Healthcare companies often soar in reputation ratings, but a W2O report found they struggle with relevance.
The analysis measured how well healthcare organizations are engaging their stakeholders by giving each company a relevance score. That number is based on factors like CEO approval and impact, employee engagement, financial analyst coverage, search performance and doctor and patient reviews, said Gary Grates, principal at W2O.
Based on those scores, only 2% of the 100 healthcare companies measured had “resilient” relevance, while 72% had either “susceptible” or “weak” relevance. W2O did not release a list of the top 100 healthcare companies by name.
Grates added that most healthcare companies have pretty good control of their company narratives, both internal and external, and their CEO relevance is strong.
“Areas to pay attention to are employees; they need to have a similar understanding of an organization’s vision, its values and its future,” he said. “Healthcare companies are proud of the fact that they’re patient-centric and looking at the world through patients’ eyes. Employees are a big part of that, too. They also need to pay attention to search and helping stakeholders find and maintain an understanding of the business and how it’s being positioned.”
W2O has issued a separate relevance report for Fortune 100 companies for the past two years. Brands such as Facebook, Google, Delta Air Lines, Walt Disney, Apple, Costco and Amazon have topped the list.
Compared to reputation data, the relevance report gives companies an idea of their “current place in the world,” instead of what consumers think of the brand, Grates said.
The report also measured the news and social issues that drove relevance in the healthcare industry. Topping that list is opioids, drug pricing, drug recalls and President Donald Trump’s statements on healthcare.
For brands to be relevant, it’s not simply commenting or being reactive to those issues, but being out there as part of the solution and having a distinct point of view and discussion about them, Grates explained.
“How many organizations just communicate for communications’ sake?” he asked. “If it’s not moving the needle and not making people smarter, more confident or pushing or affecting change, it’s not relevance. If we’re not relevant, we don’t exist. With all those topics, there’s a recognition and expectation by the marketplace that organizations in the healthcare field need to be part of those discussions.”
Although most healthcare companies struggle with relevance, Grates said they’re becoming “much more attuned to how they need to present themselves in terms of narrative, the stories being told, [and] how they’re communicating the way they’re operating in the marketplace.”
He also noted that improving relevance can help healthcare organizations with recruitment and retention and help them stand out as healthcare and health technology become even more prominent.
“The merging of healthcare and tech is so prominent in business and society and the way we govern,” Grates said. “It is such a big part of the way in which society interacts with one another. As a healthcare business, you have to be relevant and have to be a player in what’s happening in pricing, value, efficacy, safety and research and development. There is a realization by healthcare organizations this is in fact the way we have to work.”