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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Seven tips for PR pros in the healthcare industry

As PR professionals within the healthcare industry, we have two main concerns: Establishing trust and spreading information.
If consumers can't trust us, all of our content will be for naught. If we fail to produce content, there won't be trust and we definitely won't be gathering clients for our businesses. In other words, we won't be doing our jobs.

It's our duty to connect with the public, spread awareness and reel in clients. The seven tips I've gathered below will help you to really accumulate an audience and give them what they want in order to convert mere eyeballs into clients.

1. Put it all online

Today's culture requires that we put every bit of marketable content on the Internet. We need to be consistent and dependable sources for anyone looking for answers or information. Members of the younger generation expect all things from medical news to personal diagnoses to be ready and available online. Meanwhile, older folks are also turning to their computers to research their latest aches and pains.

If they expect it to be there, we need to deliver. If we don't, they'll find another healthcare provider that does. They'll have greater trust in the company that's telling them the most, and that company will earn the business.

As PR professionals, we need to post on our own healthcare websites as well as social media platforms and all other viable web options. Of companies utilising social media, 63 percent said that it boosted marketing effectiveness.

Keep information knowledgeable yet interesting. Capturing consumers' attention is important, but we don't want to lose their trust in the process.

2. Befriend news outlets

Building relationships with local news outlets - newspapers, television, radio, etc. - can be significantly beneficial for our healthcare practices. After all, articles generate benefits that ads do not - so we should expend time and energy on content marketing. Having these outlets cover any notable news will do more good for us than simply using advertisements.

This does not mean that advertisements are bad, though, and they should be utilised as well. If consumers become accustomed to hearing about our practices through the aforementioned channels, they will remember us in times of need.

3. But also be your own news outlet

At the same time, however, depending on news outlets - or anything external - can be risky. I'll use them, but I won't depend on them. Having power over what consumers see and read about our practices is advantageous in a lot of ways: We can publish what we want to publish, we control when it's released, and we have more control over who will see/hear it. Therefore, in addition to any external measures we take, we also want to have a substantial online and public presence on our own accords.

4. Utilise images

We live in a visual age. People love graphics, and although images and videos are not always utilised in the PR world, they should be. The human brain can quickly digest a photo and then decide whether or not to also digest the article. Adding a captivating photo or video to our content can help to reel more consumers.

5. Add testimonials

People like brands they know to work. As I was saying earlier, and this is especially true in healthcare, consumers need to establish trust before pursuing a product or service.

We can say all we like to promote our companies, but reviews and testimonials are words by the people for the people. They can instil greater trust in potential clients, turning them into actual clients.

6. Know your audience

Being familiar with our audiences will help us to cater our content to them specifically. We can make them feel understood and cared for, encouraging them to trust us.

Let's say we're working for a drug rehab centre. We'd want to learn which factors are most important to people in our areas seeking that specific type of facility. Do they seek a particular type of setting? What type of content are they searching online? What questions do they have about their drugs and alcohol addiction? We must do our homework and discover priorities.

In order to find out more about our audiences, we need to research the consumers utilising our sites. Using Google Analytics works to see what individuals like most about websites. Use this tool, then amp up those successful factors to appease the audience. This will hopefully lead to a larger, happier audience.

7. Follow those trends

Once we've done our research, know our audience and what they crave, we should load up on that type of content. We want to build upon our company's positive angles and produce content targeting the public's priorities to resonate with as many people as possible. If we continue to deliver what the audience likes, they will continue coming back.

Adding these things to our strategies will bring major benefits to our PR efforts. Play around with these tips and build upon what the audience wants. Hopefully, in time, they'll help to gather a trusting, loyal clientele.

About James White

James White is a content specialist for SEO Company Go and blogs in his free time at InfoBros. His articles have been published by ConverStations, Thought Catalog and IP Watchdog.