Yes, your patient population is worried about the coronavirus (CoV). Per Google Trends, the number of online searches for information about the "China virus" continues to grow. What's the fastest way to reassure and educate your audience? Digital messaging.

CoV is being called the first formidable "viral virus" of the social media era. News is traveling fast, unfortunately not all of it is trustworthy. Misinformation and drama have been amplified by algorithms. The quickest way to calm anxiety is to use those same channels for sharing clear, simple and medically sound information.

Make yourself a responsive, trusted source

  • Use social networks and mobile apps to share valuable information and updates in real time.
  • Let people know what your own health organization is doing and link to organizations that monitor the situation 24/7, like the CDC and WHO.
  • If you don't have one, add a blog to your website formatted to cross-post your CoV updates.
  • Consider push notifications for your mobile users so they can receive immediate text-message updates.
  • Make email updates available, too. Leverage an email signup option on your website.

Set up search engines to get alert notifications

To stay on top of critical developments, sign up with Google Alerts. You'll receive notice when a key phrase or name appears online. Then your staff can respond quickly, acknowledging and addressing the topic per your crisis communication strategy.

Create content with a local spin

Although the coronavirus is a global health emergency, you'll be most relevant if you bring the topic closer to home. Has the disease been reported in your surrounding area? If so, discuss the details of how it arrived and tell your readers what steps to take, if any. It also helps to:

  • Use the right tone. Sensitive situations require more careful wording. Write in a style that sounds professional versus defensive.
  • Feature your disease experts in videos and podcasts. Worried people often skip reading in favor of listening to a calm voice of authority. Videos and podcasts can be done quickly and help you reach more people with appropriate messaging.

Post your message on every website page

Very few visitors to hospital websites land on the homepage. If you put messaging only there, most of your visitors will miss it. Install a feature that sends the message site-wide to the appropriate section of every page. Remember to include mobile display.

Handle an emergency before it happens

They say every minute you let a concerning event go unanswered you lose a bit of customer trust and goodwill. Healthcare marketers need to create content about CoV now since it's likely we'll see more coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S. before the virus is contained.

Your patients rely on you for searchable information. Let Cox Health Marketing help you stay relevant and connected. Call us today.