By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

As the healthcare industry awaits changes to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare, and as uncertainty looms about multiple healthcare laws and regulations, this is the time when true leaders emerge.

When developing a customer media strategy for clients, Hammock is often asked to include opinion leadership content as part of the strategy. We understand the client’s request. However, technically speaking, opinion leadership is a goal. Communicating consistently to an audience in order to provide insight and understanding will result in recognition as an opinion leader.

As with any type of leadership, opinion leadership is created when someone steps forward to explain the inexplicable. Anyone can string together buzzwords or lists from Google searches, but opinion leadership is the result of crafting communications free of clichés and over-used metaphors. It comes from experience and research, not just top 10 lists.

Most importantly, an opinion leader must emerge to explain difficult concepts and complex ideas during times of greatest uncertainty. Anyone can be an opinion leader when things are going great and everyone agrees with whatever the prevailing opinion might be.

But to be recognized as an opinion leader, one can’t wait until the dust has settled to hold up a finger, hoping to perceive the direction from which the wind is blowing. Opinion leadership is established when gale force winds are beating against one’s face.

Times like now.

Any time of change and uncertainty is when your audience is most wanting to hear what you have to say. The sooner you say it, the better.

Bottom line for marketers: Opinion leaders are those willing to speak clearly, insightfully and with calm reassurance when those around you are not willing to speak at all.






Image Credit | iStock

About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here . To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.