Is the health care industry creative?: MHSCN summer event recap

In the not-so-distant past, you could poll 100 people and no one would list the word “creative” in their list of top 10 words to describe the health care industry. Regulations and patient privacy concerns are just two of the many reasons health care has historically been among the industries considered most conservative in terms of its marketing. But things are changing.

Innovative partnerships like the one between CVS and Aetna and new players entering the space like Best Buy are putting consumers back at the center of the equation – and changing how we think about health care marketing and communications.

Creativity can mean different things to different people. On its surface, the word may call to mind images of memorable, edgy ad campaigns or viral social media posts. But creativity can also sometimes look totally different. As the panelists, Heath Rudduck, chief creative officer at Padilla, John Pohlman, executive creative director with Lawrence & Schiller and our very own Shelli Lissick, shared at this week’s MHSCN event, in reality, there’s creativity present in almost everything we do, even in just how we go about our days. Sometimes it’s solving a problem for the first time or solving that problem in a totally new way that’s never been done before, but other times it’s simply finding a way to solve it more efficiently.

Whether or not you think you’re creative, the panelists shared refreshing insights and new ways of thinking about creativity. Here are some of the top nuggets the Bellmont Partners Health Practice Group took away:

·       When thinking about how to encourage and breed creativity, there needs to be a culture in place where people feel safe and supported. Where it’s constantly reinforced with internal teams that everyone is creative, no matter their role and it’s encouraged to think big and be OK, and even celebrated, if those big ideas fail.

·       Give your brain a break – oftentimes creativity strikes when you least expect it, but it’s rare that will happen in a set time frame or under strict parameters.

·       Find the person or human element at the core of the problem or solution. What is the “organizing idea?” Bold ideas can help agencies elevate their work. Be intentional about who you invite to a brainstorm — have a diverse group made up of people with specific areas of expertise.

At the end of the day: Yes, health care is a heavily regulated industry, but there is still plenty of room to be creative and will become increasingly necessary as the industry evolves

We ended the event with refreshments and conversation soaking in the perfect Minnesota evening on the Bellmont Partners patio and I was once again reminded how much I love the Minnesota health care community (and my fellow communications professionals)! With an industry up against so many inherent challenges around delivery, transparency, cost containment and quality of care, creativity is a non-negotiable, and communication will continue to be an important piece of the puzzle in solving these challenges. It’s encouraging that Minnesota has such a passionate, connected group of health care innovators – from caregivers to marketers – who are committed to putting their creativity to work for our community.

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