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Health Conference Q&A with Rebecca Rhodes

On the 16th July, 2020, some of the brightest and most accomplished healthcare PR practitioners will be gathering at our Health Conference. Hear from the industry’s leading speakers as they tackle the sectors’ most pressing issues and welcoming a new decade of healthcare storytelling.

As we build closer to the Health Conference, we sat down with Co-Founder of SuperHuman Rebecca Rhodes to talk about the biggest takeaways from COVID-19 for health communicators, the idea of "too much" covid messaging, and creativity in health comms.

When we eventually move away from the pandemic, what do you expect to be the biggest takeaway from a health communications perspective?

The pandemic and the resulting wealth of non-health ‘wellness’ marketing has really given the industry permission to kick start meaningful consumer-centric conversations.  There has been much talk in rarefied marketing circles about patient centric focus but in reality this is the exception rather than the norm. Covid should be a springboard for the industry to use a more human-friendly, consumer-led approach. After all a whole plethora of brands have demonstrated this is entirely possible.

COVID-19-related messaging has dominated communications across all industries, not just in healthcare, but can there be such a thing as too much COVID messaging from brands and organisations?

COVID has to be the biggest universal cultural shakeup in modern times and it has touched every element of our lives from our work life to how we wipe our bum. It is therefore not surprising that 89% of brands have created brand and product campaigns centred around life with COVID. Non healthcare brands like Guinness (Stayin Inn) and IKEA (Meatball Flatpacks) have illustrated that there is a place for COVID campaigns that uplift as well as inform. So ultimately although there has been backlash against so called COVID-washing and tone deaf sentiments, from influencer campaigns in particular, many have been relevant, joined up and timely.

What’s the biggest obstacle in blocking greater creativity in health?

Historically communications professionals in healthcare are primarily responsible for protecting the brand or their clients in a highly regulated and conservative landscape. A fertile ground for creativity this is not.  All the appetite for creativity in the world cannot overcome a nervous client or cautious brand team. Better consumer/patient insights and less proscriptive campaign formatting will help boost industry creativity but first the paralysing infrastructure needs to be addressed.

Book a seat to the Health Conference here.