Before the COVID-19 pandemic, how often did you think about public health? Calling in sick while recovering from a cold for work was usually just a ploy to stay home and watch Netflix. Now, staying in when you feel under the weather has become an act of social responsibility. While we’ve all learned more than we ever thought was necessary about how to live during a pandemic, there is another notable lesson we can take from COVID-19. Educating the general public on healthcare is a crucial part of promoting public health and influencing consumer behavior. As a healthcare public relations agency, we see the importance of sharing information about our healthcare clients holistically: not just promoting their product, but also informing the public on the gravity of the problem they work to address.
Is Breaking Through The Noise Enough?
A healthcare public relations agency can help elevate healthcare companies while also contributing to a larger conversation about public health. It is essential to craft the right message not only to catch the attention of the target audience, but, more importantly, to establish trust by contributing relevant and accurate information. Being informative, rather than promotional, can be the difference between a company breaking through the noise instead of fading into the background.
Media and internet bombard us with content all the time, which makes people feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to believe. What is worse, a heft amount of the buzz is riddled with misinformation, which is especially dangerous in the realm of healthcare as it amplifies the controversy surrounding medicines and treatments, like vaccines, according to research from AM J Public Health. Consumers aren’t just reading the news and moving on with their day, they’re using it to inform life-altering medical choices.
A Good Healthcare Public Relations Agency Never Plays Guessing Games
Clear and comprehensible information online impacts people’s healthcare decisions. In an effort to push vaccine messaging, the Ad Council partnered with more than 280 national media partners to drive almost 11 million sessions on GetVaccineAnswers.org. Nearly 60 percent of those who visited the site left feeling more confident about receiving the vaccine, the organization reports. This non-promotional, informational tactic was effective in actually changing consumer sentiment about public health and options for healthcare. Simply being a source of education can be a worthwhile method to connect with the target audience. A good healthcare public relations agency would make sure to help the company to keep its communications simple to digest and inform the larger public about the crisis at hand.
While coverage is always appreciated, it’s important to note that not all healthcare PR is good PR. Though some campaigns get attention through creativity, the shock factor doesn’t always achieve the desired goal. To combat methamphetamine addiction in South Dakota, the state issued a campaign titled “Meth. We’re On It.” in 2019. While this was successful in spreading awareness and sparking a conversation about a public health crisis on a national scale, the campaign was (as you might expect) the focal point of many memes and satirical tweets. In this case, grabbing the attention of consumers wasn’t enough to spark a behavioral change. At best, it provided a few laughs and served as a quick source of entertainment that was soon forgotten.
To contribute to healthcare initiatives while also promoting your company’s brand, work with a PR agency that understands the importance of timeliness and tone. Breaking through the news cycle and influencing consumer’s healthcare decisions isn’t just about having the most interesting story; it’s about crafting a message to connect with the right audience to inspire a change. Contact us today to learn more about how a healthcare public relations agency can elevate your business and influence your target audience!