By Jacqueline Zonneville, Director, Healthcare Communications
As communicators, ergo, storytellers in the overall marketing mix, we are often asked about the most opportune time to begin engaging in conversations with external audiences to meet strategic imperatives.
Enter the intricate healthcare communications equation, where getting to a desired outcome – for instance, patient uptake, improved health literacy or reimbursement – isn’t always as easy as A+B=C. Here, it becomes important to first define the value story based on each target audience; crafting messages that will resonate accordingly whether engaging with patients, payers (public or private), healthcare professionals or other stakeholders.
Important value story considerations, include:
- What do patients, healthcare professionals, stakeholders, health system leaders need to understand in order to act?
- What does the story say about medical need, quality, access and cost-efficiency?
- How do we use the story to unite the interests and actions of all involved stakeholders?
- Once the value story is defined, how do we leverage it to change the healthcare dialogue to affect change?
- Does the story address potential concerns, detractors or challenges that may arise? Knowledge gaps?
- How do we measure the story’s effectiveness?
Whether a new start-up entering the Canadian marketplace, an established pharmaceutical company with global brands or a patient or professional association, an impactful value story should be the crux of any marketing strategy; one that is stressed early and often, and is constantly evolving.
As a strong agency partner specializing in healthcare communications, GCI can implement a number of activities to help craft the value story – brainstorming during the conception phase, mapping appropriate audiences who will be impacted, conducting an effective listing and auditing exercise to understand the current conversation/temperaments, and beyond!