Everything has a face, even in business. As human beings, we intuitively create an association with an entity based upon the other human beings that organization puts forward. At Core, this reinforces our belief that brands need to be human in order to make a lasting connection with intended audiences.
This is no different in the world of healthcare. People automatically identify with the other human beings they have come in contact with – a physician, an assistant, a nurse who provided vital information regarding his or her health, etc. These are critical human engagements that set the tone for your brand experience. So the care you take in training and ensuring the brand experience is a positive one is just as critical when globally addressing a larger group.
Whether it’s a speaking engagement, television interview or video promoted through social media, your choice of spokesperson significantly impacts the way your audience is influenced and views your brand. Therefore, we recommend asking a few highly important questions as you are selecting, promoting and engaging your brand “face:”
- Who is your audience? First and foremost, you should have your audience in mind when selecting a spokesperson. Are you speaking to a group of expecting mothers who want thoughtful, empathetic guidance about childbirth? Are you leading a community group looking for information about services you provide its members? Or perhaps your health system is facing a layoff situation and the local media wants to know how its viewers will be impacted. All are vastly different audiences requiring different types of voices and personalities. Be sure to select a spokesperson who can naturally answer anticipated questions for the group you are engaging, while also positioning the organization in a positive light (think clinician vs. CEO).
- What is the medium? As the media landscape continues to shift and evolve, it is highly important to choose spokespeople who are appropriate for the space. If it is a chat environment, you require a professional who can deliver messages quickly and concisely. If it is a long-format interview, you need a poised presenter who can fill time, while remaining on message. Don’t simply assume one person can do it all. We all have strengths – play to them!
- What the situation? Much like we do with defining an audience, another vital step in spokesperson identification comes with assessing the scenario. The more critical the situation, the higher up the org chart you need to go for message delivery. Pointing to a layoff, lawsuit or other highly sensitive topic, you will want your most highly trained and visible leaders to engage. But do not assume he or she has the messaging down! Even the most highly trained individual will benefit from an executive briefing and messaging session.
- What is the outcome you wish to initiate? As always, your spokespeople need to be professionally trained. And part of that training includes delivering clear calls to action. There is nothing worse than securing a two-minute segment where your spokesperson forgets to mention the campaign-specific landing page. Make sure the person you identify is both trained to close a conversation with an intended action, as well as naturally does so.
While there are more factors to consider, these are the most important when it comes to identifying and selecting a face for your organization. Making a real human connection requires thoughtfulness not just in the message itself, but also in who makes the delivery.
If you’d like to know more tips about selecting and training a media spokesperson, reach out to me anytime.
Beth Crivello-Wagner is the Vice President of Brand Services at Core Creative.