Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
Within communications, can there still be a need for globalisation, localisation or even glocalisation?? Especially in the world of healthcare communications, surely this is now a case of personalisation!
‘Local people have local needs’ I hear you cry, and yes, a need for local understanding is paramount...as is a need for understanding the world of business, in many cases as a global entity – with pharma operating more and more from one HQ base, be that in America, the EU or APAC, it is almost always well beyond that of a ‘local’ space where their product is eventually delivered.
Social media and the internet has made the world very small in terms of communications – now as a healthcare communications agent, I need to understand the complexities of what messages I am allowed to drive on behalf of my clients within each specific locality, and operate in-line with that country’s regulations accordingly. I need to understand the local environment; no point in promoting something they could never access or deliver. I need to understand my clients key business message constraints depending on where in the world they may be based. But in the age of social media, surely we need to be tailoring these messages to be specific and personal to the key influencers we are trying to reach? ?
Considering customer, community, patient, I think the issue to be considered here is not one of regional approach, but one of making content relevant to a specific audience – and when it comes to healthcare, this is often a very personal message. Be that focused at a patient, member of public or healthcare professional.
Cultural and technological shifts mean ‘customers’ feel more informed and expect to engage. Communities form online based on shared experiences; discussing and advising against issues faced as a collective, supporting their community neighbours – whether they are physically local to them or on the other side of the globe. Whether the community is based on disease, health or expertise – in the same way that editorial is more influential than advertorial, it is individuals that drive change.
It is here within these communities that communications can make a real difference, by influencing individuals and changing trends. As such, these communications need to be personalised, targeted, message- specific, and relationship- building, in order to achieve truly beneficial results.
So I would suggest that whilst companies and brands may be national and customers local, communications should always be personal.