Something to never lose sight of. We are here to help people, and we care about our patients. This should be immediately evident in the messages we convey. What is important to note, however, is that though our messaging is warm – it is never conversational or flippant.
Our messaging is concise and to the point. We have a clear, defined stance and body of knowledge on subjects, communicating with complete clarity. This directness is not brusqueness however, trimming the fat but not leaving patients wanting for information.
Where we communicate our integrity and confidence. Our messaging doesn’t hedge its bets, and we don’t get bogged down in modesty. We take a stand when necessary (e.g. on antibiotic resistance), and own a space of our own making.
A crucial foundation for every piece of content we publish. Above everything else, the advice we provide needs to be safe to carry out and honour. We have a responsibility to both patients and ourselves to prioritise safety – putting all of our content through an exhaustive sign-off process to make safety second nature.
Undeniably important for health companies. The second we become unreliable and outdated in the advice we provide, and the opinions we offer, our credibility is compromised. Accuracy goes hand in hand with safety, reflecting our ongoing review of content to make sure it is always up-to-date and informed by the latest research.
We are only human. We will, inevitably, make mistakes from time to time – in spite of our emphasis upon safety, accuracy and accountability. As long as we are transparent, notifying followers on social media, and visibly amending content where necessary, we can save face.
Showing our working and crediting our sources. We would not expect our doctors to be able to comprehensively answer patient questions without referring to the latest statistics and reports, so we do the same in our content. Public Health England, the NHS, World Health Organisation, National Institute Health and Care Excellence, and so on, are all reputable sources worth citing and drawing inspiration from.
Taking a stand
With the expertise at our disposal, and our position in the industry, we are well equipped to take a stand on subjects close to our collective hearts. We should be unafraid of doing so, standing up for what we know to be right and setting the standards for others to follow.
The impression we need to leave people with, no matter their view and intent in engaging with us. Consistently conveying these takes time, but by meeting our objectives and enacting our tone of voice, we move ever closer to being perceived in this way.
We would hope this goes without saying, but it bears repeating. Patients sit at the heart of everything we do, and this is just as true for the content we produce as it is for the overall use experience we provide. "Is this confusing for patients?" and "is this useful for patients?" are key questions that allow us to second guess page, blog and social posts we publish.
In taking stands on subjects that matter to us, we differentiate ourselves. We are as passionate as we are informed, infectiously so. It is only natural that we share our insight across our website and social presences, as well as in-person through industry presentations, conferences and roundtable discussions.