What’s the key to a successful pr strategy for healthcare organizations? A thoughtful plan that blends traditional marketing methods with innovative digital campaigns. The healthcare industry is one of the largest in the U.S. at 2.5 trillion per year. While there is ample opportunity, there is also steep competition. To achieve their business goals, healthcare organizations must evolve their PR strategies and cultivate key relationships. Here’s everything you need to know to design compelling healthcare PR strategies.

Six Components For a Winning Healthcare PR Strategy

While every healthcare organization is unique, successful PR strategies in the industry all share these six key components. Incorporate the following tips to create a powerful and captivating PR strategy for your healthcare brand.

Focus on a Clear Goal

The first step is to define the objectives of your healthcare public relations strategy. Are you striving to improve sales? Boost brand awareness? Tap into a new target audience? Make your goals as specific, measurable and timebound as possible. For example, the healthcare PR campaign aims to boost sales by 30% in the next six months by targeting a new demographic of potential customers. Once your goals are defined, you can track progress and evaluate result metrics effectively.

Create Compelling Content

Content is king — especially when it comes to PR. The caliber of content your organization creates can boost brand affinity and help your current audience and future potential customers. Just consider how this eating disorder healthcare case study harnessed compelling, resourceful content to educate target audiences, and ultimately, save lives. Content that reflects your healthcare organization’s mission, provides value to your target audience, and tells rather than sells, is the sweet spot to achieving results.

Effectively Utilize PR Channels

It’s no secret that there are pros and cons to both traditional and digital PR channels — but it’s lesser known that a strategic blend of both is required for optimal success in the healthcare industry. Traditional PR is a direct approach that utilizes established channels, such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Digital PR, on the other hand, focuses on newer, digital channels, such as websites and social media, to manage brand awareness.

Incorporate a Powerful Networking Strategy

Did you know that millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites than any other PR technique? That’s why every successful public relations strategy harnesses the powerful potential of influencers, industry leaders that have earned respect and authority. Consider this successful healthcare case study of a national yoga powerhouse that leaned on strong media connections, influencer ingenuity and grassroots outreach to secure creative media coverage and elevate their event to a summer bucket-list item. A powerful networking strategy will amplify your message exponentially further than traditional tactics alone.

Leverage Press Releases

Press releases are another essential component of the best healthcare PR campaigns. Straightforward and respected throughout the industry, press releases allow your organization to quickly and successfully tell your message to the media and key stakeholders.

Analyze Campaign Outcomes

Every successful healthcare public relations campaign can be — and is — measured every step of the way. Make sure to measure and analyze results throughout and post-campaign to tweak tactics, track progress and ensure optimal success.

Two Types of PR Strategies: Which One Is For You?

While traditional and digital PR both work to share your organization’s core message in a way that resonates with your target audiences, they use different channels for doing so. Want to see a strategic approach that incorporates both traditional and digital PR? Check out this winning healthcare provider case study that leveraged a multi-channel content marketing strategy to inspire behavior change that saved lives.

Which one is right for your healthcare brand? Understanding your PR goal, target audiences and measurement metrics will help you decide which public relations strategy will give you the greatest return on investment.

Each Utilizes A Different Channel

Traditional PR focuses on “old-school” channels like newspapers, magazines, television, and radio, while digital PR utilizes “new school” channels like social media, websites, and blogs. Digital PR uses methods related to social media, digital marketing, and content marketing to reach audiences while traditional PR relies on things like press releases, reputation management, and trade shows to amplify core messages. Both can be incredibly effective strategies. Consider how this global medical device brand executed a social media strategy to increase leads by 2,500%.

Digital PR Campaigns Are More Likely to Generate Engagement and Feedback

While it’s more difficult to engage with your audience through traditional PR channels, digital channels offer the opportunity to receive immediate feedback and ongoing engagement. Digital PR methods tend to promote more audience interactions and allow healthcare companies to see how their campaigns are doing in real-time.

Digital Success is Easier to Measure

One of the greatest benefits of digital PR is the easy access it offers to metrics. From engagement and impressions to reach, clicks and conversions, digital PR can be measured instantly. While not impossible, it’s not as easy or thorough to determine how many people saw a newspaper article or magazine ad.

Traditional Is More Direct, While Digital Is More Flexible

Due to its formatting and objectives, traditional PR avenues are more direct, while digital tools allow for more creativity and flexibility, but have to navigate SEO best practices and social media algorithms.

Digital Has Greater Reach

Thanks to the power of social sharing, digital PR tactics make it easier to reach a larger audience. It is not impossible to reach a large audience through traditional methods, but the potential to reach more is greater through a strategic approach to social media sharing.

Which One Suits Your Healthcare Business Best?

While there are strong pros and cons to traditional and digital public relations strategies, both Strategic approaches hold tremendous potential and healthcare organizations must strategically leverage them to remain competitive in the industry today. The public relations strategy you choose should reflect your organization’s unique needs, goals and audiences.

The Importance of Creating a PR Strategy For Clinics and Hospitals

A strong public relations strategy is the way in which your clinic or hospital can communicate with industry media and, by extension, consumers and patients. Public relations — like marketing and advertising is an essential effort in the healthcare industry. Whether announcing new solutions and innovations, launching a health awareness campaign, debuting groundbreaking thought leadership or planting a flag for a cause, this vast and multifaceted industry is one where news without amplification can get lost. PR agencies, like Communications Strategy Group (CSG®), are armed with the resources, expertise and industry knowledge to help healthcare organizations achieve their business goals through the power of public relations.

Ensure Brand Reputation Though Content Management

PR and content marketing are key to taking the compelling, helpful content your healthcare organization produces and getting it in front of the right audiences. This is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and navigate a pr healthcare crisis.

Crisis Management

The entire world is not within your control — whether external or internal, there are forces beyond your influence that may create challenges for your healthcare organization. When crisis situations arise, you need to have a plan of how to respond or you will be scrambling only to start from a deficit. The prevalence of these challenges throws into sharp relief the fact that it is less a question of if your organization needs a crisis communication and reputation management strategy and more a question of when it will be needed.

Increase Business Growth

At the end of the day, successful healthcare PR campaigns are directly tied to an organization’s overall business goals. Building brand rapport with current patients, attracting potential customers, and cultivating industry respect and authority all work together to increase your organization’s bottom line.

Five Best Practices in Healthcare Public Relations

Once your organization understands its overall business and public relations goals, these five practices are key to achieving optimal campaign results in the healthcare industry.

Don’t Disregard Media Training

A great spokesperson who can break down industry jargon, share key messages effectively and connect with target audiences is invaluable to healthcare public relations, protecting organizational reputation and creating offensive and defensive messaging strategies. Take the time to properly train — and provide ongoing educational opportunities — for your spokespeople and the investment will pay off in spades.

Pitch a Story, Not a Product

Especially in the healthcare industry, people connect with stories over products. Fortunately, the healthcare space is chock full of inspiring narratives. Pinpoint the stories that best tell your brand’s story and find unique and creative ways to share them with your audiences.

Understand Your Objectives and Act Accordingly

Using your organization’s objectives as a guidepost, continue to check in throughout the PR campaign to ensure your tactics align and make sense. Just because another organization is utilizing a certain channel doesn’t mean your brand should if it doesn’t help your chief objective.

Stay Updated With Awards and Recognitions

Awards and recognitions are a great way to build authority, gain respect, introduce your brand to new audiences and generate positive press. Apply for relevant product and people awards often to reap the benefits of your organization’s hard work.

Distribute Your Message Through Every Channel

From inspiring stories to timely news pieces, be sure to repurpose content for multiple channels — blog posts, social media, press releases, web copy, video, etc. This is a great way to make the most out of every piece of content and get your message in front of more of your target audience.

FAQs on PR Strategy For Healthcare

How Can I Develop a Winning Healthcare PR Strategy?

Design a strategy that hones in on a clear goal, produces compelling content, utilizes PR channels, taps a purposeful network, prioritizes press releases and evaluates campaign metrics.

What is the Best Way to Approach PR for B2B Healthcare Brands?

To stand out in the crowded B2B healthcare market, create creative content that resonates with your target audiences and leverage PR outreach, content marketing and social media strategies to disseminate your message.

How Much Money Should Health Startups Invest in PR?

Health startups should focus on how to prioritize PR over how much to invest. Once the right strategy is set, the budget can grow as the startup evolves.

Develop The Best PR Strategy For Your Company

If your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room, public relations is your chance to join important conversations. It’s about being heard and seen for the right reasons. It’s about cultivating awareness and curating esteem. It’s about making your message count. Steeped in healthcare marketing and media and influencer relations experience, CSG is a purpose-built strategic healthcare public relations agency model that understands industry nuances and delivers results.

Contact us today to discover how the CSG team can help your organization execute a personalized healthcare PR campaign that amplifies your message and bolsters your bottom line.