New Opportunities in Healthcare Communications
The HealthTech industry is a crowded one: new development and technological growth mean that new products, services, and providers need to work harder than ever before to make their mark in the industry. Traditional PR tactics—relying on paid, earned, owned, and shared media—might not be enough to break through the noise and make an impact.
According to Statista, more than $21B was invested into the digital health industry—up significantly from the roughly $1B invested in 2010. Digital health and health technology have also reached the public consciousness in unprecedented numbers: 42% of Americans reported using a digital health tracking device in 2019.
The explosive growth of the market represents a new avenue for PR firms. Before, private equity firms felt that investing in PR agencies was a proposition rife with risk. Today, PR firms have proven that they’re a stable business worth the investment. Firms focused on HealthTech in particular are having a moment, with high-dollar deals and large-scale expansions.
As the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) points out, HealthTech-focused communicators need to step their game up; even though digital health tools have become hugely popular, there are significant experience gaps between these tools and their end-users. PR firms—and their investors—are poised to step in and guide the conversation around these technologies moving forward.
Digital health tools like wearables and mobile apps have shown that they can be hugely beneficial to people’s health. And even in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, funding soared upwards of $5.4B—cementing HealthTech as a fast-growing sector within the larger industry.
Traditional public relations strategies rely on a combination of paid, earned, shared, and owned media. Today, though, these traditional strategies aren’t enough for companies to break through the crowded market and reach their consumers. Content is still king, but sending an email just isn’t enough to pique the interest of a journalist.
Establishing a brand voice sets the tone for content in the form of social media posts, advertising, and more. But in addition to traditional avenues, firms focused on HealthTech should make an effort to branch out beyond the obvious.
Nearly 40% of Americans listen to at least one podcast a month, trending upwards from 32% in 2019—with more growth anticipated in the coming years. The Infinite Dial survey from Edison One and Triton Digital also found that podcast consumers spend more than 6% of their digital listening time with podcasts, while a different analysis—Edison’s Share of Ear® study—found that listeners spend 30% of their time with podcasts.
For those seeking nontraditional avenues to reach their audiences, podcasts are one way to go. While advertising is one option—PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. pegged podcast ad revenue in 2020 at roughly $800M and projected it to double by 2024—the other option is placing clients on guests on health- or tech-focused titles.
With over 430 million active monthly users and upwards of 100,000 active communities, Reddit is another nontraditional contender. The site is known for hosting niche communities (called subreddits, in site parlance), including groups like r/HealthTech and r/HealthTechNews—two subreddits that only scratch the surface of the numerous health, medicine, and tech-related communities that exist.
Although marketers might remain wary—a quick Google search will return stories on racism run rampant—the existence of niche-focused communities make it hard to deny that the site is one of the best ways to generate conversation and gain audience attention.
Because the field is still developing, the opportunities for HealthTech PR are nearly endless, with room for creativity from agencies, marketers, and communicators across the industry. Strategically investing in this creativity will lead to a return on investment for firms and investors alike.
About the Author
A digital marketing executive with two decades of experience in a variety of industries, and a connoisseur at using his creative and analytical skills to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital space, Jamie Hurley, CEO, manages the overall operations and resources at TMG360 Media.
With all of the many changes in the digital media realm, Jamie prides himself on always being able to quickly adapt to ensure his clients are always at the forefront of digital developments.
Having a natural instinct to become a mogul in the business world, while in high school, he began his first business: a dry-cleaning delivery service. By the age of 19, he was already a partner in a first-generation digital marketing firm, finding that he was a natural at seeing business and market needs.
Bringing that same dedication and big-picture-vision to every project, today, he uses his rich, hands-on business experience and depth of digital marketing knowledge to design elevated campaigns and successful growth strategies for clients of all stripes.
“Success is no accident. It takes hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice, and most of all, loving what you do. Every aspect of the operation excites me about being an executive in the digital space from developing strategic partnerships and visualizing new market opportunities to dissecting analytics across platforms and the challenges of scaling up operations,” he says.