I’ve got too much on my plate” (Because men believe that ANYTHING outside the hospital or clinic is more important)

Once all of my husband’s “yeah, buts” were addressed, thankfully, he went to see the doctor. He received the treatment he needed and is on the road to recovery. But the difficulty in getting…

Healthcare

The Power of Brand Journalism

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Being an influential communicator in today’s ever-evolving media landscape can be challenging. So how can we as communicators continue to connect and engage with consumers?  Brand journalism and content marketing have exploded in recent years, making today’s communicators indispensable.

skills-4Earlier this week, I attended Ragan’s Health Care PR & Communications Summit. The pre-conference workshop, hosted by Mark Ragan, focused on brand journalism for corporate communications and how organizations are using it to connect with consumers, enhance media coverage and engage employees. Throughout the workshop, we discussed building content platforms and developing internal editorial processes, as well as how to engage consumers in your stories.

We took a deeper dive into brand journalism and the new role of the communicator from developing content strategies to turning employees and customers into brand ambassadors. Below are a few takeaways from the workshop and the role brand journalism plays in an organization.

Become the media versus asking the media to write your stories. It’s no secret the newsrooms are shrinking and journalists are becoming more strapped for time. But our stories still need to be shared. To ensure this, communicators need to develop a content strategy and write

Branding

Is There Really Such a Thing as Thought Leadership?

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The Thinker

While “thought leadership” is not a new phrase or concept, it’s certainly en vogue right now. In fact, thought leadership is one of the most frequent asks in the Requests for Proposal that cross my desk. And the interesting thing I’ve learned from talking to these companies is that there are different definitions of what it is; different expectations about what it looks like; and, different beliefs about what it can accomplish.

As recent headlines and sound bites have featured fallen thought leaders, rising thought leaders and those who only think they are thought leaders (you know who you are), I thought I’d offer my perspective on the topic and a few tips for using thought leadership as an effective strategy for your personal or corporate brand.

Defining thought leadership

While there are several acceptable ways to define thought leadership, I define it as an earned outcome of a purposeful, integrated communications strategy. Key ingredients include passion, relevant experience, meaningful content, and a point of view. Thought leadership can apply to an individual brand such as Warren Buffet, a regular go-to on financial matters, or it can apply to organizational…

Healthcare

How to Land Your First Healthcare PR Job

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When I began my current job, it was not only the start of my public relations career, but it was my first job having anything to do with healthcare. I had absolutely zero experience in health and that’s not always easy in an industry as intimidating as healthcare. Politics kept me interested and involved in healthcare policy, but I was fine with being a spectator on the bench. To actually be involved in the business was a whole other game, and not one that I was sure I knew how to play.

However, in a matter of months, I already feel like I’ve gained a second education from being exposed to a variety of health client work. And while the road can be rocky at times, I’ve condensed some of the things I learned along the way into four points that can benefit anyone who is looking to get their foot in the door of healthcare PR.

1.  It’s okay to not know 

I still find this to be true every single day that I come to work. The fact of the matter is that most PR professionals in the health industry are PR professionals first. While some may have

Healthcare

What Does Chewbacca Mom Have to Do With Your Hospital? 4 Tips for Creating Successful Video Content

Chewbacca Mom
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Are you one of the nearly 150 million people that have viewed the Chewbacca Mom video? Last Thursday, Texas mom Candace Payne went to Kohl’s to return some clothing. She left with a Chewbacca mask and was so delighted that she decided to post to Facebook Live, the livestreaming function launched by Facebook last August. The video went viral and the rest is history.

What was so compelling about the video and what does it have to do with your hospital? Fresh off this week’s Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit (HMPSS) in Chicago, I couldn’t help but start linking some of my new learnings together with lessons from the success of the Chewbacca Mom video. Inspired by these findings, below are my top four tips for hospitals to develop successful video content:

1) Meet an Emotional Need Healthcare is emotional – it’s life and death. People’s lives are transformed. The Chewbacca Mom video wasn’t emotional…or was it? Payne told Good Morning America, “I had one lady message me and tell me that she has an autistic daughter that hadn’t laughed in two months and she said every time she showed her that video she laughed and