Communicating more clearly and humanely: the aftermath of covid-19 in health communication

The pandemic brought a new need to communicate clearly, empathetically and humanely to inform people about the news of covid-19, the scientific findings surrounding this disease and to offer them support in the midst of a difficult landscape that has paralyzed the entire world.

By Team Axon Marketing & Communications

Communication in the healthcare sector must be substantially different than it was just a few years ago. While it is true that the accelerated spread of covid-19 forced the sector to face titanic challenges related to healthcare coverage and assistance, with reduced infrastructure conditions and a limited number of qualified medical personnel, this has not been the only difficulty.

The pandemic brought a new need to communicate clearly, empathetically and humanely to inform people about the news of covid-19, the scientific findings surrounding this disease and to offer them support in the midst of a difficult scenario that has paralyzed the entire world.

This is precisely the central theme of the most recent document by Axon Marketing & Communications, a consulting firm specializing in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), which deals with other crucial issues such as “infodemia”, the term used by the World Health Organization to refer to the excess of information on the new coronavirus, and how clear and human communication is necessary for the creation of a sustainable and well-fed reputation in healthcare institutions.

The analysis of the consulting firm, which is present in eight of the most competitive markets in Latin America and the United States, considered the perceptions of experts in the field of health and communication. One of them is Catalina Parada, Doctor and COO of Axon Marketing & Communications, who assures that with the health crisis, communication has acquired a greater role in all industries, including the health sector.

With this in mind, “internal and external communication managers in the healthcare industry will have to find the most effective strategies and tools to communicate scientific findings and advances in an efficient and clear manner. In short, the sector will have to aim at a comprehensive democratization of its information,” warns Parada.

The analysis by Axon Marketing & Communications places special emphasis on the need to address the covid-19 virus with a clear and empathetic communication approach. This is detailed by Juana Ramírez, CEO of Sohin Group, who assures that “health should be transformed into a conversation that everyone can understand and to achieve this, companies like Axon Marketing & Communications will be needed, as they help organizations to communicate in a better way”.

And it is key to do so. Excessive use of specialized language can have an impact, for example, in the creation and strengthening of movements such as anti-vaccine, which according to the Center to Counter Digital Hate (CCDH) already constitutes a mass of 58 million people on social networks.”

According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), during the covid-19 pandemic the cost of covid-19 aid, containment and management packages reaches 4.1% of regional GDP, with Chile at the top of the list (15.1% of GDP), followed by Peru (11.1%), and El Salvador and Colombia with about 8%. While it is true that combating covid-19 requires investment and capital, communication should not take a back seat.

Laura García, Director of Corporate Communications at Grupo Hospitalario San José, explains, “communicators are no longer transversal, but necessary. Communication is inevitable and omnipresent within a hospital. Within the framework of covid-19, healthcare professionals themselves sought out communicators to help them communicate assertively”.

The Axon’s analysis, in addition to explaining in detail the points mentioned above, states that if healthcare institutions do not modify their language to a clearer and more understandable one, they will not become the reliable and official sources of information that the public needs so much, especially in a situation where social networks and fake news full of inaccuracies and lies are gaining more and more ground.

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