Why Reputation Management Is Key for Hospital Marketing
Reputation is everything in business. It’s even more important for hospital marketing because a hospital’s reputation is its most important asset.
Without a strong reputation, your hospital’s patient intake will suffer. After all, people don’t want to entrust their health to a hospital that has a poor reputation.
Your hospital’s reputation should be protected through reputation management. It takes an active and ongoing effort to manage brand perceptions and communicate positively with patients.
The Basics of Reputation Management
Reputation management involves two activities that are always ongoing:
- Proactively creating favorable brand impressions
- Handling the hospital’s reputation in the public eye
Traditional advertising can help do the former; an active presence online can help do the latter.
For example, although a brand’s reputation is what others think of it – not what you think of it yourself – you can influence that perception through carefully-crafted ad campaigns.
You can also use social media to respond to comments and online reviews from patients, whether they’re negative or positive.
In fact, it’s even more important to use reputation management if there are negative comments online, such as on Facebook or a review website. You never want to let a negative impression go unaddressed.
Tips for Responding to Negativity Online
The main rule of effective PR is to be honest and transparent, without violating confidentiality or other laws and regulations.
Don’t delete negative comments unless they’re vulgar or inappropriate. Instead, respond positively and calmly. Show the commentor or reviewer that you’re listening to them and you hear their complaints. Then choose a response that addresses the concerns and makes amends if necessary.
A lot of hospitals are afraid to admit fault in any way. This is understandable, giving the litigious society in which we live. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever admit that something wasn’t handled the right way, or that your patients have valid complaints.
Work with your legal department to craft responses, but don’t be afraid to address negative comments or reviews head-on.
Be authentic, too. Avoid slogans or jargon that sounds too much like PR spin. You should be sincere and genuine, not fake or contrived.
Reputation management also involves monitoring what’s being said. You can set up Google alerts, and you can also subscribe to a social media monitoring service that lets you know what people are saying, as soon as they say it.
Reputation management is crucial. A hospital has to protect its reputation, and that means viewing reputation management as a priority.
TotalCom is a full-service hospital marketing and advertising agency that believes in getting great results from telling great stories. Contact us for more information or view our previous work and see what stories we can tell for you.