The Impact of Public Media Sponsorship on Healthcare Marketing Strategies

There is no other industry that faces the unique challenges of healthcare marketing. Though, like other industries, they face inevitable budget constraints, the strict regulations in place to protect patient information also serve to hinder marketing efforts. Healthcare marketers are prohibited from using certain standard marketing tools and practices like remarketing ads by HIPAA regulations. Ads for healthcare can be a difficult pill for potential patients to swallow since many have negative views of doctors or hospitals.  

Then there is the attitude of some physicians and practitioners that are worried that marketing their practice somehow devalues the importance of their expertise. Many adhere to the outdated perception that word of mouth is enough to keep a practice growing and thriving when you give excellent care. The reality is that competition is fierce, even in healthcare.  

Good news: public media sponsorship supports healthcare marketing strategies and is highly effective in raising brand awareness and helping acquire new patients.   

A Venerable Institution 

Public media has been around for a long time, garnering respect and support from radio listeners and television viewers alike. The medium builds trust with audiences through thought leadership and brand awareness. It’s no wonder that viewers and listeners find sponsor messages more credible. They feel as if the sponsors are informing and educating them, much like a public service announcement. 

When businesses sponsor public media, the audience trusts that they are working in the public's best interest. Consumers are weary of being constantly sold by the barrage of ads on other mediums. One of the many reasons that public media resonates with its fans is that programming isn't interrupted frequently with long periods of sponsor messages. Where commercial radio has an average of 15 minutes of advertising every hour, public radio has only 2-5 minutes of sponsor messages. 

The clutter-free environment of public radio lends itself well to healthcare marketing regulations. The message is not only delivered in a non-intrusive manner but also stands out as authoritative and trustworthy. In the past few years, health issues like Alzheimer's, COVID-19, and Monkeypox, along with fears about mounting healthcare costs, have been of particular concern to audiences. That leaves the field open for sponsors like Kaiser Health on NPR to stand out by presenting educated, experienced, science-backed information to the public while getting their name and expertise associated with a highly-respected institution like public media.   

Even those physicians and healthcare providers most reticent to embrace healthcare marketing can feel confident in sponsoring public media. Like the practice of medicine, public media is time-tested and esteemed. The audiences are passionate about the causes that public media champions. That means that the feeling of trust is transferred automatically to the sponsors, who are viewed as supporting and upholding similar values.  

The phenomenon, known as the Halo Effect, helps another of the healthcare marketing dilemmas. Public perception is a powerful obstacle to surmount, particularly when there are still many Americans who are fearful of seeing doctors. When health providers sponsor public media, it humanizes them. The physicians or hospitals are no longer considered one of the faceless corporate giants when they are supporting the same cause. This shows that they are cognizant of the audience's struggles and helps inform the viewers or listeners of what they are doing to help improve their lives.  

Public Media: Supporting Your Healthcare Marketing Strategies  

Healthcare marketers face many challenges in doing their jobs. Where other industries have free rein to utilize the many tools, techniques, and strategies available, healthcare marketers are constrained by HIPAA regulations. While other business owners are eager to promote their services, goods, and expertise, physicians can be more reticent and concerned about devaluing their expertise. Though many brands have services or products that are extremely popular and need only to show their value proposition to gain a competitive advantage, healthcare is sometimes viewed with more trepidation, suspicion, and skepticism, making it even more challenging to appeal to the masses.  

Savvy healthcare marketers use public media to set their brands apart and build trust with prospective patients. The uncluttered environment and authoritative image make it easy for sponsors to stand out from the crowd. It’s the ideal way to humanize the institution of healthcare while connecting with people. A public media sponsorship means your practice believes in unbiased reporting, educating the public about local and world events, and supporting the causes that are near and dear to the audience's hearts. 

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