Don’t Let the National Health Care Debate Drown Out Your News

posted by:

Jon Peck

31 July

We all know it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. But what if one of the other wheels is screeching so loudly, the mechanic can’t even hear that there’s one squeaking?

That’s what it can be like these days for PR professionals attempting to draw attention to the good work of clients in the health care field. The national debate over health care can make it challenging for anything else to emerge from the clamor.

With a number of clients in the health care field, we see the outstanding work being done by exceptional individuals and companies right here in Florida, on everything from wellness and disease prevention to facility management and health innovation. So how do you get these good stories told, putting clients front and center?

Here are a few ways to rise above the ongoing chatter over the future of the American Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare:

1. Work Around the ACA

With media saturated by coverage of the national health care debate, try pitching something different. Highlight ways your medical organization is working improve health care, reduce costs, expand benefits, or otherwise make Floridians’ lives healthier – independent of the health care reform discussion.

2. Localize the Discussion

Tell your story at the hometown level. Promote medical equipment or facilities that can’t be found elsewhere. Identify insightful statistics that show how well – or how poorly – the local community is doing in caring for its residents. Integrate that data into eye-catching infographics and videos, and share them with key audiences via social media, e-newsletters, and your website.

Recognize local officials for their leadership in health-related service. Let the political debate rage on in Washington … while telling your story right here at home.

3. Piggyback on Coverage

When you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! It’s impossible to entirely avoid the national debate, so use it to your advantage when you can. Find a compelling local angle or unique hook to bring the reform discussion home, and pitch ideas that help tell the national story from your perspective.

Try combining the head and the heart – logical data points about the local impact with personal accounts of how people in your community have been impacted, for better or worse, by the current state of health care nationwide.

4. Speak with Authority

A local expert’s take can give a community voice to the national debate. By engaging a well-respected health care leader within the community, you can describe the implications of the nation debate in a way that resonates with a hometown audience. Use this to catch the attention of media and other key audiences, and then link it to the other news you want to share.

 

Though it may seem like too much to hope for at the moment, eventually Washington will move on to other issues (maybe).

Health care organizations that effectively strike a balance now – participating in the debate with one hand, skirting it with the other – will be well positioned to remain a valued community resource well into the future.