Mental Health Communications: Advocates & Alliances for Brand Building

By Amy Fisher, Vice President, Padilla, a SHIFT sister agency

Read our full Mental Health Communications blog series here.

Even before the pandemic, mental health was emerging as an important topic. Now, it’s everywhere. Gradually, people across the world have been opening up and talking about their own needs, challenges and journey to wellness. This, in turn, has opened the door for honest and transparent conversations around the resources and technology-driven tools available to manage our own personal mental health.

This has also created an opportunity for mental and digital health brands to grow awareness.

Having a wide variety of advocates for your mental health brand can be tremendously beneficial, especially when bringing a technology-driven health resource to market that offers a new way to manage mental health.

Using celebrity advocates

Using a celebrity “face” to add a human element to consumer mental health management approaches can be an effective — and fast-acting — strategy to gain trust among buyers.

A few health technology companies identified early on that mental health management conversations are easier to broach when they have a human face. In fact, when Talkspace worked with Olympic medalist Michael Phelps for the company’s first major campaign, news outlets focused as much on Phelps’ willingness to share his journey as they did on the tools he uses to manage his health. The combination vaulted TalkSpace into the mental health space where they’ve continued to grow. Recently, TalkSpace announced a relationship with musician Demi Lovato, a relatable young artist who has been refreshingly open about her own mental health journey.   

Forming alliances with mental health professionals

Additionally, tapping into expert mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, physiologists and academic experts can add credibility to your brand story. Subject matter experts and healthcare providers can help people understand why they may want to seek support and the underlying pressures that impact mental wellness.

Patient advocates and others can offer advice on different mental health resources, helping people identify the resources and tools best suited to meet their needs. And, many experts work directly with various health providers, insurers and product companies working to provide support, so they understand the landscape of possibilities.

When thinking about your health technology brand’s approach to thought leadership, marketing and sales, consider your audience and the individuals that can carry your message out into the market. Often, looking to third-party advocates to lend a hand can help you establish credibility and trust, building your brand up as a valuable resource.

Always remember to divulge any paid influencer or advocate relationships. It’s perfectly fine to leverage paid spokespeople but always follow the regulations for transparency. On the other hand, many mental health management experts want to share their knowledge and looks for ways to lead conversations about maintaining or creating a path to wellness. With a little research you can create a strong bench of advocates to help move your health technology brand forward.  

If you are working in this area and want to discuss your health tech brand and how we can help you to shape and communicate a compelling and credible story, please check out our work and get in touch.

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