What Not to Share About Your Health System

The more, the merrier, right? Not exactly. Here’s what’s off-limits when it comes to physician messaging.

Jul 25, 2019 | Hospital Solutions

We live in an age of transparency, and as expectations have evolved, today’s healthcare marketers are tasked with being as candid as ever. From establishing trust to building a network of passionate advocates, there are many advantages to engaging in an open dialogue with providers. However, there are certain topics that should remain off-limits, no matter how unguarded and honest the conversation is.

Criticizing the Competition
There may be dozens of reasons why your organization is superior, but belittling the competition will do more harm than good in the long run. Physician relationships extend far beyond institutional boundaries, making it important to steer clear of this hazard. Instead of telling your physician audience why they should want to partner with you instead of someone else, show them by highlighting an accolade or a first-person provider testimonial.

Overemphasizing One Subspecialty
Everyone wants to be known for something, and it can be easy to hang your hat on a major ranking or designation. However, savvy healthcare marketers know that putting too much emphasis on only one aspect of their business can have a negative impact on their brand as a whole, and can alienate physicians who have no involvement in that specialty.

If you have a nationally ranked interventional cardiology program or organ transplant center, that’s definitely worth shouting about from the rooftops. However, it’s crucial that you ensure your marketing strategy supports all of your programs and physicians fairly to prevent your business from being typecast by both internal and external providers. Plus, you don’t want to discourage otherwise engaged physicians from being valuable brand advocates by focusing all of your marketing dollars on a service line they might not be a part of.

Unvetted Announcements
In healthcare practice, there is very limited room for error. A similar standard exists for any news coming from the corporate office. If there’s an exciting development that’s not 100 percent set in stone, think carefully before divulging information that may need to be corrected down the road. Rather than focusing on the details, keep your message general. You can always hone the specifics at a later date.

Sharing Content on the Wrong Channels
Not all content is appropriate for every platform. While some public-facing news items might be relevant to your physician audience — such as your hospital’s announcement of a new staff member, a significant gift or a consumer-focused health program — physician-specific news often belongs in its own category. An announcement about a highly complex new treatment protocol, for example, is best-suited to a network like Doximity, where medical professionals are already looking for the latest research tailored to their specific needs and interests.

Ready to share what makes your hospital great with a larger network of physicians? You’ve come to the right place.

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