I attended an amazing #HealthTechPR workshop last week hosted by #OneHealthTech. In it we heard about the amazing reappliance of existing science and tech from Jason Taylor of the Innovation Hub at Alder Hey Childrens Hospital, and about HealthTech PR from former journalist turned PR, Will Iredale and Health Journalist, Anna Hodgekiss, and real-life applications of PR for a small HealthTech Start up from ORCHA Founder (any my lovely friend!), Liz Ashall-Payne
Will and Anna were there to tell the mainly #HealthTech Start up Audience, how to get their product exposed in the media. They offered insight into the life of a journalist, how the print and online news media works, and how best to catch the attention of journalists, and, in turn, their editors.
During the session, a gentleman asked "how can I get my product, which is not unique, featured in the Sunday Times?" He was asked, "why do you want it in the Sunday Times?" and the gentleman concerned (please forgive me Sir if you read this and I've got it wrong), appeared to not know why he wanted it in the ST, it just seemed that other people were getting their product or service covered in there, so he wanted the same.
I believe that too much of Health and Charity communications effort is misdirected. Whether its due to pressure from Boards or Colleagues, or from Trustees, or from Investors, for the story to be shared 'just because'; or whether it just seems like a good idea, and in the absence of any plan to focus your direction, it is as good an idea as any; this type of untargetted comms is a waste of time, effort and resource.
The market place for #HealthServices and for #CharityServices is already well-populated. Will told us quite succinctly, he used to go to his Editor with an idea for a story and he knew the Editor's first response would always be "So What?" As Charities and Health organisations, we really need to focus far more on that 'So What?' premise.
If you really want to communicate with people in a way that shares information, and more specifically, changes behaviour and has a serious impact, you need to know your audience.
Not only do you need to know your audience, but you need to know what they care about, know what they want to hear, and know how you can impact on them.
And by knowing them, and focusing your message, you can show them that you are a resource. You engage your audience and have a greater impact.
The problem? Knowing your audience takes time, and it’s always easier to do a brain dump of all of the things that you know or you want to tell your audience about a topic. What you really need to do is think critically about what they want to hear. That is tougher
Having worked on MANY exposure campaigns with clients over the years, we’ve come up with our own Engagement Comms guide, to help clients through the "So What" of the communications maze to best use their resources and best communicate their message. So next time you are decide you want to get your story in the Sunday Times, think "So What?"