How Innovative are Your Blogs for Boomers or Healthcare?
If a story is not about the hearer, he will not listen. And here I make a rule—a great and interesting story is about everyone or it will not last.--John Steinbeck
One of the greatest challenges when it comes to posting blogs is writing more than just basic news. I know many other storytelling colleagues and I agree that news is great…but the traditional focus isn’t really enough.
It doesn’t matter if you’re helping to educate America's seniors, or those whose business it is to help them. (Some of you are doing both!) All industries in health and senior-related areas—and I’ll throw in those on the tech side of boomer outreach—offer so many innovations regularly they should inspire tons of ideas.
Rule #1: Research
I admit I’ve got an absolute prejudice when it comes to the vast topic options blogging in healthcare alone offers, let alone reaching older adults. Maybe it is because I started in journalism. Back in the ancient days, we had to set a magazine's editorial calendar months in advance; for the trade side it was at least three months, for most consumer magazines it was six.
A major key to success was researching industry news. Among the stories that always generated my own:
A company’s success story—Yes it could be your own. But what about someone else’s? Would you want to profile that company? Who else in your industry is working on the same kind of product/service and what were their perspectives? Maybe that could be a good round table discussion (with you included of course), or an overall industry trend feature with your byline.
A new clinical trial—New advances in areas like senior health and long-term care are enormous and always growing. Whatever I choose, it must be at least at level three, so a fair amount of humans is involved. That’s the point where I think we get some decent insights. It is NOT a good idea to be spouting “great news” from early trials whose subjects are flies or even monkeys. Oh...can you explore PubMed for trial insights, or do you need one of us plain language providers?
Other ground-breaking news--Check reliable consumer sources ranging from CNN to WebMD and others. I once found a news item about an upcoming Congressional hearing on PTSD in older vets. Got interviews from panel and wrote story. It gained phone calls from widows crying their thanks. Still have never seen this report elsewhere.
A promotion or all-new company exec—Maybe the person you're considering would be another kind of good profile. What about their new position will allow them to bring innovations? Why is your company (or any you're profiling) the kind of company that allows such changes?
Upcoming legal changes—Look at the explosion of racial issues in 2020. Leaders had to scramble to rush through diversity training and other minority-related inclusion programs. It wasn't 'til recently that sexual harassment could be more openly revealed. These and many other topics will let you offer insights not only from legal gurus, but also CEOs, or VPs in HR, Sales, IT, etc.
Rule #2: Set Parameters
It’s fine to talk about storytelling…but what story formats are you willing to develop? I ask clients who are requesting blogs how they’re defining it.
For most, it has a very standard response: it’s an item that appears on the company website. And it’s almost always self-centered.
Now that adjective has a very negative translation. But in blogging it simply means always focusing on oneself. Truly effective marketing means having a more objective versus subjective focus.
You need to decide which of these will be your thrust. Also, where are your insights appearing? Only on your blog, or any social media? And which of the latter will most impress your audience(s)?
Rule #3: Beyond regular stories
That last paragraph brings up an important question: Besides blogging, how much broader is your focus? Are you prepped—or already utilizing—case studies, YouTube, e-newsletters, and other innovative options? How ‘bout old-fashioned stuff, like radio guesting? The latter translates to podcast interviews.
What about webinars? Could you be training folks in a certain skill, like how your AI genius could improve certain eHealth outreach? Or "10 steps to protect senior loved ones during COVID." And do you offer handouts with key checkpoints for both attendees and those who'll catch up later?
Of course there are ad options, but that’s not what this is about. It’s about senior-related storytelling. Are you ready? If you’d like some more specifically personalized insights, of course let me know. ###
Journalist-turned-marketing storyteller Wendy Meyeroff has been an award winner in health & tech plain language for 20+ years, with a specialty in older outreach since the beginning. If you’d like one FREE sample of her infographic work, let her know if you prefer B2B or B2C. That request can lead you to the first 15-min FREE chat. Of course learn more here on her website, then click on Contact Wendy.