7 Ways The Pandemic Changed Your Health Consumers

7 Ways The Pandemic Changed Your Health Consumers

Let’s do a little check-in.

Have you changed since the pandemic?

My suspicion? Probably so. 

Let me guess. You probably spend more time on your digital device. Health is more top-of-mind for you than before—partly due to the fact that your pants might be fitting a bit more snug these days. (Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone.) You probably tune into health news reporting more than before. (Which says a lot, considering you’re in health care.) 

You’re also probably feeling every bit of the stress and strain of living through a pandemic.

Why am I telling you this? Because your health audiences have changed since the pandemic, too.

In small, significant ways. 

And in large, paradigm-shifting ways.

That’s really, really important to know if you are in the business of communicating and engaging health audiences and consumers.

Prior to COVID-19, Hailey Sault developed yearly audience persona models that represent the four generations of health care consumers: Gen Z, Millennials, Generation X and Boomers. These persona models allow us to identify the universal qualities and concerns of our health care clients, which we then customize to our client’s specific audience cohorts. 

But since March of 2020, Hailey Sault has updated our health care audience personas four times to reflect changes in consumers like:

  1. Attitudes on personal health
  2. New health challenges
  3. Prioritizing their family’s health 
  4. Media consumption habits
  5. Barriers to accessing care
  6. Ability to pay for medical care 
  7. Attitudes on diversity, equality and inclusion

Let’s double-click on each of these changes so that you can make better human connections with the audiences you seek to engage. . 

ATTITUDES ON PERSONAL HEALTH

As health care marketers and communicators, our job is to share helpful and insightful health resources to our consumer audiences. Even when that means communicating things that our audiences would prefer not to think about (like screenings and unhealthy habits that lead to chronic disease). 

Yet for almost a year and a half, people have been riveted to news and content about health. Fear is a powerful motivator. You now have an audience who is primed to receive content and resources to help empower their health journey. Are you leveraging this rare opportunity to create new connections, conversations and engagement with your health audiences? 

NEW HEALTH CHALLENGES

Pundits and public health policy people will be debating the benefits and unintended consequences of the lockdowns for years to come. One thing is certain: your health consumers are most certainly facing new health challenges these days. 

A recent KFF study suggests 23% of women skipped a recommended medical test or treatment and 38% of women missed preventative health services in 2020. MEDPAGE TODAY shared the study and called 2020 a “Lost Year for Women’s Medical Care.” We’re facing a tsunami of undiagnosed cancer, heart disease and other disease conditions. Your health audience has new health needs—whether they know it yet or not. Does your marketing strategy address these new health challenges and how to help your audiences?

PRIORITIZING THEIR FAMILY’S HEALTH 

Female health consumers tend to prioritize their family’s health over their own. If you’re a mother or daughter of a sick, aging parent, you know what I mean. (Speaking of which, the Cleveland Clinic wrote a great article encouraging women to not think that self-care is selfish.) The pandemic didn’t change this attitude, but it did intensify mom’s desire to keep her family and loved ones well. 

How is your brand serving as a bridge to connect your female audiences with the health solutions they’re seeking: for themselves and for their loved ones? Your female audience might tune out (temporarily) to advertising and content encouraging her to return for care or take the next step in her health journey. But she’ll definitely keep an eye out for any resources that empower and improve her family’s health.

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MEDIA CONSUMPTION HABITS

According to eMarketer, the amount of time spent consuming digital media rose from 6 hours, 49 minutes per day to a whopping 7 hours, 50 minutes per day in 2020—and experts predict we’ll see modest growth in 2021. 

Has your digital strategy kept pace with consumer demand? Are you leveraging new channels and digital content tools like TikTok (don’t snicker, it works for our health care clients), Facebook’s version of Clubhouse, and Instagram Reel Ads? 

Telling great health care brand stories is one thing. But telling those stories on the platforms your audience is spending more and more of her waking life is the key to consumer engagement and utilization of your brand’s health services. 

BARRIERS TO ACCESSING CARE

Thankfully, the pandemic is beginning to recede in the U.S. But that doesn’t mean consumers are less concerned about contracting diseases. That’s why it’s no surprise that Humana just acquired Onehome as part of the booming hospital-at-home market. Health consumers have always dragged their feet going into a hospital or clinic: the parking is lousy and you wait forever to be seen. The quick spinning up of virtual health and telehealth services was a great example of health care brands acting agile in the face of a once in a century pandemic. 

Is your health brand innovating the way it delivers care so that all your health audiences can access services in the way they prefer? Sure, open-heart surgery still needs to be done in an operating room. (We’re waiting on AI to change that.) But consider all the ways your consumers would use your health brand’s services if they were more accessible and more aligned with their lives and desires?

ABILITY TO PAY FOR MEDICAL CARE

Health care costs have always been a stressor for consumers. 2020 turned the fire up on this crisis. According to HEALTHCAREDIVE, a record one in four Americans are now covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, an increase of 14% from old enrollment stats. 

Your health consumers are likely to be concerned with the cost of health care, and how to pay for treatment. How are you helping your health audiences to navigate their way to receiving care in ways they can afford?   

ATTITUDES ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

If there was a blessing in the calamity and grief we experienced in 2020, it was that more and more Americans came to understand that Black and Brown people have been underserved and mistreated in our country: including in health care settings. 

I suspect you and your colleagues want nothing less than to provide an exceptional care experience for all their patients and consumers, and are making vital changes to that end. 

So let me ask you: how are your brand messaging and your audience engagement strategies aligning with your audience’s evolving attitudes on diversity, equity and inclusion? Do your campaigns reflect the rich tapestry of life experiences and points of view of your audiences? Are you engaging with multiple audience personas, and not just the stereotypical “woman, ages 25-54”? As Bono once sang, “We’re one, but we’re not the same.” Try to avoid messaging that tries to appeal to all and resonates with none. 

THE WRAP UP

We’ve all been living under great and intense pressure the last 15+ months. That pressure has had its effect on our health audiences. And those effects mean profound changes to how your consumers and patients are thinking and feeling these days. By inviting more curiosity, you can discover insights that lead to marketing strategies that engage your health audiences in new and more powerful ways. Invite your team to explore one or more of these seven changes in your health consumers to uncover insights to help your health brand to grow—and, more importantly, to help your audiences to find their way to better care and better health.  

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Why Engagement is the New Health Care Branding

Why Engagement is the New Health Care Branding

The ever-quotable Seth Godin says that marketing used to mean advertising. Now marketing means everything. After all, the ways in which consumers learn about and engage with brands transcends traditional advertising. In health care, branding used to mean brand advertising: the big, high ticket campaigns that are designed to elicit positive feelings about health care brands. 

But after COVID-19, branding no longer means “running ads.” Today, health care branding means consumer engagement. 

That’s because COVID-19 changed our patient-consumers’ attitudes, beliefs and desires about health and health brands. It used to be that patient-consumers didn’t want to hear from hospitals and health systems unless there was a crisis, mounting pain, or nudges for annual exams. After all, there are more pleasant things to think about than scheduling the annual colonoscopy. Health system marketers accepted the premise that their Facebook and Instagram posts might only receive modest engagement—certainly nothing to the extent of a hot new consumer device like a new iPhone or whatever brand a Kardashian is selling. Health care content promoting life-saving cardiology procedures isn’t nearly as enticing to consumers as fun videos of cute dogs actually silly.  

But all that changed with COVID-19. Now, your patient-consumers care about their health like never before. And they want to hear from health care brands. 

Like, a lot.

YOUR PATIENTS WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. A LOT. 

Hailey Sault has been tracking patient-consumer sentiment since May 2020. At the high point of the pandemic, 52% of consumers said they wanted to hear from their physician or health system daily. 

Daily!

As the pandemic recedes, patient-consumers don’t want the daily briefings. But they do want steady, ongoing engagement.

Are you engaging with your patient-consumers and helping them to nurture their health and wellness? Or is your competition?

Health care brand loyalty used to be measured primarily with brand tracking public perception surveys. For example, do consumers regard our hospital more favorably than other brands in the marketplace? We also used to track brand loyalty based on a patient-consumer’s perception on where they would turn or trust the most for specific medical services like cancer care, cardiac services, and OB-GYN services. 

Brand tracking still has a useful home in the Chief Marketing Officer’s portfolio. But COVID-19 taught us that consumer preferences, beliefs and desires are fluid and can change in a heartbeat. Health care chief marketing officers can’t afford to wait on quarterly or yearly brand tracking studies to know how the brand is performing and what consumers value at any given moment. 

YOUR ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY IS CHANGING BECAUSE YOUR AUDIENCE IS CHANGING. 

We’ve reached the tipping point in health care communications in which we can’t assume or take for granted that we “know” what consumers want from our health care brands.

That’s because our audiences’ inner lives and health needs keep changing. 

Prior to COVID-19, Hailey Sault developed yearly audience persona models that represent the four generations of health care consumers: Gen Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Boomers. These persona models allow us to identify the universal qualities and concerns of our health care clients, which we then customize to our client’s specific audience cohorts. 

But since March of 2020, Hailey Sault has updated our health care audience personas four times to reflect changes in consumers like:

  1. Attitudes on personal health
  2. New health challenges
  3. Prioritizing their family’s health 
  4. Media consumption habits
  5. Barriers to accessing care
  6. Ability to pay for medical care 
  7. Attitudes on diversity, equality and inclusion
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REAL-TIME CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT FEEDBACK LOOPS

Health care marketing personas are powerful tools for developing messaging and media strategies. For us at Hailey Sault, human-centered personas are the starting point for marketing and brand strategy. 

But we optimize our campaign strategies based on real-time marketplace feedback. 

  • What are consumers clicking on? 
  • What are they commenting on and sharing? 
  • Which messages are resonating? 

But perhaps the most essential question we’re asking ourselves these days on behalf of our clients is: when do our audiences convert from prospective to active patient status? 

After all, health care marketing and branding is designed to inspire thought, feeling, and action. Traditional brand perception surveys illuminate thoughts and feelings among consumer audiences. But it’s action that health brands seek to elicit with their campaigns. 

This is why engagement is the new health care branding. Consumers buy from brands they trust, whether that’s a new vehicle or a knee replacement. The way to build trust among your patient-consumers is to engage with them: helping them to make sense of their health, how to improve it, and make it easy to take action. 

ENGAGEMENT HAS NEVER BEEN MORE VITAL

The race to win back patient-consumers in our exam rooms has never been more competitive.

Or more vital for your patients’ health. 

MedPage Today ran a recent article titled “2020 Was a Lost Year for Women’s Medical Care.”

The article referenced a KFF study that suggests women in the U.S. missed out on a range of essential health care services during the pandemic—from routine health screenings to contraceptive care—because of public health restrictions and increased financial barriers. Compared with men, more women skipped a recommended medical test or treatment (15% vs 23%, respectively) or missed preventive health services (26% vs 38%, respectively) during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Traditional branding campaigns are designed to elicit feelings like trust among audiences. But what most health care brands need right now is for their patient-consumers to take action. That action might look like scheduling an appointment with a physician or getting an annual mammogram. 

But in our patient-consumer engagement strategies, we’re seeing that those audiences also need helpful tools to actively manage their health. After all, the average American put on two pounds for every month of lockdown. (We know obesity is linked to many disease conditions, and most Americans were already overweight pre-pandemic.) 

ABC News reported that U.S. deaths from heart disease climbed amid COVID-19.  According to the news report, “Experts believe a big reason may be that many people with dangerous symptoms made the lethal mistake of staying away from the hospital for fear of catching the coronavirus.” 

As physician and medical satirist Zubin Damania, MD has shared on his podcast and social media network, “COVID-19 is on the decline. But the fear associated with it will take longer to unwind.”

In the early days of COVID-19, health brands encouraged people to “stay home and save lives.” Now we have to nurture our patient-consumers to address their complete health needs: whether that means getting more exercise or getting that fluttering heartbeat checked out by a cardiologist. 

How your health care brand engages your patient-consumers is how your audiences will, in turn, perceive your brand. 

  • Are you meeting your patient-consumers where they are?
  • Are you “taking the pulse” of your audience to see what their top health concerns are? 
  • Are you helping to unwind the fear associated with the pandemic so your patient-consumers feel more comfortable and confident getting back to life and back in the exam room?

The battle for brand loyalty is determined by how well you engage your patient-consumers. 

  • Does your messaging account for the nuances and needs of your diverse community?
  • Are you leveraging real-time metrics to optimize your engagement strategies?

Health care—which had once been a passive topic of conversation among most consumers—is now top-of-mind.

Are you leveraging this opportunity?

We hope so. Because if not, your competition surely will.

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COVID Brain: What to Know When Marketing to Patient Consumers

COVID Brain: What to Know When Marketing to Patient Consumers

“COVID Brain.” Do the recent digital privacy updates mean the end of digital marketing as we know it? Should hospitals see Walmart as their next—and perhaps greatest—fiscal threat?

These were just a few topics I asked our panel of health care marketing industry experts on our June 18th, 2021 Campfire. Special thanks to Rob Klein of Klein + Partners, James Gardner, and Colin Hung for joining the “hot seat” for our Ask the Experts Campfire!

Read below for highlights or watch the replay video. And sign up below to get notified of our next webinars: conversational, insightful and sometimes just plain light-hearted—because health care communicators need to laugh sometimes.

COVID BRAIN: WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN MARKETING TO PATIENT CONSUMERS

“When it comes to consumer health care marketing, we have to remember we’re talking to people with ‘COVID Brain.’” That was how Rob Klein, health care branding researcher, began his remarks at our Campfire roundtable with industry experts.

COVID Brain, as Rob explained it, is what happens when our cognitive skills are impaired due to fear and chronic stress. (Umm, this might have something to do with living in a pandemic.) 

Marketing and communicating health care to consumer audiences has always been a worthy challenge. After all, marketers are often tasked with communicating services that our audiences might not need for years (like cardiology care) or want to think about (like cancer care). 

Fear is a motivator for action. (Like smelling smoke in your house and exiting pronto.) But too much fear? Or worse yet: chronic, ongoing fear, (like what we’ve experienced for over a year since COVID-19), can stunt people from taking healthy actions like:

  • Rescheduling the mammogram that was delayed due to COVID-19. 
  • Talking with a doctor about strange aches and shortness of breath.
  • Admitting their health challenges are greater than they can manage on their own. 

Rob recommends encouraging your physicians to exhibit “Empathetic Access”: active listening and engagement with patients. Prior to the pandemic, consumers complained about “doorjamb doctors”: physicians who practically stood in the doorway of the exam room as the patient tried to remember all the things to ask during the appointment. 

Now, that need for human connection among consumers with physicians is only greater: especially as many of us still have knock-on effects due to “COVID brain.” 

Maybe you’re not in a position to counsel physicians on how to care for patients. Maybe you can’t immediately change the industry average 18-minute patient exam.

But how can you enlighten your doctors, nurses and other care team members about what patients are thinking, feeling and craving right now? 

As health care marketing communications professionals, our jobs are most often in service of representing the voice of the patient. How might you illuminate how your health system’s patients are doing these days to inspire better engagement and shared understanding?

BONUS TIP: GET THIS BOOK:

Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance

In this book, Erica Dhawan, a go-to thought leader on collaboration and a passionate communication junkie, combines cutting edge research with engaging storytelling to decode the new signals and cues that have replaced traditional body language across genders, generations and cultures. 

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APPLE AND GOOGLE TO MARKETERS: WE HOPE YOU LIKE RADICAL CHANGE

During the Campfire, Colin Hung referenced a recent article he wrote on HITMC about Apple’s recent changes to their email privacy features. 

And it’s kind of a big deal.

The gist? Apple’s new email privacy features will effectively end tracking of opens, forwards, location and IP addresses. This means no more A/B testing of subject lines, knowing if your email was forwarded to someone else or which organization the recipient works for. 

Doesn’t sound like a big deal to you?

Consider this: 51.8% of all emails are opened using an Apple device. If half of our potential audience is leveraging Apple’s new privacy settings, then marketing’s traditional “bread and butter” metrics—like email open rates—are a thing of the past. 

Colin—a glass half full kind of person—is hopeful that Apple’s changes, along with Google’s recent news that it will end third-party cookies in Chrome (and potentially drive to extinction 3rd party cookie-based retargeting)—will encourage health care marketers to imagine better, more meaningful metrics and KPIs. 

What are the potential “upsides” of Apple’s and Google’s news for health care marketers?

Well, to start with the obvious first principle: increase your emphasis on creating great content: the stuff that benefits your audience, which they want to consume, share and take action on.

Next up: iterate and innovate. As of this writing, we are 193 days from going “cookieless.” Pull the team together and figure out how to reimagine your KPIs in a cookie-less world. How robust are your first-party data practices? What new data points and insights can you leverage to help shape your future digital marketing campaigns?

This might seem like a big assignment. But then again, remember you survived a pandemic. It’s all downhill from here. 

HEALTH CARE MARKETERS: WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

James Gardner has become the media’s thought leader on all things Retail Health. During the Hailey Sault Campfire, James talked about Walmart’s launch of Walmart Health, a doctor-run clinic offering services like X-rays, annual checkups and dental exams. 

CVS, Walgreens and Amazon have all staked inroads into health care. And why not? Health care is a $3.6 trillion industry and consumers have long complained understandably about rising health care costs.

Don’t think your local hospital or health system doesn’t have to put the big box retailers in its competitive set? 

I would caution against that. 

As Rob Klein pointed out during the Campfire: “Retail figured out health care faster than health care figured out retail.”

And, as James Gardner reminded us: “Walmart never loses.”

So what does this mean for you and your organization? (Provided you’re not currently working for Walmart, Amazon, CVS or Walgreens?)

  • Increased focus on consumer loyalty: in any given year, approximately 30% of your patients are thinking about switching providers. The retail health movement will peel off those patients. How can you re-engage your patients to remain loyal and connected with your brand?
  • And don’t think it’s just primary care visits and medication refills you risk losing to the retail health giants. Walmart has a long history of guiding its employed workforce to receive specialty care that it identifies as high quality and at the best possible cost. Why wouldn’t Walmart encourage its primary care patients to seek joint replacement services at the hospitals and orthopedic clinics that it deems best for its patients for both quality and price? (After all, those cost savings back to the consumer are likely to be spent at their local Walmart.)
  • Increased focus on physician loyalty: According to a survey at the end of 2020, nearly half of doctors are rethinking their careers, in large part due to COVID-19 and its impact on the health care system. How can you re-engage your physicians? (Remember: Walmart needs good doctors to staff its clinics.)

BONUS RESOURCE

Here’s a short video from CNBC featuring James on the Retail Health movement.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We’ve all come through this pandemic a bit tired, sleep-deprived, and having our fair share of “COVID Brain.” It’s a good time to check in with our marketing strategies and plans to ask if we’re running a 2019 strategy or a 2021 strategy. Because everything changed in 2020. Some good change, a lot of not so good change. But nonetheless: change. And to win the hearts and minds of our consumers, we need to keep changing as an industry. 

Do you like learning new things and connecting with fun, smart people? Then you should sign up to be notified of our next Hailey Sault Campfire webinars: they’re lively video conversations without the boring bullet point slides. Sign up below to be notified of the next Campfire and get early access to our latest thinking and strategies on how to create human connections with health care marketing. 

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Reflections on Harnessing the Power of Resilience

Reflections on Harnessing the Power of Resilience

Challenges and changes. Tests of fortitude, capacity and endurance. We all faced them in 2020 and they’ve followed us into 2021. It’s why when Mike Seyfer, Hailey Sault’s CEO and my business partner, suggested that our Believe in Better Project 2021 event be centered around resilience, I was all in.

What is Believe in Better?

For those of you who’ve never been, The Believe in Better Project is a two-day event created in the spirit of a Nantucket Project or Aspen Ideas Festival. Each year, visionary speakers are invited to give the speech of their lives focused on fixing what’s broken in health care. Each gives a 20- to 30-minute TED-style talk followed by a question and answer session. Needless to say, we’ve had a lot to discuss since The Believe in Better Project began in 2018. 

Believe in Better 2021: Harnessing the Power of Resilience

This year, of course, the event was held virtually. And, what an event it was! Our speakers and panelists embraced the topic of resilience and took us on a cathartic journey that had us: 

  • Taking pride in the obstacles we’ve overcome.
  • Reflecting on our leadership through multiple crises.
  • Confronting bias in our data-gathering and messaging.
  • Embracing a model of health care built on compassion and determined to change the system as we know it.
  • Holding ourselves and our marketing departments together through a pandemic, vaccination hesitation and more.
  • Looking inward to our strengths and reserves.
  • Moving deeper into our creativity.

7 Takeaways

Here are just a few snippets of the personal and professional resilience-building wisdom that was shared with us:

#1. Be like Luke. (thank you Eric Zimmer)

We all want a life that goes smoothly, but just like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, each of us has our own personal Darth Vaders—those tough things that enter our lives. It’s by facing our Vaders that we become open to new possibilities and opportunities; we gain personal strength; we have deeper, more powerful relationships; and we have a greater appreciation for life. 

Screen shot from webinar - Eric Zimmer

When we’re faced with an event that is difficult to get past, we have to ask ourselves:

  • What story am I telling myself about this (what am I making it mean)?
  • Who do I want to be during this?
  • Who can help me?

#2. Mother Nature is angry. We need to prepare. (thank you Jarrod Bernstein)

We live in an era where Mother Nature is angry: hurricanes, volcanoes, tornadoes, drought and a pandemic are just a few of the ways she is expressing herself. Add to her anger the political and social upheaval we’re experiencing and resilience becomes everybody’s business.

We must build a culture of resilience so that we are able to move on the fly with the right skill set. Building that culture means:

  • Making resilience part of everything you do.
  • Talking about the hazard—making it real, acknowledging it.
  • Preparing.
  • Leading and modeling resilience, as well as mental health. (Your personality, your soul and your mind need a tuneup from time to time.)
  • Being able to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
  • Testing our response.

#3. What’s wrong with data? (thank you Chris Hemphill)

We believe that data is perfect and true, when it is anything but. Why? Because the algorithms used to collect that data are biased. All algorithms are guilty of bias until proven innocent.

Screen Shot from BIB webinar - Chris Hemphill

Addressing bias in our data collection is no small task and includes looking at it with knowledge, through technology, and through our culture and philosophy. Only then can we ensure that what our data is informing is inclusive. 

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#4. Caring for the sickest of the sick. (thank you Gray Miller)

Titanium Healthcare cares for the sickest of the sick—people with three to five chronic conditions. The model its founder, Gray Miller, created provides a higher level of care to the patient through care coordination, taking time to uncover what is causing people to stay sick.

Screen shot of BIB webinar - Gray Miller

Many of Titanium’s patients are dealing with so many health and life issues that it’s difficult to get them to a state that equals something close to autonomous. However, with care, a spark can be lit and the resilience that is within them can lead to better health.

#5. We’ve learned to bend like the willow. (thank you panelists Katie Johnson, Lisa McCluskey, Cynthia Floyd Manley)

Managing and leading a marketing and communications department through the COVID crisis and on, through vaccination shortages and now vaccine hesitancy, has been a marathon that hasn’t ended. Pivoting and problem-solving in a new way has been a must. Our views on resilience have changed. We’ve come to expect challenges and we choose how to respond to them in a healthy way.

Positives that have come from the crisis:

  • Meeting with colleagues on Zoom and seeing their kids and pets has humanized them. People have become kinder and gentler and are taking care of each other.
  • Health care has had to innovate quickly and break down long-standing barriers.
  • Better collaboration among teams.
  • Physicians are engaged with marketing.
  • Increased reliance and confidence in the marketing department.
  • Connecting with the community.
  • Strong focus on employee wellness.

#6. Why all of a sudden am I burned out? (thank you Chaz Wesley)

Caregivers right now are in what is called compassion fatigue. They feel guilty and may make up a story around why they shouldn’t be feeling the way they do:

  • I am called.
  • I get paid to do this.
  • I signed up for this.

They become depressed, anxious, and detached. There is a need to find balance and discover resilience. How they cope, how they find resilience, is as individual as each person. There is no magic formula. Everyone needs permission to pause and rest.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” —Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author and Holocaust survivor. 

#7. I dare you to take this serious business and make it more human! (thank you Chrisie Scott)

Creativity is the fingerprint of the human spirit and a must-have for our times. It has a place in our most serious and personal industry—health care.

Screen shot of BIB webinar - Chrisie Scott

We need to “heartwire” our thinking and the words we use in health care—make them more human, approachable and emotive. The non-creative language we use in health care can be hurtful and even lead to poor outcomes. Everything speaks; we need to pay attention.

You can take it all in: Watch for information 

As always when The Believe in Better Project is over, I am amazed at and energized by the many brilliant people fighting for better. The many who in small and big ways care for and about those who are underserved and forgotten by the system. I am in awe of those who are working diligently to fix what is broken and I am filled with hope for where health care is headed. If you’d like to take in Believe in Better 2021, links to speaker videos and our panel discussion will be available soon. You can sign up to receive them here. I hope you’ll take me up on the offer. You’ll be amazed and energized too.

Download the 2021 Trends Report

COVID-19: The 5 Connection Points Health Care Must Nurture

COVID-19: The 5 Connection Points Health Care Must Nurture

One year ago (give or take a few weeks), our focus as health care communicators and leaders shifted from brand-driven communication to purpose-driven communication—and making connections with our audiences in order to provide vital health information. 

On this anniversary of the COVID-19 crisis (and our first Campfire session), we discuss five connection points driving patient satisfaction, staff morale and community relations. 

  1. Human-to-human connections
  2. Patient connections
  3. Staff connections
  4. Community connections
  5. Community partner connections

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Campfire Panelist:

Kevin is highly regarded and recognized for his work as a speaker, strategist, trainer and facilitator. In addition to his position at Memorial Medical Center, he is President of Stranberg & Associates and Senior Consultant with The Baird Group.

Campfire Moderators: 

  • Stephen Moegling, SVP of Growth, Hailey Sault 
  • Marsha Hystead, Partner, CCO, Hailey Sault

Connection: COVID-19’s Call to Action 

Chapters in this Campfire

00:00 Introduction—introducing Kevin and a topic overview

03:21 Connecting Human-to-Human—the basis of our work as health care communicators and leaders

08:26 Connecting with Patients—concrete strategies for realizing patient satisfaction scores that include reaching the 94th percentile for rate and the 95th percentile for recommend 

18:49 Connecting with Staff—ramping up connection and communication with staff, watching for burnout into the next year

26:15 Connecting with Community—monitoring what the community is saying, strategies for connecting online

33:55 Connecting with Community Partners—coming together for the greater good and continuing those connections

40:53 S’Mores Break—predictions: what will the office “next normal” look and feel like

Join Us for Our Next Campfire Session

Hailey Sault is a health care marketing agency that creates human connection for brands. For more patients and appointments. More engagement and advocacy. More memorability and market share.

We host these Campfire Sessions to discuss the issues and opportunities facing health care marketers. These are webinars without boring slides, bullet points, and sales pitches—just great insights shared by and for our marketing colleagues. We hope you’ll join us around the virtual Campfire.

[PAST CAMPFIRES]

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The Health Care Marketer’s Post-Pandemic World

The Health Care Marketer’s Post-Pandemic World

Who remembers Stretch Armstrong? He was the muscular, gel-filled action figure toy who could stretch from his original size of 15 inches to 4 or 5 feet and then bounce back again. That’s how one of our three guest panelists, Kelly Meigs from Tanner Health in Georgia, described how her health care marketing team has been operating since last March. The metaphor quite possibly describes how most of us feel about now. 

So, take a minute to relax back to your original shape and watch this Campfire all about what’s next for health care marketers. Hear how guests from three distinct markets—Illinois, Nevada and Georgia—are stretching their way into 2021. 

Explore health care marketing topics that include:

  • Engaging patient-consumers—what strategies are working?
  • Revenue recovery—how to get patients back in for care.
  • Planning vs. doing—how to manage daily to-dos and long-range planning.
  • Community vigilance as COVID numbers drop—encouraging medical workers to get vaccinated.
  • Being the trusted health news source.

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Campfire Panelists:

  • Kelly Meigs, Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Planning, Tanner Hospital System, Georgia
  • Laura Shea, Director of Marketing & Community Relations, Humboldt General Hospital, Nevada
  • Carl Maronich, Marketing Director, Riverside Healthcare, Illinois

Campfire Moderators: 

  • Stephen Moegling, SVP of Growth, Hailey Sault 
  • Mike Seyfer, Partner, CEO, Hailey Sault

What’s Next: Chapters in this Campfire

00:00 Introduction—guest and topic background.

09:17 Engaging patient-consumers—what strategies are working?

19:01 Revenue recovery—how to get patients back in for care.

27:51 Planning vs. doing—how to manage daily to-dos and long-range planning.

41:07 Community vigilance as COVID numbers drop—encouraging medical workers to get vaccinated.

44:24 S’Mores Break—being the trusted health news source.

Join Us for Our Next Campfire Session

Hailey Sault is a health care marketing agency that creates human connection for brands. For more patients and appointments. More engagement and advocacy. More memorability and market share.

We host these Campfire Sessions to discuss the issues and opportunities facing health care marketers. These are webinars without boring slides, bullet points, and sales pitches—just great insights shared by and for our marketing colleagues. We hope you’ll join us around the virtual Campfire.

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Download the 2021 Trends Report