The Inherent Humanity in Healthcare Communications
By Kaitlyn Belicose and Maureen Byrne
June 12, 2023
June 13, 2023 – We recently attended PRWeek‘s second-annual Healthcare Conference & Awards in NYC, where we spent the afternoon connecting with and hearing from influential healthcare communicators on topics such as public health emergencies, health equity, women’s healthcare and more. Across each panel discussion, a theme emerged: the simple yet critical importance of embracing our humanity. Every speaker touched on it and highlighted that companies and organizations, while not human themselves, are made up of and driven mostly by humans (for now – hello, AI!). Championing that simple fact is important to all communicators, particularly those of us in healthcare.
Few other industries have such a profound impact on life itself, in the form of something every person on earth needs – their health. We work with the companies whose products and services are helping us to live longer, and better. Healthcare is personal. Any threat to our health or the health of those we love is deeply personal, and it’s something we all share. The stories that we tell in healthcare, if told with respect and empathy, will resonate and will make us feel.
Tell the human stories of your employees, patients, and the communities you serve.
Data continues to suggest that we are influenced by those closest to us. By those who share our values, and who understand who we are. Companies that fail to recognize their customers and other stakeholders as human too often miss opportunities to engage meaningfully, leaving themselves vulnerable to distrust and disconnection. When those companies are the ones creating solutions to keep individuals, families, and societies alive and healthy, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
But how can we humanize big, complex and impersonal organizations? The key may lie within, with recognizing the humans who make the company what it is – employees. Panelists throughout the day urged the audience to consider employees as a company’s primary audience and asset. In healthcare particularly, employees who feel valued and who deeply understand a company’s purpose can be the most impactful ambassadors. When employees feel their company values and protects them as individuals, they will authentically tell and add to the organization’s story.
Be inclusive. Healthcare is and must be for everyone. Make sure your story reflects the diversity of the people you serve.
As employees must come together to drive a company’s purpose forward, companies themselves must also come together to solve our biggest health challenges. Look at the breakthroughs coming out of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies – what if the resources and knowledge of multiple companies were pooled to develop solutions to our most urgent health issues? It’s human nature – competitors challenge one another, drive each other to innovate. As we move away from a zero-sum mentality and embrace collaboration, we all stand to benefit because we all need our health.
As we left the conference, we talked about how much this theme resonates. At Evoke Kyne, we are reminded of it every day as we work to make health more human, both by valuing our own employees and by telling the stories of how our clients as teams and individuals are driving important healthcare solutions. We’re proud to be a part of the healthcare industry, and we are committed to making sure the humanity of it all is not lost as we support our clients to advance health and wellbeing around the world.