Perhaps the most significant challenge for organisations operating in the emerging world of connected health is the sheer number of stakeholders within this complex ecosystem that need to be influenced and, with it, the number of perspectives there are to account for.
In a developing sector such as this, the role that the media can play is a key one. The press can drive consumer demand; influence policy makers; and inform healthcare providers, but many connected health experts admit that they are not currently utilising the media to full effect.
So, how can an organisation in this space work with the media to communicate connected health? Here are a few top tips:
– Firstly, any successful media campaign will have to consider the spread of outlets available as vehicles for communication, the audiences they target, and the way they deliver information to those audiences.
– In order to use the media as a mechanism for change, the sector must provide content and present stories that demonstrate how connected health is already becoming part of today’s medical environment, rather than simply a vision for tomorrow’s.
– Organisations should also resist the urge to tell the press stories only about themselves. At this stage, it is important to establish the broader context, rather than focus on individual technologies and services. So, there is also a need for the sector to develop a collaborative effort by the industry to tell the whole story together.
– It is important for organisations to recognise that negative stories in the media be can be extremely damaging to public perceptions. An intelligent and united communications strategy from the connected health industry is critical to maintaining control and ensuring there is a mature debate on the topic.
– Particularly for national and trade media, it is not going to be possible to convince everyone overnight. Organisations would benefit from cultivating long-term relationships with select influential journalists in order to get them to understand and buy-in to the connected health proposition.
– When working with the trade press, organisations should tailor messages specifically to each readership. Demonstrating an understanding of what is important to a publication’s readers, providing information that takes account of these factors, and avoiding a focus on the company’s own offering, are all important.
In a future post, we’ll discuss the role of social media – an increasingly powerful communications tool – in the communication of connected health. Stay tuned!