You Too Can Blow Minds Through Healthcare Storytelling

Shivani Desai
August 11, 2017

As a teenager in the early 2000s, when the ever-popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books were at their greatest, I would turn immediately to the “Tough Stuff” section.
Yes, the other stories were interesting and engaging to read, but I wanted to get to the real stories. These were the ones that spoke of real experiences explored by people just like me, living their normal lives just like me. These were the stories that I could relate to because they were honest and powerful.

Love it.

If there’s been one industry that I’ve learned the most from during my time at ChatterBlast, it’s heathcare. This is an industry with a plethora of information that can mostly seem extremely intimidating. But when working with clients like Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care (CRH), it’s absolutely vital that if there’s any hope for your audience to read your content, it must be disruptive. It must be honest. It must be human.

Be Disruptive

There’s a lot of BS out in the digital world these days and frankly, people are tired of it. They want the real stuff: the gut-wrenching, hard-to-read-but-yes-I-have-to-read-this truth, especially when it comes to healthcare.

When it came to CRH, we knew that in order for our audience to:

a) Connect with the brand, and…

b) Provide solid information that would consistently bring our audience back to us, instead of our competitors.

We created content surrounding topics that everyone else was too scared to touch because ultimately, that’s what our audience wants to read.

Keeping that in mind, here’s one such disruptive piece of content that our team is particularly proud of: “Drug Abuse vs. the Need for Opioids in Pain Management.” Needless to say, it’s not a topic one would imagine a hospice company creating but in retrospect, we thought, “Someone should be talking about this.”

Many members of our audience are going through something terribly heartbreaking and at the same time, extremely confusing. They don’t always know where to turn for answers, or they just may be too embarrassed to ask for help. Our goal is to chip away at that embarrassment, take away that shame and/or lack of awareness, and really provide a safe space for our audience to have these types of open, honest conversations.

Speaking of honest conversations…

Be Honest

Let’s be real, we’ve all had our fair share of friends or acquaintances who are just a liiitttllleee too honest on social media, whether they’re talking about their latest breakup, family problems, or the latest drama with their group of friends.

But when it comes to healthcare, honesty is the best policy. CRH’s audience isn’t coming back to their social channels for the fluff — they’re coming back for authentic conversations. Take our “Five Ways to Engage Your Kids While Grieving” blog, for example.

There are many different ways to handle grief, but it can be difficult to communicate that with others, especially kids. They don’t understand what’s happening or why it’s happening, and have so many emotions running through them.

That’s where CRH comes in. By understanding that our audience is going through some difficult experiences of varying degrees, a blog like the one above gives our audience the tools they need to help themselves and their loved ones in a manner that’s healthy yet sensitive, just by being honest.

Be Human

Another important piece that goes hand-in-hand with the factors above is having the human touch, something that takes great practice and an honest look at one’s audience.

For CRH, being disruptive and truthful weren’t enough. They needed to bring an overall personal element too, in a way that our audience could emotionally connect. Enter CRH’s Gift of a Days (GOADs), where the Crossroads team works to bring to life a patient’s greatest wish, no matter what it may be. These GOADs are set up as blog posts, and filled with engaging photos and videos of CRH patients seeing their wishes come true. For someone whose loved one is, or will be in hospice, what better way of understanding CRH’s core values at work than seeing them actually unfold? 

Frances and Luke.

88-year-old Frances Stanaway is a huge fan of country music star Luke Bryan. For her GOAD, the CRH team arranged for Frances and her family to have a meet and greet while the singer was in town for a concert. Unsurprisingly, Frances’ evening got a bit more exciting than she had probably anticipated, and her GOAD was picked up by Today, People Magazine, US Magazine, and more.


Aren’t you, too, happy that Frances received her GOAD and then some? Arooooooga. 

And that, my friends, is why I love working with my clients in the healthcare industry. There’s already a lot of extra fluff online these days, but when it comes to your health or your loved ones’ health, leave the fluff at home. Be disruptive. Be honest. Be human.