Episode 92 // Feb 11, 2021

Podcast — Reconciling Present and Future Branding Needs

With Judith Ward, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Baystate Health


How to make the media your ally, not your enemy

  • Take a transparent, partner-first approach to media, leveraging their networks to get standardized information to the public.   

  • Baystate Health invites the media to virtual briefings in which the health system answers media questions in the order of the RSVP list. This approach reduces the number of duplicative inquiries, standardizes messaging, and builds trust.  

Managing misplaced blame for vaccination challenges

  • Some states are more conservative in their vaccine rollout, which can cause confusion – especially for those who live close to state borders and hear mixed messaging. 

  • With close to three vaccines on the market, the public expects a new level of consumer choice that isn't necessarily accessible.  

  • Consumers often get conflicting messages from different authorities. When setting your system's response plans, pick a lane and stick with it. For instance, Baystate health has aligned with the state Department of Health and CDC. 

Planning for brand evolution in 2021

  • Health systems have earned a lot of public trust during the pandemic, but vaccination variables may threaten this goodwill. Branding after COVID-19 may need to involve reputation repair.  

  • Healthcare will have to keep COVID-19 messaging much longer than other industries, but it's not clear for how long. We expect the next big focus to be managing challenges related to delayed preventative care.  

  • We can use this period of uncertainty to update and refine our current marketing assets. For instance, health system marketers can focus on improving SEO, physician profiles, and landing pages. 


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