COVID-19 Updates

Weekly Comms Report — Are Health Systems Top of Mind?

You don't need to be Usain Bolt to keep up with changing healthcare consumer opinions. Check out the results of our latest surveys for a quick look at consumer insights and recommendations.

Survey: Who is top-of-mind in healthcare?

We Asked: When you think of healthcare what comes to mind first? 

Consumers Answered: 32% of survey respondents indicated insurance comes to mind before other healthcare players such as "my doctor" (27%) and "health systems/hospital" (21%). 

what consumers think healthcare is

Our Thoughts: Healthcare sits at the forefront of public discussion, yet different understandings of "healthcare" may influence public perception of health systems. Could hospitals be bearing the burden of misplaced scrutiny? It's possible.

We recommend communicating the health system's role in a patient's care journey and where other parties like payors pick up. This will give patients a better understanding of the blockers they encounter and those responsible.

Survey: Which advertising tone should health systems take?

We Asked: Please select the picture you think would be least appropriate today if you saw it driving by. 

comparison of billboards presented to survey respondents
*Note: Images used in this survey were sourced from the internet to represent a wide breadth of potential message territories and do not reflect the reality of what billboards are actually in-market today. Health system logos were blurred out for respondents, so there was little-to-no brand affinity bias.

Consumer Answered: 24.8% of consumers identified the accomplishments-based, physician-focused ad as least acceptable today. This was closely followed by a serious and dramatic "stop the spread" ad (22.1%)  

healthcare billboard sentiment survey results

Our Thoughts: Survey results suggest that advertisements touting physicians and accomplishments may appear self-serving. Respondents also indicated that the alarming "Stop the Spread" billboard may be too dramatic for a world with loosening COVID-19 restrictions. However, respondents recognize that the COVID-19 battle is not yet won, identifying the non-dramatic COVID-19 billboard as the most appropriate of the billboards presented.

The bottom line: hospital marketers should consider the tone used in their advertising, focusing on audience-first content. COVID-19 messaging is still acceptable, but we recommend to appeal to public duty and emotions rather than fear. 

In the news: COVID-19 vaccine red flags surface

What We’re Hearing: The CDC and FDA paused Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution to investigate six rare blood clotting cases. Respective authorities will meet this week to discuss the cases and how to proceed. The pause comes after almost 7 million injections in the U.S. 

Communication Recommendation: This sudden pause may impact public trust in COVID-19 vaccines and the authorities who promote them. Health systems should prepare to answer an onslaught of questions to counter misinformation. Health systems' best bet is to consistently stick to known facts while also addressing uncertainties with transparency.