This is a guest post from health PR and communications consultancy Evergreen PR’s director Leigh Greenwood.
COVID-19 has forced rapid adoption of healthtech solutions across the NHS, corporate and consumer spheres. There is now a peak in opportunity for healthtech companies to use their innovations to achieve important business and health outcomes.
However, in an increasingly competitive space, as new startups launch and bigger tech companies pivot into the health market, so much depends on the effective communication of purpose and credibility if you are to bring your target customers on-board for the long-term.
1) Communicating your Why
Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ is one of the most effective models for purpose-driven organisations and something I use all the time as a health PR specialist.
Most healthtech communicators talk about what their innovation does, some talk about how it is different from competitors and a stand-out few talk about why their innovation exists. In other words, their purpose.
Sinek says that ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’ and so starting with ‘The Why’ is a great way to get to the nub of the contribution that your healthtech innovation is making to the world and who you are helping.
For healthtech innovators, this approach can require great discipline. Having developed a technology that moves things forward, it is natural to want to position its technical workings as the lead item in your company narrative. Yet, while the innovation message must be a central component of any healthtech brand story, it is by embedding it within your communication of The Why that will inspire, motivate and attract people to join you on your mission, whether as an employee, partner or customer.
2) Demonstrating credibility
Studies show that health – our own and the health of those we care about – is typically regarded as the most important thing in our life, after relationships with family or relatives. So it stands to reason that the companies we choose to do business with in this sector must demonstrate that we can trust them to deliver on their promises.
Powerful ‘trust signals’ in the world of healthtech include robust studies demonstrating evidence of effectiveness, regulatory approvals, successful funding rounds, partnerships or pilots with the NHS or leading private healthcare companies, the involvement of senior leaders with a track record in the space, customer case studies and testimonials and a clear voice on important topical issues including – but certainly not limited to – data privacy, interoperability and patient-centricity.
The great thing about all of these trust signals is that they also provide excellent ongoing communications opportunities that can further enhance credibility. In recent months the Evergreen PR team – specialists in health PR – has placed client stories with a huge number of top tier media, including the BBC, The Guardian, Forbes, Business Insider, MobiHealthNews, Care Home Professional, Medical Device Network and Techradar Pro. Every article has further enhanced the credibility of our clients with specific target audience groups and, alongside a powerful purpose, has helped open doors for them with CCGs, corporate partners and major technology groups.
3) Building momentum through a purposeful narrative
A final great thing about having a clear purpose is that your communications strategy can be built around proving your ability to deliver on that purpose – which, when done consistently, can build momentum.
I love the work of Binet and Field in illustrating how brand-building marketing activity that communicates your Why enables businesses to benefit from the cumulative effect of multiple campaigns that reinforce a central message. This kind of activity builds momentum in a way that short-term sales activation work simply doesn’t.
The exciting thing for healthtech brands is that if your purpose is to use your innovation and expertise to improve people’s health, then every new tech development, every piece of new evidence, every new customer, every new patient and every insightful opinion-piece will provide another opportunity for you to tell the story of your purpose. By living and breathing your purpose and making your story about building trust in your ability to deliver it, you will reach your target audience time-and-time again and with a message that speaks directly to them and the purpose they share with you.