The healthcare sector presents unique challenges for communicators, particularly for those operating with the consumer health PR world. There is the need for consumer health PR programs that are global, regional and local in scope as a means to introduce healthcare-related e-commerce portals, next-generation medical devices, and new drugs and products. In addition, the consumer health PR pro needs to be experienced in managing product recalls and withdrawals as well in establishing grassroots campaigns to rally support around specific public and legislative issues. The consummate consumer health PR pro also needs to be on top of the latest trends in medical device technology, biopharmaceuticals, women’s health, cardiology, among other areas.
In todays high-tech world of information consumption, consumer health PR is all about messaging creating, distributing and engaging target audiences with your brand messages via a variety of communication venues. A true consumer health PR pro can help shape your brand messages into information that educates, enlightens and engages.
How does one undertake a successful consumer health PR program? The early stages include gathering relevant data about the organization or product and setting objectives. Of course, it is essential to understand your target audiences. What are their media habits? What are their primary sources for information and so forth. After that, a strategy is developed and shaped following diligent study and analysis of the acquired data. The final step to launching a consumer health PR effort is the implementation of the strategy as well as putting in place a mechanism to determine how successful the actual impact is to the reputation of the company.
A big part of the strategy in launching a consumer health PR program involves media outreach. It is extremely important that any consumer health PR plan involve both traditional as well as social media as todays highly mobile consumer could be considered a moving target.
In seeking to undertake a consumer health PR campaign, you need a pro. Look for one that specializes in your particular area — OTC health, beauty and nutritional products. The ideal consumer health PR pro should have experience in working with all channels from traditional print and broadcast, to social networking and digital venues to help cut through the clutter in creative, meaningful ways.
Deploying a consumer health PR program should be done with the assistance of a public relations firm or specialized practitioner. Such firms can handle all of the aforementioned plans and strategies. This includes data gathering, analysis and implementation of the program using time tested and proven methods, ensuring a positive impact to the organizations reputation as well as the dissemination of important information.