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Healthcare content2 min read Communicating diversity and inclusion: 4 user-friendly tips

Try these methods to show commitment to your healthcare consumers

June 16, 2021The Coffey Team

Showing your commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical. And right now, your ability to communicate this to your healthcare consumers may prove meaningful during a time when they need to know where you stand.

Here are some tips that may help, along with action points for making them a reality.

Diversify your communication style. We all know bodies are unique, and the way we communicate is no different. Talking to your clients can’t have a one-size-fits-all strategy. For example, the older population may use healthcare services more often, but millennials shouldn’t be overlooked.

Your action points:

  • Think about writing style. Social media platforms often appeal to younger consumers. That means they should reflect a more casual tone than the print publications mailed out to clients’ homes.
  • Educate yourself on using more inclusive language that doesn’t leave people out. You might make a set of language guidelines for yourself and others who work for your organization.
  • Consider outreach. American society is multicultural and needs marketing materials that reflect that. Are your materials conscious of linguistic, religious and cultural differences?

Use people-first and empowering language. Empowering language includes positive, strengths-based communication. It also urges us to move away from labeling people and groups. In fact, CDC recommends people-first language, especially in the case of those with disabilities.

Your action points:

  • Use phrases such as “a person with…” or a “person who has…” instead of personifying a medical condition; for example, “a person who has diabetes,” not “a diabetic.”
  • Ask how people want to be described. It shows respect.
  • Remember to use pronouns that are sensitive to people’s preferences.
  • Make sure internal communication highlights the need for empowering language in every client interaction.

Diversify your channels. The way you talk to your consumers is important. But where you talk to them is just as key. Media buyers have long understood the value of knowing where to reach people. But you may need to talk on less common channels to reach some.

Your action points:

  • Research your communication channels. You may connect with a more diverse audience through niche digital outlets. That includes advertising on blogs or podcasts that fit the interests of multicultural audiences who, because they are smaller than the mainstream, may otherwise be overlooked.
  • Don’t forget the power of in-person, community events. If we only depend on digital channels, we neglect our ability to connect with and understand our consumers on a more personal level.

Communicate your commitment beyond your words. Words are powerful, and the way we use them should be meaningful. But communicating with your consumers goes beyond the message text. In videos, images and even graphics, we should think about not just what we are representing, but whom.

Your action points:

  • For images, think through any stock photo choices. Are you choosing stereotypical images of families? Your images should reflect the diversity of your client base.
  • Highlight the diversity in your workforce. When showing pictures or videos of your organization, company or practice, feature people from all backgrounds.

Still need help with your plan?

Coffey’s team of experts are sensitive to diversity. We can help you develop healthcare marketing materials that show inclusivity for all members of your community. Contact us to schedule a meeting with one of our business development consultants.