5 Helpful PR Tips for Rebranding

Aug 19, 2020

Many healthcare technology companies are choosing to rebrand because of the impact that the novel coronavirus has had on the healthcare ecosphere. Capabilities or focus points which may not have been on the forefront before this year-long industry earthquake are now front and center. Clear company identities and market differentiators have never been more important.

When rebranding, there are 5 strategic public relations best practices that you will want to make sure you are clear on before finalizing your overall rebranding
marketing efforts and plans.

Messaging. The most common misunderstanding I have come up against when working on rebranding a company from a public relations perspective is that many communicators – even long time marketing  seniors – are entirely unaware that there is a difference between marketing messaging (often, product messaging) and public relations messaging. They are sisters, not twins, folks!

Some questions that I often ask to get to the bottom of the public relations messaging rebranding efforts include: What is it that you want to convey from a
thought leadership level to the public? How does this back up your business goals and objectives and overarching communications goals and objectives?

Typically, when these questions are answered, it can be a fairly simple process to start development on a “moving” public relations messaging document that will grow and evolve as the company grows and evolves.

Audience. Do not forget to think about the people who will be impacted by your rebranding. It is important to get the message into the right hands and ears.

Who are your customers? Who are your customers’ customers? What matters to them? How are they acquiring information? Social media? A certain publication?

Being clear on the answer to these questions can help promote a strategic public relations strategy when rebranding. Showing in-depth knowledge of your
customers and customers’ customers pain points on a public scale can be impactful for building the overall credibility of your rebranded company in the
public’s eye.

Thought Leadership. What can you speak to other than your business offerings that props up the depth and breadth of your company’s position in the market?

In this vein, I often recommend that clients take time to work together to articulate which areas of the market their products impact indirectly that can be a strategic topic of reference for the company to react to on a public scale. It really helps to get specific here. Listing thought leadership topics and corresponding messages that support your company’s overarching messages can be invaluable to being ready and able to  pursue high impact reputation building messages in front of the public’s eye. Be willing to tell the story of “why” the rebranding was important given the current state of the industry.

100% Buy-in across company segments. You need to make sure every sector of the company is very clear on the new messaging and branding statements. It is vitally important to get buy-in from each segment on every word and punctuation mark.

Once you do, offering each segment of a company a document or visual on how the new branding impacts how they talk about the company or how they will do their job moving forward can be helpful in getting everyone on the same page.

Buy-in needs to happen on every level from the CEO to the janitor. Each employee needs to be clear on what the company does and the best way to explain that to
whoever they need to explain it to.

Pipeline tactic development: Once you have rebranded, you also need to take good look at current tactics and pipelines to determine if they are supporting the new look and/or descriptors that you have chosen for your company.

Old communication, marketing, public relations tactics may have worked for your old way of thinking about what you did, but there may be pivots you need to take to
support the updated messaging and overall look of the company. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about rebranding where major sales documents were
not updated, yet still used, mostly due to confusion on the branding, how it effects the company, and why it matters.

Each sector of the company needs to look at the way they are doing their jobs in light of the rebranding efforts and determine if old ways of thinking need some
updating. Keep these recommendations in mind when developing your public relations strategy during a company rebranding effort. All healthcare
technology companies should take a good look at their company identity in this season.

Whether or not your company is taking on a full-on rebranding effort, it’s helpful to keep these best practices in mind.

Grace Vinton

Grace Vinton is a dynamic communications professional with a passion for healthcare and health IT. She has worked with over 20 clients in a career that spans more than ten years across the healthcare ecosphere in the areas of HIT, big data, predictive analytics, AI/augmented reality, telehealth, health information exchange, pharma, life sciences, predictive modeling and radiology. A media relations pro, Grace has secured media placements in top tier media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Forbes magazine. She has also secured client interviews on all the major broadcast networks and a wide variety of healthcare and technology trade publications. Grace is fluent in social media and viral marketing platforms and has a top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profile with numerous healthcare industry heavy hitters as followers of her regular healthcare technology industry news and commentary. Grace started her career as an Assistant Marketing Coordinator at Sodexo International. In this role she supported the on-site campus team in the process of developing and implementing "healthy eating" promotions. She left to join Rand Media Company as Head of Media Relations where she promoted the publishing company and their educational books through PR and a variety of content marketing platforms. Prior to joining Amendola, Grace was a PR consultant to several health technology companies worldwide. Grace has a Master of Arts degree in Communication & Leadership and Bachelor's degrees in both Government and Communications. She has also completed educational development programs at Georgetown and Oxford Universities.