The Transformation of Digital Newsrooms for Healthcare Industry Brands

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By Tim Roberts

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives, from the way we live to the way we work. In some cases, it’s caused wholesale transformations—consider, for example, the many companies that have converted their factories in order to make ventilators and PPE for medical professionals. 

In others, it’s shined a light on ways of working that simply aren’t working anymore. And the digital newsroom is one of these. 

Even in today’s work-from-home world, it’s vital that healthcare and medical-industry brands become and stay trusted sources of authentic, accurate information and this can happen by becoming their own publishers. While this has been occurring for some time, the COVID-19 crisis has increased the urgency with which companies should be addressing this issue. With a huge variety of people—journalists, certainly, but also bloggers, influencers, employees, customers, and curious internet surfers– checking brands’ newsrooms for the latest, most up-to-date information as well as how they’re serving customers while protecting them and their employees during the coronavirus crisis. 

But it’s not enough to simply keep content on your site. It’s got to reach people where they are: through direct-to-consumer sites, like news aggregators or online publications, as well as on social platforms, too. So how do you transform your digital newsroom into the kind of digital content hub this new COVID-19, work-from-home world requires? 

Below are Do’s & Don’ts that every healthcare corporate communications leader should consider. 

Do move from static to dynamic.

Healthcare brands need to transform their digital newsroom into a digital content hub: a multimedia platform that’s accessible, easy to update in real-time, and designed to appeal not only to the media and internal stakeholders, but to influencers, consumers, and brand loyalists.  Healthcare corporate communications leaders who are looking ahead know they’ve got to offer content all along the continuum. Long-form features. Easy-to-digest tidbits that can germinate into full-fledged news. Video. Audio. Expand brand storytelling capabilities by developing more effective content so it can be updated and disseminated faster and easier.  

Don’t make it hard to find or access information.

When news and data are changing every day, as it is during this pandemic, this becomes even more important. Many journalists now face a deadline every minute. They can’t afford to waste time searching a clunky website for information. Instead, they’ll expand their search and find another source; perhaps from a competitor’s site. Regardless, it could be a lost chance at earned media for your company. Make sure every single piece of information is easy to locate and access for everyone whether they are a trained investigative journalist or a potential employee who’s curious about your culture.

Do work with managed, customized content services over software-only

In some ways, technology has made life much easier for PR and corporate communications teams. Getting out press releases, posting video and audio assets, sharing photos quickly—all of this requires optimized platforms designed for PR professionals. But placing too much emphasis on technology is a mistake because while a content platform may have the capability to sort and post content logically, it takes human intelligence to sort that content and place itin a context that not only makes sense but makes it as easy as possible for journalists and others visiting your content hub to find the information they need right away. 

Healthcare brands and medical industry companies need to showcase their leadership and that means having the ability to calmly counter a crisis, getting your brand’s response out to the public immediately and being able to update that response in real-time, as often as needed. The key is to have a 24/7 staffed editorial desk to combine searches and help transform the static newsroom into a dynamic and compelling content hub. Whether using an in-house team of specialists or working with an experienced partner company – transform your digital newsroom quickly…the time is now!  

About The Author

Tim Roberts is President & CEO of Wieck, a dedicated communications technology platform specifically designed for displaying a brand’s content and telling its story. For over 30 years, Wieck has worked across all industries including healthcare. Tim Roberts can be reached at tim@wieck.com

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