Buyer Be (A)ware: Promoting Health and Wellness in the Digital Era

August 1, 2012 // By: // No Comments

Health & Beauty     



Once upon a time, there was one place, and one place only, where consumers could go to find a cure for what ailed them: the doctor. But gone are the days when medical information came solely from medical professionals.The Internet has made every consumer with a laptop, smart phone or tablet a regular Doogie Howser, M.D.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 60% of adults in the U.S. have accessed the Internet to look for health-related information. Additionally, 49% of that same population has used the World Wide Web to look for information about a specific disease or condition.

Speaking With the Savvy Consumer

In reality, the Internet has made consumers savvier on a wide array of topics, from gas mileage and carbohydrate intake to star gazing and videos of adorable sneezing panda bears. For those of us working to promote and market health and beauty products, we are not immune from a savvier consumer base.

For a health & beauty PR practitioner like myself, an informed consumer is a valuable asset. A working understanding of active ingredients, knowledge of FDA monographs, appreciation for the very real scientific research that goes into the thousands of products that fill the shelves at your local drug store — all of these help take the brand-to-consumer conversation to a whole new level.

So how can you navigate the digital waters successfully for your health or beauty brand? Here are some suggestions:

Color Within the Lines

Put your brand’s integrity front and center. Tell consumers and potential consumers what your brand can do to enhance their daily lives, but don’t make promises you can’t keep. From blogs to the customer review section of Drugstore.com, consumers will not hesitate to tell others what they thought of your product and the claims you made, and you don’t want to get caught telling a little white lie.

Be a Curator

One of the great digital developments of the last century is Facebook, and not just because it lets you keep up with all those high school friends you don’t really care about. It provides a prime environment for consumer-to-consumer conversations, especially on a branded page, where the conversation is amplified. Make sure to drive the themes and topics on your page, but don’t hesitate to pull back and let your consumers dictate how that develops.

Welcome Others’ Opinions

Proper market research is critical to any brand, regardless of the category. Yet in the digital sphere — whether on Facebook, your brand page or a blogger community — we find a seemingly endless supply of thoughts, ideas and opinions about our brands. Tap into this resource. You never know, your next great PR campaign might be hiding in there somewhere!

About the Author

Kevin Tressler

Kevin joined Hunter PR in January 2012 as a vice president on the Health & Beauty team. His experience and media savvy have helped generate both traditional and social media placements in a number of top outlets, including The New York Times, the Associated Press, Cosmopolitan and the TODAY Show.
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