The healthcare sector not only plays an important role for the wellbeing of citizens but is also crucial for the health of the economy. In 2018, to mention a year in which the industry was not affected by Covid-19, EU healthcare expenditure amounted to almost 10% of the GDP.
Indeed, the healthcare industry is a diverse one. It includes medical goods providers, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, distribution, facilities, healthcare insurance and management, and others. And none of these companies is spared from being affected by media coverage.
Looking at the past year, for example, it is evident that media messages about health issues have exponentially increased due to the pandemic. The ONU coined the term “infodemic” to refer to the rapid spread of reliable as well as false or misleading information due to an outbreak of disease. Such scenario is only an example of why healthcare companies need a robust PR team ready to tackle and react timely to news media content – especially since fake news about health issues can affect not only their reputation but also citizen’s health.
The truth is that any unexpected incident can affect the reputation and activity of a healthcare company, for better or for worse. The case of the now well-known Swedish-British Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer, who has suffered of much criticism and bad headlines, serves to illustrate how miscommunication may impact a company in the pharmaceutical sector.
If a company is mentioned in the news in connection with a negative event, they highly benefit from being aware immediately. With the information in hand, the PR team can react to the negative headlines by timely planning countermeasures, for example. Even though companies may not be able to change what media are saying about them, as soon as PR knows about it, they can start steerig the communication into the right direction.
Not only bad times require the knowledge about what information is being presented to consumers. If a company is positively mentioned in the news, knowing about it enables them to use the current media presence to their advantage. For example, while monitoring the media, a company may discover that their healthcare service or product is mentioned in a topic-specific program. Therefore, the company’s marketing team may have interest in investigating the characteristics of the program’s audience as they are potential consumers. Or, even use the clip for their own marketing purposes.
Thinking of the healthcare sector, big company names may come to mind. Multinationals, who count thousands of employees that are spread across different countries. For them, monitoring broadcast channels worldwide in different countries and languages may be as essential as the possibility to use a teamwork tool to avoid double work.
However, the healthcare sector also includes a good percentage of small and medium companies featuring less staff and resources. For them, automated solutions make it possible to monitor international media without needing additional workforce.
Independent of a company’s size, media monitoring can support PR teams in many ways. Probably the most important benefit is the possibility to have a clear overview of one’s media presence. Additionally, smart features like sentiment analysis, waterfall, teamwork, query visualization and real-time alerts contribute to gaining valuable insights and adapting communication strategies, marketing plans or future press releases.
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