6th May 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a global health crisis that has made the world re-evaluate both, personal lifestyles and the state of healthcare infrastructure. While the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ seems to be the only true remedy for the novel Coronavirus, healthcare professionals, service providers, local government and influencers are all trying to spread as much information about the modes to prevent this infection and steps one needs to take to avoid the spread. From ‘Stay home, stay safe’ hashtags to hand washing challenges and immune boosting home remedies, the social media and the news channels have been abuzz with information. However, at a time like this when health and wellbeing is on top priority, accurate information by healthcare brands, can make a grave difference. Even as new innovations and discoveries are in the process of development, effective communication is the key to drive both preventive healthcare information and impactful brand recall.

Anindita Gupta, Co-Founder, Scenic Communication highlights 3 points on why Healthcare companies should utilize communication strategies: 

Spreading awareness:

When dealing with a mass pandemic of this level, ‘Information is currency’, and spreading accurate information, Vs fake news, is extremely vital. We have seen how people are breaking the rules of social distancing and lockdown in spite of best efforts of the government. This is increasing the rate of infection and putting an additional burden on the healthcare infrastructure. People need to be made aware of the dangers and challenges that lie ahead. At the same time, Pharma and Neutraceutical Brands, for example, can join hands in these efforts by making people aware about the significance of immunity boosting methods that can help them steer clear of the deadly virus. Healthcare professionals, who are already doing their bit to save masses, can further share information on best remedial practices, right from precaution when stepping out to use of safety gloves and masks that can go a long way in containing the spread of the virus.

Innovation marketing:

The healthcare brands are constantly innovating and coming up with solutions and products which are the need of the hour. From brands introducing products which increase immunity, to production of natural hand sanitizers, disinfectants and products that can be effective substitutes to the commercially marketed but scare products. However, innovations are only half the battle won. Unless these are not available to the masses, their purpose is defeated. Effectively marketing these innovations is key to making these really work and make a difference to the people. COVID-19 has taught us the importance of having a good immune system to fight the deadly disease. Any company producing a product which helps the society as a whole needs to be heard and by the help of a communication strategist, brands can reach a wide number of audiences without spending much on marketing.

Creating a brand recall:

While these are trying times, a healthcare brands efforts to promote awareness about a product and practices through effective communication can make or break the brand. Keeping in mind the social sensitivities of the time, brands need to embark on a strategic narrative that is not only impactful, effective and accurate but also sensitive and showcases a humanitarian connect with broad stakeholders. This can go a long way to not only create a strong brand connect but to also build a lasting brand recall.

Summing Up:

According to reports by Global Health Security India is more vulnerable to epidemics compared to China, USA and Italy, which are the most affected in the COVID-19 episode. Hence it becomes very vital for the healthcare brands to come forward and be heard, through right communication, for the larger benefit of the nation and the world at large.