The healthcare industry has its roots dug deep into establishing rapport with the audiences through trust and quality services. Since PR largely depends on third-party communication, the healthcare sector can significantly leverage the benefits of public relations activities. To ensure that the healthcare sector builds rapport and trust, it is crucial that they spread across information of the key happenings and achievements in their institution as well as the industry. This will drive an institution to their ultimate goal of public relations, establishing them as a thought leader in the industry. For the healthcare sector, it is central to connect with the audiences and build top of the mind approach for their institution.
Living in the digital age, where messages travel at a much faster pace than ever, it is also imperative that healthcare sector keeps a close check on the industry and what people are talking about them, as it is a profession that involves a lot of emotional connect and thus is largely influenced by negative news as well. Here are a few tips to ensure that the public relation activities turn out to be advantageous for the healthcare sector.
- Know your audience: For healthcare sector the audience is vast and thus it is crucial to research and know whom you would like to communicate to. Once you chalk down the group of people, decide the communication message, and how should you position your message in the most influential way possible. Align with your audience, know what is of interest to them and what they want to read.
- Target relevant media : Reach out to all the relevant media, and not just the healthcare sector. Research and analyse the type of journalists who are featuring the competitors, and the specific publications you would like to tap. Thoroughly read the type of articles gaining traction and pitch the journalist as per their area of interest.
- Respect time : A major chunk of news related to the healthcare sector is time sensitive and should be disseminated to the relevant media at the earliest possible. Remember that in this technology dominated world, a news can become history within a matter of a few days. A feature may not be that urgent, but still always have a time constrain attached.
- Keep it simple : Professionals tend to use jargon, unintentionally, but public relations target a much wider group of people who might or might not understand the lingo. Realize that the information being communicated can be valuable only if the audience understands it. Thus, it is vital to be as clear and informative while communicating the message, avoid technical phrases and medical jargon. In order to be more impactful and effective to convey the message try and use additional resources like infographics, images and videos.
- Add a personal touch : The Healthcare sector has a great emotional angle attached to it and thus it is always a good idea to give out some success stories and statistics to develop audience trust. Emphasis more on stories focusing on how the institution, knowledge and skills have helped others overcome their problems rather than just sharing information. Besides adding value to the news piece, it will also help you establish connections with the targeted group.
- Personalised e-mail outreach program : Though one of the traditional public relations tools, it is one of the most result-oriented approach. The idea is to create content that can be used by other professionals/groups/associations in the industry and can be used as a reference point for further research along with providing some useful insight from the industry. This will further help you strengthen the position in the industry.
- Cross-branding is the new trend : New age media has led to the emergence of new ways of reaching out to the audiences, and cross-branding is proving to be fruitful. Collaborations with fitness brands, healthy food brands and influencers have come a long way from where it actually started. Organising workshops and undertaking CSR initiatives, can give a big boost to the PR plan and invite more media traction.
- Analyse your performance: Measuring outcome and evaluating performance is important to determine if there is any shortfall that can be improved or worked upon.
Public relations is tricky as the media industry is constantly changing and evolving. However, the developments in the healthcare sector pave the way to maintain connections with the media and amplifies the chance to place your news in the relevant media.