Updated: Dec 29, 2022
The stark factors dominating our headlines are being felt across most industry sectors as we progress into 2023 with no exception to the health industry. Climate change appears to be an unstoppable march. The impact of politics is being felt on brands much more quickly. Social media could easily convert into a political and ethical landmine even with the most considered and run of the mill campaigns. Recruiting will require more creativity as the industry competes to find and keep staff. What does this mean for communicators? Here’s what the senior team at JFPR sees as we look ahead:
Customers take top billing For more than a year, the corporate world has been focussing on their employees and positioning them as their number one audience following the Great Resignation. Of course, your employees are still important, but a down economy will force a shift in communications, because businesses need to focus on profitability and growth in a financially unbalanced climate. There will be a greater focus on audience with finer study on segmentation and the impact that brand communications is having across various channels. The need to understand and gather more engagement from your audience will be very important.
Creators are the present and future of digital marketing Whilst it is making an impact across other industries as a gamechanger, TikTok is yet to inspire the medical sector to create content for the platform which up until recently has been the domain of a younger audience. What is clear is that more health brands have discovered that with the right messaging and tone, you can get more engagement with Tik Tok than any other audience which can influence other digital platforms. What is also clear is that the addictiveness of the platform and the ease in which you can showcase technical skillset and knowledge in small sound bites has made this SNS attract the fast-growing audience base amongst socially shy 30 – 60 year generation.
ESG One of the hottest organizational topics is the rapid emergence of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) as a mission and operational priority. The environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda will have an increasing influence on the way health and care businesses are perceived by prospective investors, lenders, employees, suppliers, service users and regulators – such as the Care Quality Commission in England. The reality, however, is that social risk in health and care needs to be viewed through a wider lens. It clearly encompasses other responsible business factors, such as policies and practices affecting employees.
In this context, diversity and inclusion is increasingly important. Health and social care providers will want to review and, if necessary, revise boardroom representation targets, and consider their approach to recruitment to understand and address any inherent bias, for example. Mechanisms for supporting women returning from maternity leave or living with women’s health conditions are also relevant, as are policies around flexible working and parental and carer’s leave.
Reputation management will be more proactive Some companies will have crisis communication plans, but they are often tucked away “just in case” or used in a reactive fashion. Good reputation management strategies are proactive, ongoing, refined and forward-thinking companies will prioritize them in 2023. Building a positive and memorable reputation for your company now will help you if a crisis strikes in the future. Take the initiative to develop a long-term reputation management plan before your reputation is called into question. What steps will you take to cultivate your ideal brand image? How can you grow a database of “friendlies” who have positive perceptions of your company and would be willing to share those positive views publicly through social media and quotes in news articles? What are your contingency plans if something happens to tarnish this image?
Be ready for new chaos With rebalancing comes additional swings that no one can predict, although over here, we’re pretty good at imagining the worst and most bizarre cases – those are becoming more frequent with the addition of social media. Accidental data transfers, hacks, workplace violence, workplace bullying, faulty business models, layoffs, unionization and I’m just scratching the surface of the potential landscape for any business. Every company needs a crisis plan before the fact, even if you’re one of the good ones — not everyone who works for you and with you has the same good intentions. If you bristle at the word “crisis,” we can call it an “issues” plan, but have one. An intentional plan can turn a massive crisis in a news cycle.
For more information about our services please contact Juliet Francis at JFPR Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org