DigitaLee 7: Diversity in Healthcare Advertising, Accessible Content and Supporting Healthcare CEOs

Welcome to DigitaLee, the podcast for healthcare marketers, where we look at the digital news, tools, tips and tricks for effective healthcare communications. This week, David Shifrin and Lee Aase look at an article from Fierce Pharma that describes a marketing and ad agency building out a dedicated team to work on diversity in advertising. Then, they check in on the conventional wisdom around ways to ensure that content is broadly accessible and close by talking through the role of healthcare marketing teams and supporting the CEO.

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David Shifrin: Well hey, Lee, good to talk to you again. We’ll jump in here. And episode seven, we’re about to have seven of these things, what do they say, in the can? So, for this first story here it’s from Fierce Pharma. The title is “CMI Media Group launches new practice to help pharma reach out to diverse audiences.” And of course this is coming in the midst of what’s really at this point a two-year elevation of diversity, equity, inclusion, health equity. And really rethinking how healthcare as a whole and how we as society approach equity.

It’s a really important push and all the social change that we’ve seen. And so this is just another thing, inclusive marketing. The quote to latch onto here I think for me was that… it says, “With new technology that’s allowing brands to target messaging to specific audiences like never before, there’s a big opportunity for pharma to be more inclusive and equitable in its messaging, said the chief media and innovation officer at CMI.” And so again, this is focused on pharma, but I think the ideas here apply to healthcare providers as well. So you know, what’s your, what are you looking at in terms of inclusive messaging when it comes to any new pushes or new technology, new campaigns?

Lee Aase: Yeah, I think the newer technologies that we have just make the content production much more cost-effective, much more inexpensive than it’s been previously. So I think spending some time on listening to people coming from different backgrounds and perspectives and better understanding what sort of message will pull through with them better. It’s like an online focus group, kind of using social and digital as a way of gathering intelligence in terms of what kind of messaging is going to have impact. And then just being really focused on, okay, what are some of the broader initiatives that we have and where can we specifically reach out in a particular area of need?

So for instance, colorectal cancer is something that affects everybody, like affects all races, all ethnic groups. The African-American community has a higher incidence and a need to potentially get screened earlier, typically. And so being thoughtful about how you can be doing that messaging, how you can be finding the right platforms to be able to reach the particular audiences I think is something that has been a priority and should continue to be, and not just pharma but provider groups as well, to be really proactive in that outreach.

David Shifrin: Do you think this is new? Or is it just that we’re in a moment socially and technologically where people are thinking about it in a slightly different way?

Lee Aase: Yeah, I think it’s just becoming more easy to execute on this kind of outreach. I mean, there definitely is a heightened awareness and a heightened interest and wanting to be very proactive in reaching out to people. And one of the top things that was mentioned in the article is a particular genetic disease that the founder of this group, this innovator, had, that his wife was Cambodian and there’s a particular disease that affects Asians more and some members of his family had been diagnosed with it.

And so just a recognition that more than ever before, there’s an opportunity to achieve business goals that are important and are sustaining to the enterprise while at the same time being able to target messaging to a particular audience in a way that’ll be more attractive to them and resonate with them and cause them to maybe even collaborate and share in spreading the message.

David Shifrin: Yeah. Okay. I thought what you said at the beginning of that answer was interesting, where you said it’s easier to do. And I don’t want to put words in your mouth; when I hear tha,t my reaction is okay, if it’s getting easier, then there are fewer excuses to not do it. So let’s do it!

Lee Aase: Right. Yeah. I mean the cost of production of this stuff and being able to tailor things is getting easier. The cost of listening. With the way the ability is as AI and other tools are enabling you to get… at least to bird dog some insights, that for them, the humans, to come in and say, okay, how do we do this in a genuine way versus just what the borg would say in response to this that we’re gathering.

David Shifrin: Okay. So for our trend this week – I created an awkward transition here, but I don’t know, maybe it’s not that awkward – but then thinking about another type of inclusivity, I was thinking about this actually producing our content for Jarrard recently. And it’s making sure that content is accessible for folks who may be visually impaired or have hearing impairments, or whatever it might be.

And so we hear a lot of things about…it’s stock at this point, I think, ensuring that you have all texts on images, that you have an opportunity for having subtitles on videos. And I think that’s not only for folks who may be hearing impaired, but just if somebody is in an office and they want to watch a video, they need to be able to see what people are saying. Anything that you’ve seen or you’ve thought about in terms of making content as broadly accessible as possible, or is it just keep doing what we’re doing?

Lee Aase: Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s a good, so it is keep doing what you’re doing and maybe expand it a little bit, and I would also say that it’s one of those things where you’re doing well by doing good, because it isn’t just that it’s more accessible for the visually impaired or hearing impaired.

That’s all true, but also the fact that it’s helping you with your SEO, as you mentioned, as people are doing the…if you’re doing captioning on videos, for instance, not so much the SEO side, but the captioning of videos, a lot of people are in a place where they can’t, they don’t have the liberty to play the audio.

But also just stopping the thumb as people are scrolling over something in the feed. If they’re seeing the words that’re there, it’s more likely to draw them in, so it’s about effective multi-sensory communication. And if you do that for people, so it’s multisensory communication for people who have access to all those senses, but for those who lack them, it’s at least making it, or giving them an entrée.

I’d also say the overlooked thing is the extended captions on videos, not captions, but descriptions, particularly on YouTube because that’s part of the whole SEO process. And also then the ability to include links within the videos. That’s not exactly the undiscovered territory, but maybe the forgotten territory.

It’s one of those things that people could put more focus on and get for a relatively small investment of time. Especially when you have the ability to do natural language translation of… an AI translation of audio. If you can get that converted to text pretty reliably, then using that not only in the caption but in the description (or good substantial sections of it) to the extent that the character counts allow is a good thing.

David Shifrin: Okay. Yeah, we just ran a survey of the U.S. population, 800 adults, about communications preferences and found that… we asked people, what do you prefer? Written texts, audio, video, or no particular preference and consistent with what I think the conventional wisdom is people largely preferred video.

And so it was just a reminder to me that we gotta make sure that, one, we’re producing content in ways that people want to consume, but then also making each piece of content as accessible as possible.

Lee Aase: Yeah. The other thing related to that is, yeah, people prefer video and some people prefer text, and some people, and also would like to be able to zoom through it more quickly, because one of the things people do is the 1.25 or 1.5 speed on the video sometimes to just get through them more quickly, videos and podcasts. Not this one, of course they’re going to want to catch every second of it and totally enjoy all of it, but…

David Shifrin: Pull your car over, pull up the car and get the notepad out. I think this is gold here, folks.

Lee Aase: Yeah.

But the other part is that people like to…and there’s something about, especially if you have an extended video or an extended audio it isn’t, yeah, that taking notes part is a little more complicated. So that’s why we put timestamps in, lots of times, in the podcast to say hey, this is where this was talked about.

And so incorporating that I think in some of the video descriptions is a winner.

David Shifrin: Cool. And I’m taking this section a little bit long, but I will mention, because you mentioned transcriptions, and two platforms that I’ll highlight…actually three, and let the secret out. One is otter.ai. It’s great for meeting notes. You can sync it to your calendar, and it does a really nice job. It’s more for just general meetings rather than content production, but it does a nice job and it has live real-time transcription. And the other one that we’re recording this on right now, the platform that we use for remote video and podcast production at Jarrard is riverside.fm.

And ask my colleagues, I talk about it probably more than I talk about my own family, which is concerning, but it’s a great platform and not too long ago, a few months ago, they now have an option with some of their packages where you can get a transcription of your videos.

And so what we’re doing, everything you’re hearing right now is recorded remote with really high quality, and we can pull transcripts. So there’s that. And then the last one that I’ll mention, which is what I use to edit these podcasts, also has a video editing feature, is Descript that and has an outstanding transcription service that’s built in.

And that’s what I do. But it’s a really nice way to scroll through, both for production and then taking that, converting it to subtitles, whatever it might be.

So the tools, to your point, Lee, are out there, and they’re not expensive.

Lee Aase: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s great stuff. And that’s application for me just in our clinic that we’re starting cause I’m the chief administrator, CEO plus the social media guy, for now. And so being able to have some of these tools that can make that production more streamlined—that’s stuff I’m taking away, too.

David Shifrin: Alright Lee, so for the last section, we also in a previous episode talked about how executives can think about their personal presence on social media, both as individuals and as representatives of the organization.

And I want to think about how marketing and digital folks and healthcare organizations can come alongside their leadership, their executive teams, to support them. So I guess the question here is, what is the role of healthcare marketing in first supporting CEOs, and then helping the organization through leadership, transitions, things like that?

Lee Aase: Yeah. I mean, I think, so part of it is, the CEO is one of the chief assets of the organization and, as the face and the voice of the organization and obviously as a driver of the strategic direction. And being able to harness that voice and being able to accomplish what the strategic goals of the organization are is what being the CEO is all about.

So there are some who are naturally inclined toward that, and then there are others who are obviously good communicators in business communication and active and being able to accomplish their work, their will through the organization, but they might need a little help, might need a little handholding in terms of how to be most effective in their use of these social platforms to represent themselves and the organization.

And so I think just making, considering the CEO communication as a pillar of the overall strategic plan and then figuring out how to harness that by, for instance, video, we talked about how video’s been a big part of the topic, but in our experience with our clinic, we’ve got Dr. Dave Strobel, who’s a 30-year physician. Does a great job explaining things to patients, but if he were to…I don’t want him to be on social media, like I don’t want him to be personally doing it, but yet if I can capture video of him doing descriptions, explaining things and then do some post-production, it’s really good work, but you know, really elevating the value that they can contribute.

Really harnessing that and then adding the right people to do the editing to present that authentic voice, but then also to do the bird-dogging to say, hey you’re getting some reaction to this and calling them in to be able to comment as necessary so that there is that authentic level of engagement that’s meaningful instead of it…if it feels too polished, then it’s not going to have the effect, either. I mean, most of the reason people get into these CEO roles is because they’re good with people. They’re good at communicating. They can help move things along. And the digital and social is just a way to supplement that.

Lee Aase
laase@jarrardinc.com