Personal connections win over “marketing appeals” every time. We all know this to be true on a gut level: We respond to genuine conversations about real people and about things that really matter to us. Mental health and addiction issues are deeply personal and affect nearly everyone to some degree; using the power of story in your marketing messages can help you connect with your market in an organic and important way. Here are some ways real stories can help you reach the people who need you most.
Become part of trending conversations
There are no shortage of stories about mental health and addiction in the media today, some of which catch the nation’s attention for weeks or months at a time. Think opioid addiction or school violence. When national or local concern coalesces around a topic your organization is involved in, be prepared to lend your expertise to the conversation. Identify experts in hot-point issues, have them media-trained and prepared for interviews when opportunities arise. Focus a blog or opinion piece on the topic and provide links on social media. Use public buzz about a topic to get your messages to an audience primed to hear them.
People in your community are also concerned about more every-day concerns that may or may not be in the media, like anxiety, depression, ADHD, eating disorders, domestic violence and others. Offering a voice of compassion, expertise and help will help your organization’s name and brand become instantly associated with the conditions you treat and top of mind when help is needed.
Use the power of story
Everyone affiliated with your organization has a story about how addiction or mental illness has affected them. Many addiction counselors go into the field after their own life-changing experiences with addiction, either their own or a family member’s, and they are often quite open to talking about it. Perhaps you have a mental health professional who once struggled with depression, received treatment (perhaps even at your facility?) and brings that perspective to his work. Or a pediatric specialist who has a child with ADHD…a mom who lost a child and now leads a bereavement support group you sponsor.
The stories are there, and there are plenty of people willing to share their own. These people can become authentic brand ambassadors for your organization, showing, rather than telling, how your mental health services have affected people’s lives.
Tell a story with truth and heart. Give your brand a face, an opinion and a cause. Earn your community’s respect and trust, and keep on earning it with real insight about real stories told by real people.
Please email me if you’d like to know more about how my motivational branding and “out-of-your-mind thinking” workshops can help you identify bold new approaches for marketing mental health services.