The clock is ticking. Election Day is nearly here. While many following this year’s U.S. presidential election can’t wait for the circus to be over, healthcare marketers should be paying close attention as a “change of the guard” may usher in policy changes that impact their organization and their customers.
Even though healthcare has largely taken a “back seat” to other timely campaign issues – like the economy, foreign policy and immigration – it will undoubtedly be a top priority addressed by our next Commander-in-Chief. For B2B companies serving the healthcare industry, it can’t be ignored. Proposed Affordable Care Act reforms related to accessibility, affordability, quality care and reimbursements, etc. have the potential to significantly shift U.S. care delivery once again. These changes may impact how organizations work with, communicate with, and ultimately serve healthcare system customers.
For those who are new to the policy space, it can be easy to get lost trying to understand what to tune into and when/how to deploy content marketing in a helpful, authentic way. Here are a few pointers to help you identify the right marketing opportunities during this time of uncertainty and looming change.
- Get Educated on the Issues. If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself on the candidate’s positions on top health policy issues from their campaign websites. This brief analysis from Managed Healthcare Executive, “Clinton vs. Trump: 5 critical election issues,” provides a helpful synopsis and the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll examines the public’s view on healthcare priorities they’d like addressed during the next term.
- Follow Policy Influencers for Insights. Start listening. There are several publications and resources that provide balanced and thorough perspective on the latest health policy issues, including Health Affairs, Kaiser Health News, Modern Healthcare and The Hill. If you’re looking for more mainstream viewpoints, consider mining Cision’s list of the “Top 100 2016 Election Journalists, Influencers and Anchors.” This list, which includes pundits and personalities from both ends of the political spectrum, ranks hosts and correspondents influence by their Twitter following.
- Spearhead Internal Conversations. Health policy won’t transform overnight. However, that doesn’t mean your business leaders can’t dissect how policy proposals may impact the future of healthcare, how reform could affect your business and anticipate where care providers may need support adjusting to a new reality. The sooner you can pinpoint potential threats and opportunities for both your business and your customers, the sooner your teams can develop communication strategies to address them.
- Showcase Your Position. If a policy proposal directly impacts your organization or your customers, craft a thoroughly vetted position to arm your staff and sales reps. Consider positioning your company as a thought leader on a topic, issuing a bold opinion piece on the company blog or within an industry publication. And if the impact is great, there may be a need to share the position more broadly with a public affairs campaign to help combat or support the policy.
It’s no surprise, but speaking out on policy issues tends to catch the attention of internal legal and regulatory departments, but don’t let that deter you from your goal. There’s always a way to respectfully talk about the issues without politicizing them.