PR is changing. How should health care respond?

To build trust in a skeptical world, you should define your goals, build credibility and tell a story, a new guide from Dodge Communications suggests.

The PR world has changed, and health care is no exception.

Razzmatazz and the hard sell no longer work—if they ever did.

The evolving PR landscape plays to health care’s greatest strengths: trust and credibility. If people entrust their lives to your medical staff, pharmaceuticals or devices, you have a head start on building greater organizational trust.

In a free, downloadable guide, Dodge Communications offers strategical insight and tips for industry communicators. “The Power of PR in Health Care: Building Trust, Credibility & Reputation” points a way forward on matters ranging from building relationships to boosting brand awareness through influencers.

“Public relations has the unmatched power to foster credibility, as well as guard and boost company reputation,” the guide states. “In an era of declining trust, new channels, regulatory mandates and financial pressures have prompted a shift in thinking around the traditional lines between PR, marketing and digital programs to help companies validate their positioning, increase credibility and create trustworthy relationships with customers.”

The guide offers many ways to do that, among them:

Define your goals and initiatives.

From device manufacturers to payers and providers, one fundamental PR practice can benefit any organization.

Organizations must “clearly define why they’re pursuing PR initiatives and what they hope this effort will accomplish,” the guide states.

With trust in institutions at an all-time low, people are turning to online reviews such as Healthgrades, Yelp and Angie’s List before making purchasing decisions. Your job: Leverage key influencers to act as ambassadors and connect with customers.

Identify what is unique in how you serve your target customers.

When the public understands your organizational character and how the vision translates to societal benefit, they’re more likely to buy your products and recommend the company.

Build relationships and credibility.

“With 74 percent of consumers saying that positive reviews make them trust a business more, reaching influencers—media editors, journalists and industry analysts—is essential when pushing a company’s message out,” the guide states.

Find out how identifying your potential customers’ sources of information can determine where you should focus your time and energy.

Find the story.

The most successful PR campaigns tell stories. “Communicating a brand’s message in a way that makes it appealing, compelling and impactful to customers and the media is the recipe for successful PR, allowing a brand to gain trust and media exposure,” the guide states.

Harness the power of social media.

As the lines blur between social media and PR, targeting digital platforms is an increasingly important part of any publicity effort.

“Businesses that are most engaged in online conversations tend to be more trusted,” the guide notes.

Create confidence in your brand.

Trust is vital to business success. Find out which three attributes are essential to establishing trust.

“Understanding these components that drive trust enables brands to build on it and leverage it to differentiate their products and services in a competitive market,” the guide states.

Download your free guide now.

Topics: PR

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