Winter sniffles are not an uncommon seasonal occurrence. However, what has been striking in the past few months is how many people have had respiratory illnesses lasting for weeks at a time. Despite this being anecdotal, it seems to be as a result of higher levels of respiratory infection than we’ve seen in previous winters.
Health experts are now warned of a ‘tripledemic’ of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that is fuelling pneumonia cases. Worldwide RSV is the most common cause of inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia) or the airways (bronchiolitis) in infants, resulting in around 3.6 million hospital admissions each year.
Meanwhile flu and COVID-19 are high too. Cases of flu climbed more rapidly in England last year, suggesting the season had begun earlier than normal. Descendants of the COVID-19 Omicron variant continue to circulate as well, with the subvariant spread proving to be the most transmissible form of the virus yet. It is also more easily able to evade vaccines.
It begs the question:
How can healthcare professionals in all sectors carve out an opportunity in the media and highlight the dangers of lesser-known health issues such as respiratory illnesses.
Here we explore four key ways a healthcare communications agency can help to break through the media landscape and raise the profile of your healthcare business.
Reacting to breaking news stories
A key strand of PR activity is to hijack the news agenda and secure comment opportunities for your spokespeople on breaking stories. Ultimately this helps viewers to associate your brand with relevant topics and position your spokespeople as go-to industry experts.
This is exactly what we have did for LifeWorks, a global leader in wellbeing, responding to breaking news stories and mental health awareness days to illustrate the company’s world-leading experience. It resulted in top tier coverage in the likes of the Metro, Wired, Business Insider and Euronews.
News commentary was also a key activity focus for Doctorlink, the leading triage provider to the NHS. We secured over 100 national pieces of coverage in 12 months by hijacking pieces related to the pandemic.
Educating through thought leadership
A major part of raising your brand’s profile is be perceived as an expert by potential customers, who may or may not choose your services based on what they can learn from you.
With complex issues such as respiratory illnesses, a large proportion of consumers are still uneducated as to how they can minimise the risk to these infections. In fact, thought leadership content is a great way of educating and building trust with your target audience on any relevant health related subjects.
PHA operate a newsroom mentality and regularly write thought leadership articles to a national standard and regularly place our client’s insight in top-tier opinion slots.
Top tier profiling
A key tactic to reach the B2B market – and outline the position of the company within its market – is company profiling.
This involves seeking opportunities in key titles for senior company figures to tell their story to profile journalists. Most of these columns/pages exist for founders to outline how they started and grew their firm. But there are also opportunities for other areas of the C-Suite, particularly in sector press.
Slots include BBC CEO Secrets, BBC The Boss and Independent View From The Top.
These stories will provide third-party validation of your services and drive awareness by giving tangible examples that readers will relate to.
By targeting national, broadcast, consumer and regional media, it is possible secure interviews and written features that document their experiences to raise the profile of your company.
If you would like to find out more about how a healthcare communications strategy could help your business break through the media landscape get in touch today.