Terri Sanders, senior vice president, enterprise marketing and communications at the Healthcare Information Management System Society, talks with Doug Simon about how to navigate communications between the many audiences that comprise today’s healthcare sector in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

“I think the best tip I can offer is let your audience, let your consumer, whoever that may be, be your guide,” Sanders says. “We've really moved from telling people what they want, what we think they want. Let them tell us what they want and what they need.”

For healthcare consumers, one major issue is why so many people don’t access the care they need—or don’t even have insurance. “If they aren't accessing care, why aren't they doing so?,” she tells Simon. “If I'm an insurer, I really want to understand the challenges.”

Gaining an understanding of those consumers “just goes back to leaning into the data,” Sanders says. “We should be building databases around them and creating personalized experiences, whether I'm trying to get a healthcare provider to move or a patient to move to action.”

She also stresses the importance of honesty, clarity and transparency. “We must simplify our messaging, not make it too complicated so that people can't understand and therefore take action.”

Flexibility is also a must. To maintain that flexibility, she says, “have those systems and tools and technologies in place so that as your consumers are changing, so are your communications.”

For women trying to advance in communications—and those trying to bring a little more diversity to the table—Sanders has a simple, but powerful piece of advice: “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”

She also says to “recognize your talent and don't be afraid of those who are bringing things that are new, let them challenge you. And when you have your vision, deliver on your vision.”

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at dougs@dssimonmedia.com

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.