July 31, 2018 | by Valerie Beesley
You don’t need a celebrity to breathe new life into your brand or to achieve substantive, highly visible and meaningful media coverage. With the right combination of key elements to fuel your public relations efforts, boosting your brand and establishing leadership and credibility in your field is possible on any scale. Healthcare practices and organizations of all sizes can leverage the benefits of public relations services to achieve their goals.
PR Establishes Brand Awareness, Affinity & Credibility
For healthcare brands and practices working to establish awareness, build credibility and inspire loyalty among customers, investing in strategic public relations services follows proven methods and logic. Healthcare is an industry where public relations — defined broadly by the Public Relations Society of America as “a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics,” — is a crucial piece of the communications mix to to reach and deepen relationships with audiences. Consumer audiences are often faced with new, uncertain circumstances at different stages in life, whether taking care of themselves as individuals or helping care for loved ones, that healthcare brands and products aim to address or solve. PR not only builds brand awareness and trust among a brand or organization’s audiences; it increases sales and engagement.
PR Strategies Can Be Tailored to Meet the Individual Needs of Organizations of Any Size
Local PR can accomplish the same goals that mega campaigns do – from building brand awareness and trust to increasing the number of patients exploring treatment options and making appointments. If your healthcare practice or organization wants to get the word out about how effective and potentially life-changing your product is, communicate the specialized expertise of your medical team, or share the importance of addressing a set of medical conditions, an effective PR strategy is an efficient, impactful way to go.
Healthcare brands and providers can leverage a number of assets to drive successful public relations efforts including:
- Patient stories
- Seasonal tips and actionable advice
- Commentary on new medical studies, FDA approvals and procedures
- Commentary on popular home remedies or the latest health and wellness trends
Consumers Trust Traditional Media & Word of Mouth
People want to make informed decisions before they buy. Even with access to a multitude of articles, reviews, indexes and health resource sites, at the end of the day, people trust friends and family and traditional news sources. The numbers speak for themselves. Traditional public relations or “earned media” and recommendations from family and friends rank highest on 2015’s Nielsen consumer trust index of marketing channels. Print, broadcast and radio maintain substantial audiences and credibility as trusted sources according to the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.
The case for investing in public relations is further strengthened by trends in consumer behavior and a tendency toward actively avoiding paid media with ad-blocker technology. According to a report from Global Web Index, 23 percent of North Americans use ad-blocking technology on their mobile device. Public relations is an invaluable asset for healthcare organizations and practices that want to effectively build their brand, expand patient bases, and become a trusted expert in their respective fields.
One example of the importance of public relations services in healthcare is demonstrated in Bloom client Alive + Well, an integrated health and wellness center. The new company enlisted Bloom Communications to develop and elevate Alive + Well’s brand identity, messaging platform and marketing / public relations program. With the dual goals of building brand awareness as Austin’s first and only integrated health and wellness home and increasing clientele, Bloom Communications partnered with Alive + Well to strategically launch the next-generation wellness center in an already crowded market. With Bloom’s support, the opening of Alive + Well’s new center established a solid foundation as a highly differentiated brand of integrative medicine solutions. Within the first three months of the launch, Bloom’s media strategy resulted in 19 earned media placements across print, online and broadcast outlets, garnering over three million audience impressions in Austin-area media.
Interested in what Bloom can do for your healthcare brand or practice? Contact us for more information about which PR mix is most appropriate for your organization.