Marketing Strategy PR and Communications

The New Normal in Healthcare PR

The following is an article by guest contributor Scott Collins, President, Aria Marketing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to global society and economic activity, and we will surely be coping with its aftereffects for many years to come.  However, there have been some silver linings, such as less pollution, normalization of remote work, and the accelerated use of telemedicine.  In our work, we have also seen a real boost for healthcare PR.  Healthcare and the ideas and technologies that make it work have become headline news, and while our clients have benefitted from the 24/7 COVID-19 news focus, we are starting to see the total dominance of that issue in the media begin to give way to interest in other stories.  As a result, we are working with our clients to start preparing to adapt their strategies to a next phase, where it’s not “all pandemic all the time,” and other news and ideas can get attention.

We have a really exciting roster of clients at Aria right now, including a few that are directly involved in the COVID-19 response, with solutions for testing, telemedicine and other remote care solutions.  But all of our clients have had valuable thought leadership to contribute on a range of topics that relate to the pandemic, and we have worked hard to develop and share those thought leadership platforms with the media.  This has created some amazing opportunities for even small companies who would rarely have a shot at top-tier national media, to “punch above their weight,” and land multiple opportunities to share their insights, not just in healthcare media, but in regional and national business press, and even general interest media.

Seeking out and converting on those opportunities has been great work for the Aria team and has resulted in some amazing results for Aria clients, but we are starting to see the exclusive focus on pandemic response giving way to an interest in more “pandemic adjacent” topics, such as what healthcare’s “new normal” will be like.  We are even seeing increased interest in more conventional news, unrelated to the pandemic, like customer wins, company growth, new partnerships, hires, etc.

As we work with our clients to develop their PR strategies and tactical activities in this dynamic situation, we are increasingly advising them to start working through their backlog of “normal” news, and start getting it out into the market. We are doing this for a few reasons:

  • Life goes on: The healthcare market understands that health crises come and go, but the long-term challenges of improving quality of care, operational efficiency, and consumer experience persist. Innovations of technology and technique are even more important in the COVID-19 era.
  • News gets stale: There is a reason news starts with “new,” and while there are some techniques PR professionals can use to freshen up past events, at a certain point there is a shelf-life past which press releases start to just sound silly and will not generate meaningful coverage.
  • Momentum matters: One of the most important things we try to do with all of our clients is to create a steady drumbeat of news.  This helps to increase awareness and familiarity with the brand in target markets.  It also helps create a sense of buzz – that essential sense that THIS company is hot, that its solutions are in demand and that it is bringing something really useful and valuable to the market.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a lot to handle for all of us, personally and professionally, but while we all do our part to help this nation and the world get through this as best as we possibly can, we also have to keep running our businesses and doing our best with what we’ve got.  For health tech companies, that includes keeping a finger on the pulse of media areas of interest, and adapting to meet them where they are focused.

Are you looking for a PR agency that truly understands the ever-changing world of healthcare? Email me directly at scollins@ariamarketing.com to learn more about Aria’s experience and services.

About Aria Marketing

Founded in 1999, Aria Marketing is an award-winning integrated healthcare communications agency providing unmatched strategic expertise, thought leadership-driven PR, compelling creative and superior client service. For two decades, Aria has maintained its reputation as healthcare’s leading thought leadership agency; working with some of the biggest, sharpest and most innovative healthcare organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Its services include: public relations; strategic planning, branding and positioning; social media; and creative services.

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The Healthcare and IT Marketing Community (HITMC) is an extension of the HITMC conference that is the first of its kind event that brings together marketing and PR professionals from throughout the health care community. We strive to provide amazing marketing and PR related content that helps HealthIT companies and healthcare organizations  stand out amidst all the noise of the industry. If you’re looking to market to hospital executives, doctors, practice managers, patients, or other healthcare professionals, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the HITMC community!