Learnings from My Early Career in Health Communications.
Staying on top of the latest media and technology trends is essential for early-career health communication professionals like me. Adapting to the ever-evolving landscape might at times seem daunting, but it’s never not exciting, and it’s crucial to delivering innovative, impactful, and relevant strategies that make a difference. There’s nowhere where that matters more than when we’re talking about people’s health.
Here are five things I’ve learned so far and how I apply these learnings to my work.
1. Emerging technologies can help engage audiences in different ways.
Staying updated on artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots, augmented reality (AR), and gamification can help identify ways to incorporate these technologies into campaign strategies. As health communication professionals, we need to constantly explore how technology can be harnessed to create immersive and personalized experiences for target audiences, who expect more than being ‘just talked at’. For instance, incorporating AR to visualize medical procedures or using AI-powered chatbots to provide real-time health information can help us deliver communications work with meaning, and that helps it get more cut-through.
2. A focus on social media diversity boosts engagement.
Limiting ourselves to the most popular platforms is no longer enough. By being agile and exploring emerging platform-specific features like Stories, Reels, and IGTV, we can creatively convey complex health concepts and make information more memorable. For instance, sharing short health tips through engaging visual narratives can help grab an audience’s attention. We can harness the unique attributes of each platform to effectively reach diverse audiences and deliver impactful health communication messages in a variety of ways.
3. Influencer Marketing should support storytelling amplification.
Identifying the right influencers who can integrate health messages into personal narratives that resonate with the audience in an authentic way creates relatable and real content. Similarly, collaborating with influencers can allow us to reach a wider audience, build trust, and promote health campaigns more broadly.
4. Content will continue to reign supreme.
Though trends change, high-quality, engaging content centered on audience behavior continues to reign supreme. By tailoring content to the specific preferences, needs, and behaviors of the target audience, we can craft impactful communications materials that better empathize with the audience’s experiences and aspirations.
5. Data-driven decisions can lead to greater success.
Data is invaluable in healthcare communication. By utilizing data-driven insights, we can tailor messaging and strategies to align with the core needs of the target audience. For example, demographic data offers insights into audience characteristics, while platform-specific data, such as infographics on Instagram and articles on LinkedIn, reveals preferred engagement platforms and times when the audience is most active. By analyzing these specific types of data, healthcare communication professionals can gain insights that guide their strategies, refine their content, and make informed decisions that lead to more impactful and successful communication efforts.
In this ever-evolving industry, my experience within healthcare communications so far has taught me to keep embracing change to help stay ahead of the curve, which is vital for delivering meaningful communications that make a positive impact.
After all, isn’t that what we’re all here to do?
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