How to engage worried health care consumers around COVID-19

There’s enough anxiety out there without messages from health care practices exacerbating the panic. Here’s how to address the problem cogently and calmly.

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As communicators strive day and night to get crucial COVID-19 communications in place and keep them  up-to-date, here are some fast tips for how to most effectively communicate with health care consumers in this environment:

Consumer fear and anxiety is escalating to new heights.

Even before COVID-19, consumers were grappling with frayed trust in the economy, brands and the healthcare system.

According to a (subscription-based) Gartner research report, a staggering one third (37%) of all U.S. consumers and almost half (49%) of younger generations (millennials and Gen Zers) worry often or all the time that something undesirable might happen. Similarly, a third (36%) of U.S. consumers and half (50%) of younger generations feel stressed over what they are doing and dread what is coming next.

That’s a level of anxiety and stress that likely hasn’t been seen in this country in decades. Add COVID-19 to this picture and we simply must find a new level of empathy and care in our marketing communications.

Squelch the impulse to overcommunicate.

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