Affect Shares Tips for Healthcare Brands to Build Tech Storylines Into PR & Marketing Efforts

New York, September 18, 2017 — From artificial intelligence to virtual reality to telehealth, emerging technologies are changing the face of modern healthcare. Several recent HIMSS surveys of healthcare providers showed that respondents are utilizing a variety of mobile tools to engage patients, including app-enabled patient portals, telehealth services and text communications, and nearly 52% of hospitals surveyed currently use three or more connected health technologies. In order for healthcare organizations to stay competitive and attract patients, it’s critical that they incorporate their use of technology into PR and marketing efforts. However, many marketers struggle to effectively communicate how their organization is implementing innovative new tech, or have been hesitant to participate in the conversation about technology’s impact on healthcare because the topic is still so new.

“As a first step, marketers need to start having conversations with their physicians, CTOs, CIOs and other influencers to better understand how their organization is leveraging emerging technology, and what their perspective is on the topic,” said Melissa Baratta, senior vice president and healthcare practice lead at Affect. “We’ve worked with brands that thought they weren’t doing anything unique, or couldn’t provide a meaningful point of view on the subject – but once they start asking those questions, it often turns out they have a lot to say. Realistically, you don’t have to be making multi-billion dollar investments here in order to have a voice; being able to talk about 2-3 interesting use cases, or how tech is impacting your target audience or the industry, can make a big difference for your brand.”

Now is the time to jump into the discussion and claim share of voice. Affect provides 4 tips for healthcare organizations to incorporate tech stories into their PR and marketing programs:

  1. Be a Resource: Creating tips-based campaigns around themes that are creating a lot of buzz – such as patient data security or AI – can position your organization as a trusted resource. The insights can be presented as articles, blog posts or even social media snippets, including videos and Facebook Live posts, where the spokesperson can give expert guidance. Having executive spokespeople discuss topics that relate to industry trends can resonate from a patient, B2B and media perspective.
  1. Ask & Gather Data: Surveys are a very effective way to gather data and build a compelling story, and are an especially useful tactic for B2B healthcare brands. For example, surveying physicians about the top challenges they’re experiencing with regard to data overload, followed by questions about whether they’re currently exploring AI and machine learning technologies to overcome those challenges (assuming you’re not an AI vendor), could make for a compelling storyline. Having that kind of data can enable you to create a report, develop a media campaign, and host a webinar, among other PR and marketing initiatives.
  1. Share Your Opinions: Writing bylines or op-eds position your leaders as experts and innovators, and enable your organization to share what it thinks about tech trends rather than what it is doing. Can your CEO or Chief Medical Officer offer a perspective on where the industry is headed and how emerging technologies such as AI or machine learning will impact drug research or healthcare delivery? Can your physicians comment on patient needs, and how technologies such as better EMR systems can support them? These insights can be incredibly powerful. If you’re wondering where to start, ask your experts about what they’re seeing on the ground, or for a unique perspective on what’s being talked about in the news.
  1. Predict the Future: Predictionsare a great way to showcase thought leadership, and again, don’t require a laundry list of your organization’s own emerging tech accomplishments. Consider issuing a predictions press release toward the end of the year, highlighting your organization’s perspective on the top ways emerging technologies will impact the industry and patients in the coming year. You can also put out a year-in-review report, or state of the industry report at the beginning of the year, highlighting important trends, sharing executive insights and some proprietary or third party supporting data and discussing whether or not those trends will likely continue.

“You don’t always have to promote what you’re doing from a tech perspective with a press release or big campaign,” said Baratta. “Organizations sometimes get hung up thinking about how to compete with the biggest healthcare companies in the country on the tech stage. The thing is, you don’t have to. Simply having a perspective on emerging tech is okay. The most important thing is getting out there and having a voice.”

As tech continues to drive conversations in the healthcare space, the organizations that have a compelling tech narrative will achieve stronger brand awareness and a competitive edge.

About Affect

Affect is a public relations and social media firm with office in New York and Boston. Established in 2002, the company specializes in technology, healthcare and professional services. Affect employs a results-driven approach to communications, crafting one-of-a-kind programs to help clients achieve their business goals. As year-round strategic counsel, or a single project resource, Affect leverages its creative talent, unique experience and forward-thinking insights to achieve the precise results that clients seek. For more information, web: www.affect.com; blog: www.techaffect.com; Twitter: @teamaffect.