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It’s Time to Embrace Human-to-Human Communications in Healthcare

Wait a second!

Haven’t we always put the focus squarely on people in our communications? Doesn’t building campaigns around all the amazing things we can offer get right to the heart of building an authentic connection? How is it that we still might be missing people altogether?

How Did We Get To This Point?

Let’s start by looking at the way we classify and segment. So often, organizations are pinned into categories like B2B or B2C, and that designation defines the vast majority of their communication focus.  Specifically, within healthcare, we fall into real and distinct classifications like Critical Access Hospital, Academic Medical Center, Large Multi-Hospital Health System, Trauma Center, LTAC, and the list just goes on and on. These designations define how we communicate and, in turn, where we search for inspiration.  

Obviously, our biggest and most prestigious competitors must have the most effective answers? Surely, we must look to other healthcare organizations for the optimal way to develop messaging and communications? Sometimes this approach can be accurate,  but in many cases, instead of the best message, we gravitate to the same message.  We have become victims of absolute uniqueness, thinking the only “right” way to communicate is exactly how other organizations just like ours do.  By maintaining such an industry inward outlook, we keep ourselves on the same merry-go-round and fail to differentiate.

How Do We Escape This Routine?

Here is one thing to consider: it does not matter if you are in the private or public sector, or even if your organization directly provides care or not, we are all H2H – Human to Human!  Connecting people to people really should be our focus.  Regardless of specialty or designation, everything we do as communicators should center on people, and on making a distinctly human connection.   While healthcare has some of its own, very specialized communication needs, we should not be so quick to discount the power of looking outside the industry for inspiration.  By no means has our pattern of communications become the absolute art of creating and driving human interactions, across all platforms.  Sometimes, stepping away from what we know, looking in a different direction, and bringing back some of that creative essence becomes the perfect solution.  The very basis of what we do, regardless of campaign, is to inform, educate, engage, and influence human behavior.  There are countless examples which fall outside of the healthcare arena that can be referenced, adapted, and adopted as best practices.

Could We Actually Learn Something From a Consulting Organization?

Inspiration can come from anywhere. This interesting example, Clarkston Consulting, falls outside of the healthcare space but provides an excellent example of what can happen when we leverage the stories of our most important assets: our people.

In this design exploration, we see a consulting company that has elevated their brand by bringing a very human face to their online experience.  They have allowed the voices of their people to be the catalyst for driving H2H communications.  The storytelling by team members defines the human face of the organization.  You feel that their people are talking to you, not at you.  The messaging approach that Walk West took for designing the voice of this new site has been very effective in positioning Clarkston Consulting as an organization that values its individual partners’ skills and overall team contributions. The platform is real, supportive, and authentic, and frames engaging content that makes you feel as though it were written especially for you.

Take a visit to their recruiting page, to see what we mean by this custom tailoring: www.clarkstonconsulting.com 

It’s easy to envision this approach being used as part of a physician recruitment or retention campaign, or even the basis for developing a specialty online healthcare community.  This personal direction could be something that is integrated into resource development for cancer, or orthopedics, or even bariatric services.  The applications for connecting people to people are limitless, and a powerful tool to position the intentions of a department or an organization as a whole.  

When we boil down the essence of what we want to accomplish, now and in the future, exciting ideas can surface.  By looking in unexpected places for trailblazers who are breaking the mold of the ordinary, we, too, can break out of the conventional messaging and find new ways to drive communication – most importantly,  making that all-important human connection.

This originally appeared in my LinkedIn Pulse, but the content was too valuable not to share again!

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