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Resource Tips for Trying Times: Become Your Users’ Trusted Adviser [Healthcare Series]

We hope you, your organization, and your loved ones are doing well. This is the latest in a series of resources designed to give you specific, actionable steps to take in your communications strategies during the COVID-19 crisis. 

TIP: What does it mean to be your users’ trusted COVID-19 adviser?

Conflicting information from government sources, members of the media, and others has led to widespread confusion about the coronavirus and COVID-19 on the part of many consumers. Consumers want to hear from one of their most trusted sources—their local healthcare leaders—about the pandemic and how it affects them.

Here’s how you can support your users during these challenging times:

  • Share the information your users need now. Disparate and dissonant messaging means consumers may be struggling to find a source of truth on matters relating to COVID-19. As much as you can, provide the knowledge you have to your audience, many of whom are likely hungry for that information. Blog articles, social posts, webpages, video interviews, and more will help disseminate your information to as wide an audience as possible. Use a strategy of Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE) to minimize effort and maximize impact.
  • Don’t sell. Step back from your advertising efforts during this time, and rethink your conversion-focused marketing campaigns. Users aren’t likely to make buying decisions during a crisis, but they are researching their health more than ever. Focus on a communications and education strategy now, with branded efforts to keep your name out in the marketplace during this surge of interest, and avoid a sales strategy that could be seen as tone-deaf or insensitive.
  • Provide more than just your own information. Certainly, you should link to relevant internal resources on COVID-19 and how your organization’s procedures, policies, and services are changing as the situation unfolds. But as new guidance is available from resources such as the CDC, the NIH, state health organizations, and others, be sure to share that information with your audience, who may not be monitoring these sources. This serves a double benefit: You’ll increase the reach of much-needed recommendations and requirements, and you’ll further cement your audience’s impression of you as a trusted resource of health information.

Thank you for keeping the consumers you serve informed during this challenging and often-confusing time.

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Linda Watts

Linda is a healthcare digital strategy leader with 20 years of progressive experience in guiding diverse health system teams to develop and execute digital experiences and infrastructures. She is passionate about improving healthcare consumer experience, while also ensuring business ROI, to help health systems expand on their broader missions to improve their communities' health and well-being.

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