October 29, 2012
Having grown up in New England, I’ve prepared for the wrath of hurricanes a number of times of my life. Hurricanes Gloria, Bob and Floyd all served to give my family and I a few good scares, but luckily, we always made it through together unscathed, save a few oak trees.
Back then, my father would preach to me on the importance of preparation, and that lesson has always stuck with me – even throughout my career. But in public relations and marketing, being fully prepared goes beyond the midnight scramble for milk and bread, taping up your windows and filling your bathtub with water. Today’s changing healthcare marketplace forces us to prepare for forces yet unseen – like the emerging marketshare of new competitors, acquisitions/mergers of your customers, unplanned staff turnover, the major legislative and regulatory changes that may result from next week’s election, etc.
Preparation serves to do more than to mitigate crisis events. It also can set an organization up for new growth and success opportunities. Louis Pasteur was once quoted as saying: “Chance favors the prepared mind,” and the same holds true in healthcare marketing communications. Organizations can work to shore up their long-term viability through the use of sound, ongoing communications planning and action. Effective public relations and social media strategies:
- Build strong, lasting-relationships with key healthcare journalists to secure your place in ongoing trend stories and feature articles
- Provide a two-way forum for customers and prospects through social media platforms
- Ensure your website and promotional sales materials have clear, consistent messaging for prospect evaluation
- Maintain constant communication with customers and prospects to ensure you stay top of mind
- Position your organization as an educational resource through regular webinars and customer events
- Establish executive spokespeople as thought leaders and sources for speaking and award opportunities
Finally, if you are on the East Coast in and in the path of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center for action plans and emergency contact information.
Be prepared and stay safe.
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