If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, I invite you to log in and scroll for about 30 seconds.
How many political-related posts did you see?
If your newsfeed is similar to mine, you likely saw at least one or two posts related to politics.
This isn’t just a phenomenon on social media. A recent study from Pew Research found that 52 percent of Americans say they are paying more attention to politics after Trump’s election.
Companies are not staying silent either. A 2016 study from Global Strategy Group found that public awareness of corporate political stances hit an all-time high in 2016.
The decision to vocalize viewpoints is paying off for many brands, too. According to the same 2016 study, 78 percent of people agree that companies should take action to address the important issues facing society.
So what does this mean for marketers in the addiction treatment industry? Your political voice is certainly more than a mechanism to boost your brand — it’s also a powerful tool to raise the standards of the behavioral healthcare space and advocate for the needs of your patients. Let’s explore how and when you should enter the legislative arena.
Not every political event needs a response from your treatment facility. You’ll want to join conversations that are relevant to your operations and align with your values and mission statement.
For example, here at Recovery Brands, we believe everyone has the right to treatment. We often join discussions surrounding patient access on social media, and take steps to clearly articulate our stance as it relates to our core values.
Sitting back and waiting for others to request a response from you is not the best method for engagement. Instead, monitor legislation and commentary from political leaders to have a full understanding of happenings and implications for our industry.
With a firm understanding of pending healthcare-related bills and policies, you can proactively insert yourself in conversations by offering expert commentary. Media interview opportunities are a great way to boost your brand visibility while also advocating for the needs of your patients.
Our team frequently offers our proprietary research to media outlets to help steer conversations surrounding patient access. For example, last year we published data to showcase the hurdles patients face when seeking opioid treatment. The research was excellent leverage to participate in commentary surrounding the CARA Act.
Activism isn’t just about drawing eyes to your facility, it’s also about supporting the needs of an under-represented population whose voice is often squelched by those who do not understand the disease of addiction. It’s our responsibility to join as a unified front to ensure patients receive quality care.
There are multiple events throughout the year for behavioral healthcare leaders to come together and discuss important legislation. For example, the upcoming Hill Day is a great opportunity to speak directly with public officials and influence their support of measures to improve the behavioral healthcare field.