• C.E.K. & Partners

Why Reputation Management Isn’t Just for a Crisis

Managing Your Brand's Reputation Regularly vs

Are you managing your organization’s reputation on a regular basis — or only when you need to combat negative PR? Far too often reputation management is synonymous with crisis management. But do you really want a crisis to prompt you to manage and shape your organization’s or brand's reputation?

As an Atlanta healthcare marketing agency, we counsel brand that there are three ways to proactively manage your brand’s reputation and overcome any negative sentiment.What shapes a brand’s reputation, and what can you do?

1. Your Digital Presence Is Your Reputation

Your online reputation is your reputation. Most people look for reviews before making decisions, whether about ordering takeout or selecting a physician. Cultivating the right, but authentic, online presence takes time and entails a digital marketing plan.

Implication: Leverage digital and traditional communication channels to pack a powerful impression. Make sure content is up to date on your website, including the news and announcements section. Fresh content signals to readers that they can rely on the website for current news.

Ensure your internal communications/media relations team is aligned with who is responsible for crafting key messaging about key events or situations. In the era of social media, timely updates and announcements on changes — whether it be an acquisition, new offering or the impact of new government regulations — is expected. Additionally, your team should identify a dedicated resource for managing and responding to reviews and comments quickly and positively on social media.

2. The Patient/Customer Experience Matters

We can’t talk enough about the patient experience /customer experience. It starts before someone makes an appointment — when they are looking for a provider or checking coverage — and includes the usability of the patient portal. This typically starts with an online search. What they find — hospital system reviews, website, patient testimonials — all contribute to shaping the CX.

While a positive brand or customer experience should make it onto Yelp, HealthGrades or Facebook, a negative experience almost assuredly will. Today’s empowered customer amplifies their voice via social media — reaching the masses within their network and beyond. The need to ensure a positive brand experience isn’t limited to the doctor’s office and recovery, but all touch points across the journey. Positive outcomes are great for business, referrals and deepening loyalty.

Implications: Directly ask patients or customers about their experience. Encourage those who report positive experiences to provide a review. Additionally, ask those patients who have achieved wellness goals through chronic illness management programs or who have undergone leading-edge procedures with great success to share their stories. You’ll find they will be proud to share their triumphs, and it offers the opportunity to provide inspiration and hope to others facing similar challenges.

3. Annual Strategic Marketing Plan

Your annual strategic marketing plan should incorporate communications that will positively reinforce your brand’s story, establish thought leadership and make an emotional connection with your stakeholders — patients, consumers, providers and businesses. Your healthcare marketing agency should develop content that will position your medical practice, hospital system or an insurance company in a positive light. Use the art of storytelling to bring in a human touch from a provider’s or customer’s perspective. This makes it accessible to the reader — whether it’s a series of short customer videos or written words accompanying photos.

Implication: Identify what brand story you want to tell. What i