How PR can be a shot in the arm for nutraceutical brands in the pandemic

Guest Column: Anindita Gupta, Co-Founder, Scenic Communication, believes that with nutraceutical brands now in the spotlight, the time is ripe for the industry to leverage communication tools like PR

e4m by Anindita Gupta
Updated: Jul 22, 2021 12:11 PM
Co-Founder, Scenic Communication

Since the onset of the global pandemic in 2020, people across the globe have found a renewed sense of focus on their health, Immunity and preventive wellbeing. As a result, healthcare, especially nutraceutical brands have found themselves in the spotlight, as more and more people take to curiously seek solutions to their health concerns. This has made the task of effective health communication and accurate information sharing, an important and significant one, especially at times of such large scale crisis.

While the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ seems to be the only true remedy for the novel Coronavirus, healthcare professionals, service providers, local government and influencers are all trying to spread as much information about the modes to prevent this infection and steps one needs to take to avoid the spread. From ‘Stay home, stay safe’ hashtags to hand washing challenges and immune-boosting home remedies, social media and the news channels have been abuzz with information. However, at a time like this when health and wellbeing is on top priority, accurate information by healthcare brands, especially about nutraceuticals – a relatively new and emerging segment of preventive healthcare, can make a grave difference. Although it has been a few years since the introduction of nutraceuticals in the Indian market, their role as a serious contender in building immunity and long term health benefits is only now gaining popularity. Even as new innovations and discoveries are in the process of development, effective communication is the key to drive both preventive healthcare information and impactful brand recall.

All these factors, in collective, are having a dramatic impression on the role and nature of healthcare communications. There are several nutraceutical brands that are also significantly participating in the same to leverage the cause. Effective communication is necessary to maintain this sense of awareness to sustain in the post COVID scenario too.

Integrated marketing and communication tools such as PR can help nutraceutical brands overcome such challenges with strategic planning and communication. As is the case in healthcare, trust and credibility are of key essence and that is exactly what PR can help build for these brands. Some key aspects where PR can help, include:

  • Creating Awareness: While the pandemic has made most of the consumers resort to online purchases, there is little awareness about accessing healthcare as a service, online. Effective PR and integrated communication outreach can help create this awareness through the use of online (like FB) and traditional media (Newspapers) outreach, to spread awareness among target audiences, including senior citizens who need this service the most.
  • Educating the masses: Apart from being aware, people also need to have a deeper understanding of how nutraceutical products work and what they can expect. An educative approach to this can further help brands to not only reach out and engage with consumers but also gain insights and feedback into user experience so as to better enhance the product.
  • Building credibility: This is one of the most vital aspects when it comes to nutraceuticals. Right from credibility and genuineness of brand to the authenticity of products shared online, everything can look sceptical to a first time user. By offering transparent dealings, extensive product information and value-added services like the background of manufacturing plants, options for usage etc., can all go a long way in helping a brand-building trust among the consumers. And effective PR and communication outreach can further help the brand to leverage this.
  • Creating thought leadership: Lastly, through larger industry stories and opinion pieces, profiling of brand spokesperson and creating a larger category building activity through integrated communication, PR can help brands drive thought leadership and create a positive brand image.

Appearance is everything, at least that’s how the saying goes, and for nutraceutical companies maintaining a positive and trustworthy reputation isn’t always easy. Crisis and glitches are a part of the process. However, a long term and dedicated PR outreach directed towards consumers is proficient at patient engagement and helps boost corporate value. In times like these, with the pandemic still hovering, effective and timely adoption of nutraceuticals as a serious preventive healthcare solution can be a game-changer in managing the pandemic and offering non-COVID patients as a real pillar of support.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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