How Empathy Can Help Healthcare Organizations Build Trust

December 22, 2022

// By Wendy Margolin //

Margolin-WendyIn a climate of diminishing trust in institutions, healthcare organizations can use empathy in storytelling to attract patients.

Of all the marketing tips for healthcare, the most important (and simplest) one is this: express empathy.

Empathy draws your reader or viewer in. It makes them imagine themselves in the story, as if it could have been them or might be them in the future. When done well in healthcare marketing, showing empathy engenders trust.

One of my favorite business podcasts, What Works with Tara McMullin, dropped an episode in the fall comparing wellness industry coaches vs. licensed experts. I appreciate Tara’s conversation on why so many people turn to coaches for support: trust.

Who do many people trust to help them improve their lives? The answer, of course, depends on the person and the circumstances. When people choose coaches and other wellness providers, the coach or provider’s anecdotal evidence of having experienced a similar challenge and then overcoming it can matter more than even licensed credentials.

Consider the situation of an alcoholic in AA. Both the physician and the AA mentor play critical — albeit very different — roles in the treatment and recovery process.

Empathy in Healthcare Writing and Videos Builds Trust

Our need to feel seen, heard, understood, and supported at a time when we are vulnerable is universal and essential. This is what makes sharing stories that express empathy such a crucial part of healthcare marketing content.

Read on for examples of content that shows empathy and a formula that can improve your healthcare content.


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