The coming of age of Healthcare PR

Healthcare PR or better called Life-sciences PR is vastly different from other sectors. It is characterised by the lexicon of medical jargon, forensic and a regulatory environment that is unique to this sector. It’s a very exciting time for PR emerging through the challenges our economy is facing.

The current scenario of Healthcare in India offers a wide set of opportunities as the country has made significant progress over the last decade with key indicators showing marked improvement. India is facing the dual disease burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. If we look at the country’s socio-economic and demographic parameters, prioritisation of healthcare has become critical for it to unleash its true potential.

One of the key differentiations of being in this sector is that your customer and consumer are two different audiences and thus emphasising the need to develop campaigns that work in an ecosystem that is much more complex.  The companies are realising the growing importance of these campaigns, to be more patient-centric as well as ensuring the narrative of the message that is clear and concise, through customisation and surrendering to the requirement of the client. Our consumers have become more aware of their prerequisites, leaving more room for PR professionals to target the niche.

In understanding the market, PR companies are constantly vibrating through advertising and stronger engagement. These changes are in terms of using data driven, strategically implemented, creative campaigns that are able to use all three aspects of earned, owned and paid media across different genre of media including digital and social platforms. However, the Healthcare PR sector which is, more about marketing communications, has evolved through innovation and technology leading to the entry of specialist firms like S.P.A.G. and DYE. With the advent of technology, social media platforms have become just as important as traditional media. The coming age will be specifying on the integration of these platforms while targeting the right audience and maintaining the brands reputation.

Also, campaigns are now integral to market strategic thinking and not just as an after- thought. Communication is at the heart of these patient-centric, consumer-driven campaigns. Its serves as an important instrumental role in disseminating the information and further analysing the response of the audience to ensure that it has the greatest impact. Since there is no scarcity of content available in the web-space, it’s of the greatest importance to stay relevant to the issues our audience is facing and maximise the same to meet their demands by simplifying the jargon and bringing them information that is useful in shaping their lives for the better. Considering the level of content creation that exists in the world, it is going to become necessary for the Healthcare PR firms to begin focusing on the Ingelfinger rule. In addition, adaptation of closed loop marketing platforms like VEEVA systems, marketing close suite of IMS health is further making it more predictable and structured.

Therefore, any firm looking to capitalise on this huge opportunity, must create a niche and ensure investments on a robust team that is talented, ranging from medical writers, pharmaceutical marketing experts, regulatory experts, technology leaders and data experts. The key is to integrate, maintain and sustain campaigns that are aligned with the Brands communications. It’s helpful to build a viable set of allies and advocates for your cause. The intelligence exchange between an organisation and the targeted audience is at its best with integrated offerings and when the firm goes beyond Public Relations, towards therapy campaigns, KOL rearrangement, science communication and marketing campaigns.

Aman Gupta
Aman Gupta is the Managing Partner and Founder at SPAG.

A veteran in the field of communications, Aman is recognised as the harbinger of establishing interplay between the Indian communications business and the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors.

His core competencies include Reputation Management, Brand Architecture, Market Entry Strategies, Government Relations and Leadership Media Training.

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