HEALTHCARE MARKETING SOLUTIONS

How to Effectively Communicate During COVID-19

We’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic the likes of which most of us have never seen, and healthcare organizations are battling on the front lines. Your staff and employees are likely putting patients first and working around-the-clock to provide testing, treatment and care.

Thank you for all your hard work. 

It’s also likely that, in addition to state and local authorities, your communities are looking to your healthcare organization for answers. COVID-19 might be our biggest enemy, but the panic behavior and anxiety that comes from so many unknowns and uncertainties will make things worse.

John Hargrave, CEO of the communications firm Media Shower, says it’s when people don’t know what’s going on that they begin to panic. 

That’s why so many people are going to be looking to your healthcare organization for answers. What’s the easiest way to ease fear?

Communicate. Efficiently, effectively and often – and to all your constituents: Employees, patients and the general community. 

Some of Hargrave’s suggestions include: 

  • Be clear. Use simple messages and eliminate healthcare jargon.
  • Be honest. Say what you know, what you don’t know and what you’re doing.
  • Be calm. Avoid saying, “Don’t panic,” or, “Stay calm.” 
  • Speak to the fear. Put that fear into words and openly address it. Understand fear is human nature, even if it may seem unfounded or unscientific. 
  • Keep talking. Constantly communicate with timely updates so you become trustworthy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice for healthcare companies on how to communicate before, during and after a COVID-19 outbreak hits your community. 

The CDC recommends your organization become a resource: Prepare ready-to-use messages and materials for each audience (patients, employees and the general public); include visuals; educate your audience on best practices (hand washing, staying home when sick, etc.); and provide new information as soon as it becomes available. 

We know: You’ve got a lot to handle right now, and some of these things might feel like they’re at the bottom of your list. But effective communication is key to keeping a community calm and focused on a solution during a time of crisis. 

Let image.works shoulder some of the burden. Your image.works projects come with an entire team devoted to your healthcare organization. 

Worried about simplifying a complicated message? Your image.works copywriter can handle that.

Want to create stand-out visuals your audience will pay attention to? Your image.works designer has it covered. 

Worried about getting materials out in a timely matter? Your project coordinator will track all deadlines and keep things moving for you. 

Need a product as fast as yesterday? Just give your account executive a call, and he or she will get it moving.  

We can create graphics to complement hand-washing techniques, email updates for your employees, write articles to inform your patients on COVID-19 updates and so much more. With our fast turnaround times and clever creative teams, we can put together marketing materials without your organization having to lift a finger – because we know your staff and time are precious in a crisis. 

Reach out to us today at 800.777.1633 or info@imageworksdirect.com so we can help your healthcare organization keep your community calm amidst this crisis – and we’ll all come out, stronger, on the other side. 

Sources: https://coco.mediashower.com/best-practices/best-practices-for-healthcare

https://hbr.org/2020/03/communicating-through-the-coronavirus-crisis

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/public-health-communicators-get-your-community-ready.html

 

Posted by Katy Macek - April 01, 2020