"I think in health communications, it's easy to forget that behind the patient there is a person," says dna Communications general manager Mike Rosich.
Rosich says that thinking about what makes the patient "tick as an individual" can help heathcare communicators "break through with them as a human rather than someone who has a specific condition."
He also talks about the need to find each patient's "threshold of caring"—what they care about "inside of health and outside of health overall." For patients with chronic conditions, he says, communications often have to be "a bit more impactful" in order to make a real connection.
Another essental is zeroing in on “the why behind” a health story. "People now have and clamor for understanding of what is actually happening and why. And I don't see that trend going away any time soon, and I think it's good because it means people are taking ownership of their health journeys."
Rosich also tells Simon that despite the "pressure to always be doing something new and novel," healthcare communicators should not shy away from building on "something that already exists, whether it's a campaign, a message, a real life activation or resources."
When it comes to working in a highly regulated sector, Rosich says that regulation is actually a good thing. "I know that's shocking from a health communicator, but I think it's important in this space. Our communications in health should be held to a higher standard because people are making potentially life changing decisions off of this."
Adovcacy groups, he says, are a key partner in connecting with patients. "Advocacy communities not only have the finger on the pulse of the community, but they also know what that community is looking for."
Rosich also says that a focus on the human side of health communications makes his own job more rewarding. "I think it's a nice added benefit that we get," he tells Simon. "Not only did I help my client, but I helped a real person, and that could be the difference in an outcome for them in now or in five, ten, fifteen years, because they went in because of a campaign we worked on."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]