How influencers are changing the way we talk about health care

Whether it’s on the news, Facebook or comes up over drinks, there seems to be one particularly hot topic of conversation right now – and that’s health care.

Sure, a good portion of my workdays focus on health care because of the clients and colleagues I work with, but this is different because I’m hearing and seeing more conversations about health care outside of the workplace – likely due to the ongoing uncertainties of what health care is going to look like under the Trump administration.

These uncertainties have influencers using their platforms to raise awareness about the health care debate and what it means for consumers. Last month, we saw late-night comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, trade in his typical joke-filled monologue to discuss his newborn son’s heart surgery and the importance of access to affordable health care. Kimmel simply stated that that before Obamacare, “if you were born with congenital heart disease, like my son was, there was a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition.”

This is a line that struck a chord with many of Kimmel’s viewers, ultimately making his story go viral. Why? Because it talks about something important in a way that is easy to understand.

Health care is something that is not easily understood for many consumers. It is a complicated, jargon-filled language that often leaves people confused. As the health care debate in our country continues, it is important that consumers are well-informed about their health care options and what it means for their future.

theSkimm, a popular news source for millennial women, is another influencer using their voice to educate their audience on health care. Their campaign titled, “No Excuses Not to Talk About Healthcare,” aims to educate readers about health care the same way they educate them about the news each morning – using easily digestible summaries.

theSkimm prides itself on making it easier to be smarter. They recognized that reading the news is time consuming and not everyone had the time or interest to keep up.  That’s why The Daily Skimm was born and is now the fastest growing email newsletter on the market. With an engaged community of 5 million active subscribers and an industry-crushing open rate, you know they must be doing something right.

So, what can health care communicators learn from influencers like Jimmy Kimmel and theSkimm?

First, know your audience. theSkimm conducted a study about health care for millennial women – their primary audience – and actually discovered this group is paying close attention to the health care debate because of the impact it could have on their reproductive care. This revelation justified theSkimm’s creation of an entire campaign around health care, because they knew it was something their primary audience would be interested in and engage with.

Second, consumers are looking to better-understand health care. theSkimm study also revealed that only 43 percent of millennial women feel informed about the U.S. health care system, compared to 55 percent of the rest of the population. If your company is looking to position itself as a thought leader in this arena, they should be taking note of these digestible, consumer-friendly communication approaches. The easier something is to understand, the more likely it will be shared – ultimately promoting your brand and positioning you as a thought leader.

What other influencers have you seen step into the health care spotlight recently? Share with us in the comments below!  

Related Posts: The Healthcare Communicator’s Survival Guide to a Trump Presidency Why the Media Made Donald Trump our Next President Journalism + Trump – What’s Next? Why Workplace Management Software Should Talk Purpose Over Product – Especially Post COVID What does Trump mean for Ag? Long Distanced Relationships During COVID-19