This article was written by Andreas Hadjicharalambous, Manager of Client Experience, London.
December 2021; two years since the first case of COVID-19 was reported. Since then, significant milestones have been achieved towards fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Although there are successful ongoing vaccination programs in many developed countries, the emergence of new variants, such as Delta and Omicron, is showing that this pandemic is far from over. So what will our “new normal” look like in the world of healthcare communications?
How will the new generation react to the new normality?
It has been reported that during the two years of immense uncertainty caused by a series of unfortunate COVID-19 events, millennials and Gen Zs around the world have shown that they are determined to hold themselves and others accountable for the world’s crisis. The way that the new generations often express themselves is via social media or any other popular digital platforms, making it important to ensure brands are prepared to respond authentically and thoughtfully. However, with the rise of social media comes a huge issue of misinformation which can lead into confusion and mistrust among the new generations.
How will the new COVID-19 wave affect the ever-changing healthcare communication world?
There is no denying that the COVID-19 crisis has shifted the wider communications landscape to a more digital focus. Even though the digital revolution was introduced in recent years, COVID-19 has managed to accelerate this digital transformation making it a fundamental part of our day-to-day lives. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in the different types of communication channels for healthcare professionals and their patients such as telehealth appointments or the ways physicians engage at virtual medical conferences. In addition to that, wearable technology has been established as a fundamental way of monitoring and preventing health-related issues, giving the patient the responsibility of their own health, and allowing them to connect that information quickly to their own physician, if necessary. However, it would be utopian to assume that these changes are temporary and transient.
How should healthcare brands respond to the new COVID-19 wave?
During the pandemic, healthcare brands expressed an interest in creating communications plans specifically tailored to the effects that COVID-19 had on their consumers. However, following the most recent news about COVID-19 resurgence and the uncertainty around vaccine efficacy, some brands chose to remain dormant. It has been noticed that due to the unparalleled crisis, brands often struggle to find an effective way to communicate with their emotionally exhausted consumers. Should you wish to remain relevant, do consider the following:
– Be transparent and clear about what you need to communicate
– Be authentic and understand the needs of your audience
– Adapt to the current environment
TELL US: In what degree do you feel that the world of healthcare communications have changed over the last two years and how do you think that is affected your healthcare brands?