How to Write About Your Telemedicine Services On Your Website

Adopting Telemedicine & Telehealth

Telemedicine uses advanced, secure technology (telehealth) to give patients virtual access to health care services, including diagnosis and treatment, regardless of where they’re located. The benefits are clear: it’s convenient for patients and providers, it expands and improves access to health care (especially for people who live in rural areas or have other barriers to getting timely attention), and it has the potential to save U.S. patients and health systems billions of dollars annually.

Why Content is Critical

Promoting your telemedicine services should take a well-rounded approach, and part of that is optimizing your website copy. Comprehensive content helps your users understand the benefits of using telemedicine services and underscores your organization’s commitment to providing high-quality care to all patients where and when they need it.

Develop content about telemedicine services that guides and educates your users. That means if you offer e-visits, explain how and when to use the service, or if your providers can remotely access specialists for their guidance, explain what that looks like in terms of what the patient will experience. When patients know what to expect, it increases:

  • Adoption/use of the services
  • Comfort level with their experience
  • Overall satisfaction and engagement with their care
  • Trust of and loyalty to your brand and providers

What to Include

Increase user understanding (and boost SEO with keyword-rich copy) by listing:

  • Benefits of telemedicine
    • Increased patient convenience and comfort
    • Cost savings of no travel time
    • Access to experts
    • Secure technology that supports patient privacy
  • Most common conditions and symptoms you treat through telemedicine
  • Services you’re able to offer through a telemedicine visit
    • Diagnosing a health concern
    • Prescription filling and refilling
    • Providing answers to a medical question
    • Follow-up visits
    • Monitoring and management of chronic conditions
    • Referrals to or guidance from a specialist or other health care providers

Answer common questions you receive from patients about your telemedicine services, such as “is my personal health information kept safe?,” “how do I schedule an appointment?”, and “what does it cost?”

Writing About E-Visits

If your organization provides urgent care e-visit services, patients want to know:

  • Availability and scheduling of the e-visit service (evenings/after hours, weekends, holidays, etc.)
  • Technology needed to access the service, including internet connection
  • Who is able to access e-visits (current/existing patients, or if the service is available to anyone)
  • How to register or sign in, and what patient information is needed
  • Cost and insurance information
  • Terms and conditions, including privacy and security information

When to Choose an E-Visit

Make sure your content helps your target audience understand when a telemedicine appointment is the right choice to meet their health care needs, saving them time and money. Ensure your content describes the proper use of those services versus when in-person visits for urgent or emergency care are the better choice. Your telemedicine content can cross-link to these services on your website if your organization offers them.

Get Help from Healthcare Writers

Turn to Geonetric’s team of content strategists and writers for assistance to write SEO-friendly content about your telemedicine services, weaving your competitive differentiators and brand messaging into your copy.


COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate: How to Mitigate & Prevent Hesitation

If so, use these helpful tips to communicate expectations, benefits, and next steps internally while managing your organization’s reputation.

Managing the Mandate

Every state and health system are going to have people that oppose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. When you prepare for the mandate, you’ll position yourself to have constructive and consistent conversations that help reduce protest in your area and raise vaccination rates. During a vaccine mandate, you need to:

  • Use internal communications effectively so everyone knows what to expect
  • Appreciate current efforts and safety measures already in place
  • Manage morale by creating cohesion and avoiding shame
  • Put local faces and stories to the statistics
  • Make vaccines convenient and accessible
  • Anticipate questions and create a safe place for them

Keep the Momentum

You’ve likely been communicating to your internal health care team about COVID-19 vaccinations and know what to address internally during a crisis. Continue making the most of your internal communication platforms to reduce vaccine hesitancy.

Getting internal buy-in is not always an easy task. Your team looks to you for guidance and information that applies to them. During a mandate, your team will want to hear directly from you on:

  • Reasons for the mandate — Educate your team on why the mandate is happening. Emphasize the importance of the vaccine and how it is vital to ending the pandemic and protecting both staff and patients.
  • Employee expectations — Address who is required to have the vaccine and why. Mention dates individuals need to be vaccinated by and what happens if they don’t meet the deadline.
  • Who are the exceptions? — Be transparent about who doesn’t have to get the vaccine and why. Present the process that staff and employees will need to follow to apply for an exception waiver.
  • What is the cost of non-compliance? — What are the implications if an employee does not get the vaccine? Can they continue to work for the organization? Explain what procedures nonvaccinated employees will need to follow.
  • The facts — Ask your managers what common questions or concerns they’re hearing from their team and address them head-on by email or on the intranet.
  • Community messaging — Manage your reputation as a local employer and health system by shaping the message you want to be heard. Share this message with your staff so that they know what to say if someone asks them about the mandate.
  • Next steps — Share what your plan is during the mandate and beyond to help people process the complete picture of your organization’s plan.

Address Current Safety Measures

While a vaccine mandate might be the crucial next step, it’s essential to acknowledge that everyone is doing their best to keep the staff and community safe.

Celebrate the ways they’re helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as:

  • Adjusting visitor guidelines
  • Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces
  • Getting the vaccine
  • Offering virtual appointments when possible
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Washing hands
  • Wearing masks

In your message about your organization’s current shield against COVID-19, inform people how requiring the vaccination will further your efforts.

Use Stories Instead of Statistics

When factual data isn’t driving change, try sharing your employees’ stories. Conveying emotion through storytelling is often a successful tactic to encourage someone to take action. When people hear how their coworkers have been affected, it hits close to home and humanizes the numbers.

Find employees who are willing to share their stories and help them be heard through your intranet, newsletter, social media, and content marketing hub.

Be the Example

Who are the people within your organization who hold a high level of trust? Who are highly visible or highly respected faces? Identify and use these influencers to help echo the importance of getting your health system’s vaccination rates up.

Train your influencers to be a person of trust and inspiration during the mandate. Take their picture and have them share their reason they chose to get vaccinated.

Create Cohesion

Consider offering an incentive to your team by setting a goal with a deadline. Display a pie chart in a common area or an easily accessible resource, like the intranet, that shows the total number of employees with vaccinations. Let people know if they hit your organizational goal by a specific date, they’ll earn a delicious treat or a small gift.

Like you do during the flu season, set clear expectations around who needs to be vaccinated and who is exempt. This will allow space for empathy and support rather than create peer pressure and division.

Avoid Shame

Retain your staff by providing a safe and convenient place to get vaccinated. Now that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for 16 years of age and older, you may find more people are willing to step up and get vaccinated.

Spread awareness of the FDA approval and encourage people who haven’t yet to get their vaccination. Provide insight on where they can receive the vaccination and who they need to notify once they have it.

Allow Questions

Encourage people to go to their managers or human resource team if they have questions about how the mandate impacts them. When you invite employees to come to you, you’ll help ensure that your staff gets timely and accurate information.

3 Content Marketing Ideas to Mark COVID-19’s One Year Anniversary

Many marketers are beginning to think about planning a remembrance for lives lost, a celebration for lives saved and an event to thank healthcare staff for their dedication and sacrifices through it all. That’s a tall order and one that still needs to follow social distancing guidelines.

Content marketing ideas to remember patients and honor healthcare workers

You’re the expert when it comes to what will resonate with your organization and your community. Even though your plate is likely full promoting vaccination clinics and filling elective service line patient volumes, spending some time to observe the year-mark of the pandemic can offer the following benefits:

  • Shows your appreciation (and gives your community the opportunity to show their appreciation) for your healthcare workers, which supports employee engagement, retention, and recruitment
  • Gives your community an opportunity to engage with your brand, building on the goodwill and support they’ve shown in the last year
  • Provides an opportunity for your community to grieve those lost to COVID-19 after a year when public mourning rituals haven’t been possible, helping your community and team better cope

1: Share Patient Stories

Your hospital or health system likely had many patients who were critically ill with COVID-19 but recovered. Consider identifying a handful of patients that match your key personas and spotlight them through patient stories. You may even consider reuniting the patient with his or her care team and capturing the moment on camera, followed by interviews with both the patient and some of his or her care team to do a look back – and ahead. You can share the articles, videos, and photos on your content marketing hub and promote via eNewsletters and social media.

Sharing stories of patients who have passed can be hard, but also impactful. Some organizations may choose to mark each patient lost in a certain way – such as through candles or luminaries – and perhaps tell some of their stories too, especially if a provider or care team member went above and beyond to support the patient or their family. You could partner with patient families or even local schools to decorate the luminaria. If space allows, you could even plan a drive-through luminaria ceremony honoring and remembering all those who lost their battle with COVID-19.

2: Plan Acts of Appreciation

There is really no adequate way to tell your care team how much you appreciate them, but marking a historic, unprecedented year with words and acts of gratitude for their sacrifices and compassionate service to others is a great place to start. In addition to promoting the ongoing availability of employee wellness programs and mental health resources, consider doing a full week of appreciation starting March 11th for your healthcare heroes, maybe honoring a different department each day.

You could partner with local companies to deliver different items each day for the team to enjoy. Consider meals, flowers, or maybe even hire a local musician to play in the lobby. Partnering with local companies also gives them needed exposure, as many small businesses and artists have taken a hit this year.

You could even turn this week-long event into a giving program with your organization’s philanthropic arm or foundation, asking your community to show their appreciation and support through donations to employee relief or other funds.

Be sure to capture the acts of appreciation on camera, interview the care team on what it’s like looking back, and share all of it through your eNewsletters and social media channels.

3. Get Leaders Involved

The one-year anniversary is an important milestone, and your leadership team may already have some thoughts on how to mark the occasion in the context of the organization’s strategic goals. Consider doing a video recapping the year and having executive, clinical, and service line leaders make statements thanking the team for their hard work and dedication. Also, consider creating a video or blog post from your CEO reflecting on the year and sharing areas where the organization has grown. Even if this content isn’t for public consumption, sharing videos and posts from key members of the executive team on your intranet can be inspiring and boost employee morale.

In it together

Remember, your community has lived the last year right there beside you. From depending on you for facts about the virus to delivering homemade PPE to trusting you with their care – COVID-19-related or not – your entire community has ridden the same ups and downs. They will likely respond well to commemorating the milestone with you.

Counterintuitive to traditional event marketing, it’s important to think about the events you plan and be thoughtful about not attracting a crowd. That’s where content marketing and digital come in. Plan to release content on your online content hubs and through social. You can Facebook live certain interviews or events, record videos ahead of time and release the day of, or even partner with your local news stations who are likely going to be looking for this very content. Digital is a great, socially-distanced way to safely share the experience with your community and continue to build those bonds.

If you need assistance interviewing patients or care team members for articles and blog posts, our expert team of writers can help. We know you have a lot on your plate and would love to share our expertise in whatever way possible.

Answering Questions About Life After the COVID-19 Vaccine

You’ve addressed the concerns of myriad audiences, from hospital staff to expectant parents to donors and more. Now it’s time to add one more audience to your list: The newly vaccinated.

As of February 26, more than 14% of Americans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. These people still play an important role in helping to contain the spread of the coronavirus — and they have their own distinct questions about how to keep themselves and others safe. Google Trends shows that searches for “after covid vaccine” reached an all-time high in February. As states roll out vaccines to more people, interest in the topic will likely remain strong.

Hospitals and health systems can continue being a trusted resource for COVID-19-related information in the post-vaccine phase. Here are some tips for meeting the information needs of people in your community.

Consider Local Needs

People in different areas of the country may need to hear somewhat different messages. Does your organization need to primarily educate? Change or reinforce behaviors? Consider what opportunities you have to bolster information or fill in gaps based on what local media and public health agencies are (or aren’t) communicating.

And keep track of vaccine distribution in your state through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s vaccination tracker, which shows the percentage of the population that’s gotten one dose or both doses. The data can help you understand, at any point, what stage your audiences may be at in terms of need for information.

Discover Trending Topics

Invest some time in researching common questions of those who have received a vaccine—or are looking forward to receiving a vaccine and want to know what to expect. You can certainly get some perspective from your colleagues who were among the first in the country to get the vaccine. Take time to also understand what’s top-of-mind for those with less familiarity with medicine.

Great sources for information include:

  • Keyword research – Check Google Trends and other keyword research tools to find common post-vaccine-related queries in your area. For example, in Iowa, “can you spread covid after vaccine” is a rising search term.
  • Primary care providers – Ask them what questions patients have related to safety precautions after being inoculated.
  • Surveys – Ask your followers on social media or add a popup survey to the COVID-19 section of your website. Ask users what questions they have about what to expect after getting the vaccine.

The media — What questions are news outlets covering? What similar concerns can you address in your own communication?

The post-vaccine questions you uncover may be the start of a helpful frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on your COVID-19 resource hub. They also may fuel story ideas for your e-newsletter, blog, or content marketing hub.

Reach Your Audience

Many people in your community have spent the last year taking in a lot of COVID-19 news, sorting through changing or conflicting public health guidance, figuring out vaccine eligibility and scheduling, and more. They may be coping with grief, burnout, or general distress. They’re probably tired. So, consider these strategies to make your messages resonate.

Keep Messaging Simple

At this point, it’s more important than ever to keep your messaging simple and straightforward.

  • Omit unnecessary words
  • Speak directly to the reader
  • Use an active voice
  • Use familiar, everyday words
  • Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs

Consider also translating vaccine communications into languages commonly spoken in your service area.

Try a New Format

If you’ve been relying mainly on text, consider a new format for this last stretch of public health guidance related to the pandemic. You’ll likely be repeating some messages people have heard for months (for example: wear a mask). Engage the audience by presenting information in a new way – like an infographic, social media graphic or short video. Research shows that novelty motivates us to explore.

Focus on ‘Do’s

Positive phrasing can be easier to understand than negative. Focus your guidance on telling people what they can do more safely in the days, weeks and months after receiving their vaccine, rather than simply stating what they shouldn’t do yet.

Find More Tips or Ask for Feedback

Read further strategic recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination communications, or contact Geonetric today if you need any help with your efforts.

Communication Tips for High COVID-19 Vaccine Demand, Limited Supply

As if you weren’t busy enough trying to reassure your community of the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy, safety, and potential ability to make a real dent in the pandemic, add something else to your list: answering an understandably eager, growing number of people who want to get themselves or someone they love vaccinated as soon as possible. Emotions are running high and your community is looking to your organization to learn when and how they can access this potentially life-saving care.

The Biden administration has announced the U.S. will have enough doses to inoculate every American by the end of the summer and the country is on pace to vaccinate almost one-third of the population by May 1. But limited supplies, along with federal and state requirements for priority groups during the initial roll-out, have led to confusion and anxiety.

Follow our tips to help your community feel more informed, position your organization as a leading authority, and deliver remarkable content.

Translate State & County Guidelines

Help people understand how vaccine allocation phases will work in your community. Translate jargon or complex information into plain language. Tailor this content to your target audiences’:

Explaining Vaccine Distribution

Spell out who is eligible and when, as well as the logistics of getting vaccinated at your organization. Be transparent about limited vaccine quantities while communicating your work to secure additional doses. Link to relevant federal, state, and county websites.

If you have an existing COVID-19 hub on your website, this is a great place for this information to live.

Communicate What Steps People Can Take Now

Make your content actionable and empowering, even for readers who aren’t yet eligible for vaccination.

  • What can people do right now so they’re best prepared when the time comes to get vaccinated? Check out an excellent example from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on how to get ready, including talking to your doctor about whether the vaccine is right for you and learning what to expect during and after vaccination.
  • Advise readers what steps they’ll need to take to successfully access vaccination services at your organization. For example, if they don’t currently have a MyChart account, do you recommend they create one?
  • Continue your messaging on the importance of mask-wearing, handwashing, and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Protect Staff Capacity

Clear, easily found information that answers common questions and follows the recommendations in this blog post can help lower potentially overwhelming call and email volumes. If you don’t want people to contact specific offices or healthcare providers at this time, make that clear in your content. Let community members know if there’s a specific phone number or email address you want them to reach out to instead.

Publish Updates Regularly

Your audience needs ongoing reassurance, and regular updates help them stay informed while lessening anxiety. Aim for weekly social media posts. Send email updates whenever relevant news breaks or information changes.

Make an Emotional Connection

Maya Angelou said it best: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” To make your content resonate with your target audiences:

  • Appeal to their sense of community. Make it a virtue to wait one’s turn and let others who have greater need go first. Put a human face on this message. Accompanied by “thank you for letting us go first,” feature your organization’s healthcare heroes or the patients who were vaccinated due to age, occupation, or other risk factors.
  • Be positive. Aim for an optimistic, confident voice and tone.
  • Lead with empathy. Everyone’s lives have been disrupted to some degree by the pandemic. Let your community know you understand how they feel — the people in your organization feel the same and are working hard to meet their needs.
  • Err on the side of sensitivity. If you’re trying to make your message resonate with a specific group, get feedback from people in that group. Ask how your content may be interpreted, if there’s a more effective approach, if there’s any potential for offense or misinterpretation, and if the message is relevant to their needs, preferences, and concerns. Establishing these relationships if they don’t already exist not only benefits your content, but also shows that your organization cares about serving their needs.
  • Weave in your brand ethos. Let your community know how your mission and values apply to your COVID-19 response, including your vaccination efforts. In real time, they’re seeing your organization works to improve everyone’s health and well-being.

Find More Tips or Ask For Feedback

Read further strategic recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination communications, or contact Geonetric today if you need any help with your efforts.

Make Your COVID-19 Vaccination Message Resonate with Your Community

Mistrust in vaccines isn’t new. In a December 2019 Gallop poll, 11% of U.S. adults said they believe vaccines are “more dangerous than the diseases they prevent.”

But the number of Americans who are hesitant to take a COVID-19 vaccine is even greater. In May, the Associated Press and the University of Chicago released a study showing 50% of Americans were either hesitant or unwilling to take a COVID-19 vaccine. The number of Americans willing to get vaccinated has only risen to 60% recently.

“Based on public opinion research… we think somewhere around 30% of Americans intend to refuse a coronavirus vaccine once one becomes available,” said Matthew Motta, assistant professor of political science at Oklahoma State University, in an interview aired by NPR’s On the Media in December.

Your organization’s role

As a healthcare marketer and communications professional, you’re facing an uphill battle addressing various objections effectively. The U.S. needs at least 60 to 70% of the public to be immunized to reach herd immunity and restore our society to a semblance of normalcy.

The good news? The pandemic has led to generally increased trust and respect of local hospitals, health systems, medical groups, and providers across the U.S. An August 2020 poll reported more than 80% of Americans see doctors, nurses, health systems, and their local hospitals as “somewhat” or “very” trustworthy. You have an advantage over national resources: government agencies, including the FDA and CDC, were ranked at least 10% lower.

How to identify and combat vaccination objections

There’s a wide range of reasons driving reluctance to this specific vaccine. How do we reach those various groups most effectively?

“When we connect with people on the very grounds that lead them to be skeptical about vaccines and present the alternative using similar terms, we can get people on the side of the science.”
–   Matt Motta, assistant professor of political science at Oklahoma State University

Understand your audiences

You’re the expert of your organization and target audiences. To identify objections and misinformation:

  • Interview your providers and patients about common vaccination questions and concerns
  • Monitor local news and social media conversations
  • Analyze the demographic breakdown of your target populations by gender, race, religion, and political affiliation

With the caveat generalizations about demographic groups aren’t always the best way to look at populations, they may be somewhat revealing in this specific situation. According to Professor Motta and other sources, certain groups are less likely to report comfort or likelihood to get vaccinated. Those groups include:

  • Women
  • People of color, especially Latinx and Black people
  • People with less than four years of higher education
  • People with lower income levels
  • Republicans, especially people who identify as supporters of President Trump

There are likely many systemic and societal reasons for this — poor past healthcare experiences attributed to misogyny or racism, scientific studies historically not including women or people of color in drug and treatment trials or performing treatments on them without informed consent, inaccessibility of the latest and best care due to cost, the hyper-politicization of the American healthcare landscape, etc.

To make your messaging as strategic as possible, analyze the demographics of your target audiences. Tailor your messaging and language about the vaccine to reassure them and meet their concerns head-on. For example:

  • Highlight vaccine accessibility. Trumpet the vaccine is available for free. Explain how your organization is making it as easy as possible for patients to get vaccinated. Are you offering vaccination services at primary care offices or drive-up location? Can consumers schedule their appointment conveniently online?
  • Feature providers and community leaders who represent demographic group in your content assets. Ask them to serve as influencers and spread your message where relevant.

Analyze and respond to specific objections

Different groups of people respond to different messaging due to their psychology, world views, and other factors. Once you have your list of your target audiences’ objections, analyze them and create specific responses tailored to resonate with the same people raising the objection. We’ve created a few examples below to show you how to get started.

Objection: General mistrust of science and any types of vaccinations.

Even before the pandemic, healthcare communicators fought against the debunked perceived link between childhood immunizations and autism, as well as general opposition to immunizations of any kind. However, “anti-vaxxers” make up only a small portion of those concerned about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. Many people who typically trust science and vaccinations report concern with this vaccine specifically.

How to respond: Lead with empathy. A consumer who finds the vaccine suspect understandably cares deeply about the health and safety of themselves or their child — and that’s why they should get the vaccine, to protect themselves and their kids from a potentially deadly virus.

Objection: Partisanship and politicization.

People who identify as Democrats report mistrust of this vaccine specifically due to the presidential administration it was developed under.

How to respond: Overcome the partisan divide. Take a page from former presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Consider recruiting community leaders who represent a variety of political views to be part of your marketing, such as a video showing them receiving the vaccine together or appeal to civic duty and responsibility by talking about the importance of getting vaccinated as “the right thing to do” to save lives and improve public health.

Objection: Speed of the vaccine’s development and rollout.

Did the vaccine receive the customary safety trials? Can I really trust something developed by a private pharmaceutical company to have my best interests at heart instead of their bottom line?

How to respond: Explain in easily understood language the rigorous processes the vaccines have gone through to reach approval. Underscore the vaccine was developed quickly because of the unprecedented need for its widespread availability to save lives.

Objection: Potentially unpleasant side effects.

How to respond: Put the risks of the vaccine in understandable context.

Getting vaccinated prevents something more unpleasant than minor side effects: a severe or potentially fatal case of the coronavirus, or spreading the virus to others. Be transparent about the vaccine’s potential side effects, but make sure to emphasize they’re typically mild.

Thousands of people get the flu vaccine each year though it’s typically only about 40 to 60% effective. The COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be more than 90% effective at preventing severe disease, but their newness drives anxiety. If you’ve received a flu vaccine, messaging that compares the higher efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine may be convincing, as well as noting adverse vaccine side risks typically manifest in two to three months after inoculation, and the COVID-19 vaccines studies have studied participants for longer time frames than that.

How to respond: Make the risks of not getting vaccinated real. 

In addition to the risk of getting sick, potentially dying, or spreading the disease to others, 30% of people who have survived COVID-19 report chronic, long-term health problems, and that group includes people under 35 with no previous health problems. Vaccination is safer than natural immunity.

How to write and deploy your message

Read writing tips and tactics for sharing COVID-19 vaccination information with:

Learn more

Watch our webinar about getting started with your external and internal vaccination messaging, whether you’re a small-but-mighty one-man-band or a larger team.

Add experts to your bench. Geonetric’s content strategists, writers, and digital marketers are ready to help you analyze and optimize your coronavirus communications. Visit our COVID-19 resources hub for more articles and support.

Writing and Deploying COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Marketing tactics and content strategy recommendations

Reach the widest audience possible by:

  • Leveraging the same avenues you’ve found most effective for COVID-19 communications so far. Have consumers responded well to your blog, email newsletters, or social media?
  • Deploying a COVID-19 vaccination FAQ page to answer common questions and concerns.
  • Using your email, content marketing, and social media channels to provide timely, accurate information about your efforts.

“We’re all in this together”

For many, the most convincing argument to get vaccinated is a sense of duty to others. Consider:

  • Making patients who have received the vaccine part of your marketing. For example, stickers that say “I Got Vaccinated,” similar to the “I Voted” stickers, help patients feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves and make it easy for them to become champions of your cause by spreading the word via social media.
  • Featuring community leaders. Help overcome the politicization of the vaccine by including leaders representing different political views. Ask everyone involved to be an “influencer” and share the message where relevant.
  • Highlight your organization’s “healthcare heroes”.

Writing about the coronavirus vaccine for healthcare consumers

Make your coronavirus vaccine content clear, convincing, and actionable to people in your community by following these guidelines:

  • Use plain language that’s accessible to people of different health literacy levels. Make your message as engaging and clear as possible, aiming for an 9th grade reading level or lower.
  • Learn why people in your community are concerned about this vaccine. Then, use the same language they’re using to help educate them about benefits. Not only will this help readers better understand your content, it supports optimization for search engines like Google.
  • Lead with empathy. Research and understand various objections and communicate that you understand and sympathize. Tailor your messaging to address and overcome common objections and misconceptions.
  • Make your message impactful using different approaches. For some, statistics are most convincing, while for those, emotional messaging resonates.
  • Combat misinformation with facts and stories from credible sources. Leverage the increased respect and trust for your organization and providers by featuring your doctors in blog posts, videos, Facebook Live events, and other promotional channels. For example, a video of a doctor talking about the safety of the vaccine while administering it to another staff member could be particularly impactful.
  • Address access concerns. Highlight that the vaccine is free and trumpet ways you’re making it as accessible to your community as possible.
  • Make it easy for readers to take the next step. Keep interactions digital whenever possible – online appointment scheduling, text message reminders, etc.
  • Provide contact information or a chatbot feature so users can reach a helpful member of your staff if they have questions or concerns.
  • Communicate the places and times that vaccines will be available. Optimize your location profiles accordingly for search engines.
  • Explain in step-by-step detail what consumers can expect during their inoculation, what they should bring, and other helpful information. Not only will this make appointments go smoother for your organization’s staff, it helps dispel anxiety for consumers when they know what to expect.

Certain COVID-19 vaccinations require a second injection. If your organization is offering this type, messaging this clearly will be critical to the effectiveness of your vaccination efforts.

Align your team and providers around your public messaging

Make sure your internal team is on the same page. Follow our recommendations for educating your internal audiences about your vaccination efforts, as well as the messaging you want to share with patients, your community, and local media.

Learn more

View a free webinar to see more strategic recommendations about supporting your coronavirus vaccination efforts through your marketing and communications, or contact us today to learn how we can help.

Discover additional resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic in our dedicated resources hub

Communicating to Your Internal Health Care Team About COVID-19 Vaccinations

Vaccinating healthcare workers and other segments of the population against COVID-19 will be the biggest public health effort of its kind in our history. Initially, there will be limited supply compared to the immediate, high demand. And distributing, storing, scheduling, vaccinating, and tracking is a huge task.

Early Access for Healthcare Workers

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel made recommendations in early December to give healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents the first vaccine doses.

There’s no question about the need to provide the nearly 21 million healthcare workers early access to the vaccine based on their exposure. The duty of communicating to them about the immunization process at your health system will fall to you as your organization’s communication team.

The CDC and its partners are already planning the vaccines’ delivery operations and recommended timelines. The government’s preplanning means the vaccine will roll out very quickly after FDA approval.

Is Your Internal Communication Plan Ready?

Reduce confusion and stop the inadvertent spread of misinformation with a solid internal communication plan about the vaccine. Make your organization the hub for accurate, timely messages.

Prepare communications now to:

  • Deliver messages of assurance about the availability of vaccines for your healthcare workers. Make sure staff know your organization is laying the groundwork to be able to vaccinate them quickly. Address questions like:
    • When you’ll receive doses
    • Which workers get priority
    • Will vaccination be required to work at your organization, or can they wait, or not get the vaccine at all
  • Educate staff about the vaccine you’ll offer, as well as the value and need to get vaccinated. Don’t assume just because your audience is healthcare workers that they trust the COVID-19 vaccine and want to get inoculated. Healthcare workers have the same concerns as the general population – see our tips for addressing vaccine objections.
  • Communicate how to get vaccinated at your organization. Share logistics, such as:
    • Location
    • Appointment scheduling
    • What to expect
    • Possible side effects
    • When and how to receive the second dose
  • Monitor the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine through
    • Internal monitoring and adverse events systems
    • Reporting vaccine safety and effectiveness to the CDC

Support Your Internal Team

As you know, this is a stressful time for healthcare professionals. Your staff will appreciate reminders about support and assistance in place to help them cope, such as:

  • Employee assistance program for short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services
  • Wellness programs
  • Community well-being resources

Plan for Quick, Reliable Communications

Throughout the pandemic, you’ve been able to identify the best channels to communicate with your internal audiences. Perhaps it’s your employee intranet, weekly publications, staff meetings, or regular emails. Many of our healthcare clients favor using their intranet for timely, cost-effective messaging.

Keep your messaging simple and easy to understand. Simple messaging helps stop misinformation from spreading. Timestamp your communications to allow people to easily identify the most current information.

Now is the time to start moving important vaccine information out quickly and effectively to your internal team. See additional tips for communicating to internal audiences during a public health crisis from March 2020.

Flexibility is Key

Creating and following a plan is hard when news about the vaccine approval and delivery changes day-by-day. Flexibility is key to reducing chaos. Arm your organization with accurate and timely information and ways to adjust messaging rapidly and delivery channels when needed.

Curate Your Messages

Anticipate the information your internal teams want to know about COVID-19 vaccines and communicate it proactively. Start with the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination page.

If you need more insight, ask your front-line clinical leaders what questions or concerns they’ve heard from their teams about the COVID-19 vaccination. You could also use keyword research to guide your question development. Possible questions include:

  • If you’ve had the coronavirus and recovered, do you still need to get the vaccine?
  • Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
  • Is the vaccine safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or women planning to become pregnant?
  • How long after vaccination before you develop immunity?

Evolving Action Plans & Updates

As vaccine information evolves, continue to update your internal team on topics such as:

  • Action plans – Detail what your organization is doing to ensure easy access to the vaccine, timing, and other measures to keep staff safe. Remember to update staff about your successes to build support and compliance.
  • Supply status – Communicate your vaccine supply status, so people know what is available and when. Clarify how you’re working with the government or suppliers to get the vaccine.
  • Staffing updates – Continue to inform your team on what they can expect regarding staffing during the inoculation period and your staff expectations.

Open the Door to Questions

Questions will arise even with the most informative communication plan. Listen and try to understand concerns about the vaccines. Use your intranet or a dedicated email to allow employees to submit vaccine questions and get answers promptly.

To save your team from answering questions more than once, create informative content on your intranet with answers to the most common questions. Most of the time, we favor this approach over creating Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages. However, a prioritized list of fewer than 20 questions and answers could be useful for your staff.

Inform Staff About Your Public Messaging

Be transparent about the messages your organization is releasing to patients, the community, and the media. This helps your internal team share correct information with the public. Your internal teams will value hearing from you first, not from news stations or social media.

As your plan for providing vaccines to the public firms up, update your staff about their involvement. This will prepare them for their participation in your plans. Vaccination education might be necessary to train staff to answer questions from people receiving the vaccine.

Contact Us to Help Your Team

Reach out to Geonetric for content services to support your team’s response to the coronavirus. And explore our COVID-19 resources hub.

Support Your COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts with Your Marketing Strategy

Local health systems have a major role to play in not only providing Coronavirus vaccinations but also in combatting misinformation. In May, the Associated Press and the University of Chicago released a study showing that 50% of Americans were either hesitant or unwilling to take a COVID-19 vaccine. Couple that with the fact that Americans trust their local healthcare organizations more than ever before, and your hospital is poised to be a key player in answering your community’s top vaccine-related concerns.

Join David Sturtz, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, along with experts Stella Hart, Web Content Strategist & Writer, and Tim Lane, Director, Digital Marketing, for a timely discussion to help your marketing team hit the ground running. You’ll walk away with expert advice on battling general mistrust around COVID-19 and vaccinations and effectively sharing accurate information with your community.

Attend this webinar and learn how to:

  • Develop the most effective messaging for your target audiences, including internal
  • Keep empathy at the forefront of your vaccine-related messaging
  • Write compelling web content and FAQs to aid site visitors in vaccine research
  • Identify different communication vehicles and channels to reach different audiences, including blogs, email newsletters, and social media
  • Utilize organic and paid search to connect with health consumers and get answers to them when they need it most

Connect with Maternity Patients Concerned About the Coronavirus

What Moms-To-Be Want to Know

Figure out what your maternity patients want to know about the coronavirus and pregnancy. Coronavirus is a huge search topic right now. Look at online sources to help focus concerns for expecting moms. Consider:

And use your organization’s providers as local experts. Talk to your OB-GYNs and midwives to find out what questions their patients are asking them.

Strengthen Your Content Marketing Assets

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women should protect themselves from COVID-19. People look for information to reduce anxiety. Content marketing during a crisis can educate and improve patient trust in your organization.

Reference search trends and resources, and apply your marketing knowledge to create a list of pregnancy and COVID-19 related blog topics or content marketing hub articles. Answer questions people are asking, such as:

  • Can becoming ill with COVID-19 increase my risk of miscarriage?
  • Is it safe to deliver my baby in a hospital now? Should I change my labor and delivery plans?
  • How does COVID-19 change prenatal and postpartum care visits?
  • If I get COVID-19 while I’m pregnant, can I pass it to my unborn baby?
  • Will I be tested for COVID-19 when I’m admitted for labor and delivery?

Draw Attention to Care & Safety Changes

Your organization and moms-to-be have the same priority – a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. Most hospitals and health care systems have modified their prenatal care because of COVID-19. Send updates to patients about care or process changes to:

  • Expand infection-control practices and safety measures to protect mothers and newborns
  • Replace some in-person prenatal care visits with telephone and virtual visits for women with low-risk pregnancies
  • Increase waiting room precautions (masks) and procedures
  • Provide wearable home monitoring devices for women with high-risk pregnancies and those who face barriers to accessing prenatal care
  • Move preparedness education classes online
  • Limit support people present during birth
  • Restrict visitors
  • Shorten the length of hospital stays

Informing patients about changes is relatively easy with established communication channels. Reach your patients through your patient portal, website, email, and social media. Consider using live, online chat sessions with your experts to answer maternity patient questions and ease fears. They will appreciate the fact that you’re addressing their needs with patient-friendly, practical solutions.

Reassure & Prepare Worried Patients

Giving birth during COVID-19 is an unfamiliar experience and comes with anxieties and expectations. First-time moms and moms with other children may be facing a different birthplace experience than they anticipated. Help reduce the unknown as much as possible by communicating exactly what patients will experience, step-by-step, when they come to deliver their baby. Emphasize the safety of mom, partner, baby, and staff.

Offer Facts to Make Informed Care Choices

Concerns about COVID-19 and visitor restrictions are making some pregnant women reconsider giving birth at a hospital. Explain why hospitals are a safer option for the mother and baby when giving birth. Explain that you have advanced technology and expert providers available to care for any problems during labor and delivery and after. Deliver easy-to-understand messages written in plain language so women can make informed choices about their care.

Extend Mental Well-Being Support

It’s normal for pregnant women to feel overwhelmed by the challenges COVID-19 brings to their pregnancy and newborn care. Provide patients with ways to manage their feelings, such as:
• Linking them to your online support groups or one associated with a national organization
• Offering digital wellness resources through your website to support lifestyle changes, mental health, self-care, and stress relief
• Highlighting the availability of referrals for therapy and counseling if needed

Highlight Community Outreach & Convenient Care

Community outreach, education, and care programs that impact maternal health and prenatal care are a focus of many hospitals and health care systems. Meeting pregnant women in their communities to provide for their health care needs is one way to ensure they continue to get the care they need. Publicize your efforts towards home health, mobile health, digital community education, and convenient services women can get within their communities or through telemedicine.

Make Childbirth a Joyful, Positive Experience

Remember, childbirth is one of the most memorable experiences of parents’ lives. Continue to celebrate bringing a new baby into the world – even during a pandemic. Focus on the important aspects of a safe and healthy delivery and newborn bonding. Craft messages that assure patients they will receive the same exceptional care during COVID-19 as they would any other time.

Share Experiences

Relieve pregnant women’s fears with patient and provider stories. Share narratives from maternity nurses about the care they give and from maternity patients who praise your hospital for the amazing care and successful delivery of their babies during COVID-19.

Avera Health wrote a patient story about two separate moms’ insights on their recent deliveries. Although they acknowledged their worries and disappointments dues to Avera policy changes due to COVID-19, they also share how they had good experiences even though it wasn’t what they originally imagined.

Cone Health created two patient birth stories. One story is about the early delivery of a mother’s first baby. The other tells the story of a mom who had pregnancy complications before and after birth.

Connect with Your Patients

Be a trusted source of information and support for your maternity patients during COVID-19 and they won’t forget your messaging during this challenging time.

If you need help creating compelling digital content that connects with your target audiences, contact Geonetric.