Author: Imprint Team

Songs of Summer (Music is Content!)

Songs of Summer (Music is Content!)

“To me, making a tape is like writing a letter, there’s a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again … A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick it off with a corker, to hold the attention … and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch … oh, there are loads of rules.” – Nick Hornby, “High Fidelity”

Ok, so some of you might be asking: what’s a compilation tape? While making a playlist can be serious business, we tried not to take ourselves too seriously and just had fun assembling our favorite summer tunes for you.

Music is content, and we asked the Imprint team experts to pick some of their all-time top summer songs. The result? A compilation of an epic heatwave playlist for the ages.

  • Click here to start the complete playlist on YouTube
  • Below, you can play a condensed version from Spotify (some songs were unavailable on the platform) 

Below read about how the curation came together: which tunes were nominated by which Imprint member and why. Because behind every song, there is a story!

We’d love to hear from you—what did we miss? What essential summer jam do you think deserves to make the cut? Do you have a summer playlist of your own? We’d love to hear it! Ping us on LinkedIn or email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here’s the background to the list (alphabetical listing by team member’s first name):

Andy Seibert: “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa

While every big artist delayed releases when quarantine hit, Dua Lipa went for it—and for me, thank goodness! The album is so right for now – it has purpose—and “Don’t Start Now” is dance-in-your-face, hand-in-your-face female empowerment perfection.

Andy also submitted “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé ft. Jay-Z.

Ashley Brenner: “Ray of Light” by Madonna (Calderone Club Mix)

This particular summer, we have renovated our kitchen. It’s always good to have a club mix playing when you’re doing something not particularly fun, like painting a room. But it’s also a nice combo of the song title “Ray of Light” and adding windows and white cabinets to open up a living space so central to our home.

Note: The Calderone Club Mix is only available via the YouTube playlist. We had to settle for the original “Ray of Light” on the Spotify playlist.

Colter Hettich: “Humility” by Gorillaz

Timeless and mellow funk drums and bass, some jazzy guitar by George Benson, smooth vocals by Damon Albarn—what’s not to love? If that doesn’t check enough boxes, how about a Venice Beach roller skating music video featuring Jack Black? Plus, the lyrics “Calling the world from isolation / ‘Cause right now that’s the ball where we be chained” couldn’t be more timely.

Craig Gartner: “Summer Romance” by The Rolling Stones

I’m afraid I don’t listen to any current stuff. I can only say I’ve been playing the Stones’ “Emotional Rescue” album lately. They are my favorite band. For me, it takes me back to July 2, 1980, my “perfect day.” Mom drove us to the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ, where there was a Korvettes. You could buy LPs for $3.99. I bought that one (as well as Graham Parkers’ THE UP ESCALATOR).; then we went to a Nathans restaurant and had amazing hotdogs. I also hit the video arcade (do they still have those?) for an hour. Beautifully simple. That day was one every 16-year-old would be lucky to have.

Craig also submitted “Down in the Hole” and “Where the Boys Go” by The Rolling Stones.

Dan Davenport: “Plage” by Crystal Fighters

I take songs of summer very seriously! To speak in strategy-ese, I have four key pillars, and this is not pass-fail: You’ve got all four pillars or you go home. For me, “Plage” by the Crystal Fighters crushes them all: 1. The setting is literally a summer location. 2. The point is love and/or beauty. 3. There’s an utter lack of seriousness/consequence (this pillar was never more important than in the COVID age). 4. The energy is huge and the beat is 100% danceable.

Duncan Milne: “Tender Things” by Bill Withers

One of the most underrated soul artists was Bill Withers who died this year. While he’s well known for timeless classics such as “Lovely Day,” “Use Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Just the Two of Us”; his genius for truly innovative and sophisticated arrangements, funky baselines and political awareness were never quite recognized enough to bring him the superstardom of, say, Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye. “Tender Things,” in my humble opinion, is his masterpiece and I’ve been listening to it lot lately. It’s good to be reminded that, despite the horrors of 2020, there are plenty of things to be grateful for and happy about.

Duncan also submitted “Optimistic” by Sounds of Blackness.

Jenna Warner: “Age of Consent” by New Order

“Age of Consent” by New Order is my song of the summer because it elevates any moment. As soon as I hear the opening riff I feel like I’m moving forward, like it’s the soundtrack for a movie montage showing that these are the good times. New Order was a bit of a first love when I started getting into music. I’m weak for that synth! Whether you’re on a beach blanket or staycationing at home, this song sets the pace to have some fun.

Julissa Ortiz: “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

It reminds me of simpler times, when I was a kid growing up in NYC running through playground sprinklers while this song played in the background. I’m confident that 20 years from now, people will still be bopping their heads to this song.

Ken Williams: “Six Feet Apart” by Luke Combs

This song sums up the times we are in, the separation from family and friends, and all the things we took for granted prior to COVID. It makes me think of all the people important to me that I have not been able to spend time with. Plus, Luke Combs is one of those artists you find where you connect with/enjoy every one of their songs. And coming from New Mexico, it’s kinda hard not to love the genre.

Kim Papa Amadeo: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Sure, it’s a couple of years old, but anything that makes my daughter laugh and clap every single time it plays is a winner in our home. Plus, its relentless positivity is something we could all use a little more of these days.  When I look back on Summer 2020, I hope the memories of us dancing with her around the living room overshadow the fact that we were in the middle of a pandemic.

Meg Staknis: “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

I was 8 in the summer of 1977 so the point of Steve Nicks’ lament to waning love was lost on me. But it struck a chord with lots of other folks, hitting #1 that June. Whenever I hear it now I think of chlorine swimming pools, words about thunder murmuring from the radio by the lifeguard’s chair, zinc oxide smeared across his nose as he lazily twirled the whistle around his fingers, or eating ice cream cones with my brothers in the twilight at the country farm stand, swatting away the mosquitos as we tried not to let everything melt down our hands.

Michele Radcliffe: “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2

I am a huge U2 fan, and songs from their “Joshua Tree” album (inspired by the national park in the Mojave Desert) were on my favorite road trip mix tapes. The album and this song were a perfect accompaniment for my 12-hour drive from college in Arizona to the SF Bay Area. The route on Interstate 10 would take me south of the park. To me, it is a song about being independent, being self-sufficient, and exploring new places. I would leave Tempe at dawn to beat the heat driving across the desert in my used (and very dusty) VW convertible and get to LA in time for lunch and a break by the ocean before driving north up the coast.

Molly Malinowski: “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen has so many songs that are perfect for summer, but Thunder Road is my all-time favorite. The harmonica paired with lyrics like “the screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves, like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays,” really capture the feeling of summer for me. My dad was also a Bruce fanatic so listening to any of his music reminds me of growing up in Rhode Island. This song in particular, however, always transports me back to beach days, cookouts, and driving with the windows down.

Nick Silva: “Veg Out” by Masego

We all need a mental break from time to time and especially this summer. This song is a great reminder to relax and block out the noise and stress brought on by the pandemic and the upcoming election. The light piano riff, Masego’s calming, repetitive lyrics and backing high-energy rhythm section make the song perfect for any summer cruise or socially distant get-together.

Nick also submitted “Sanza Tristesse” by Francis Bebey.

Peter Gallagher: “Call Me a Hole” by PomDeter

About three of four years ago I spent a weekend in Chicago with a couple of good friends. We spent most of our time at a street festival called Market Days which includes several stages and many different bands. Following the last night, we sat up in the hotel listening to different songs and this was one of them. The thing I like best is that it’s a combination of two very different artists. Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails sounds raw and pessimistic and Carly Rae Jepsen sounds so perky and optimistic. It’s such an unexpected combination, but together it’s a really good song. The perfect yin & yang. 

Note: This song is only available via the YouTube playlist.

Pierce Kinnally: “I Want to Know Your Plans” by Say Anything

“…Is a Real Boy” is the first CD I remember stealing from my sister and never giving back. Max Bemis, the lead singer, was maybe my first “celebrity” crush. He’s totally this emotionally raw, sad puppy. The whole album is a great, mostly high energy, pop-punk emo opera essentially…but this song, a slower love song, resonated with me as a teen for the melodrama. I’ve definitely attached it to a few boys! And the sound is airy and loving, a great chill out song to lie around in the heat with. 

Pierce also submitted “Lake Song” by The Decemberists and “New World” by Tacocat.

Robert Gonzalez: “Bailando (Spanish Version)” by Enrique Iglesias

One of my summer goals has been to work on my Spanish language skills, and listening to Spanish music has been a fun and easy way to practice my listening skills. Bailando, which translates to ‘Dancing’ in English, has been a great learning tool because the lyrics are repetitive, giving me a chance to familiarize myself with certain words and phrases several times each play through. More importantly though, it’s an awesome tune! Bailando is upbeat, catchy, and radiates the energy of the classic summer song.

Will Thomas: “Timber” by Pitbull ft. Ke$ha

This summer, as the quarantine continued, I started listening again to “Timber,” by Pitbull, featuring Ke$ha. It was already a classic feel-good party anthem at its release, in 2013, but the craziness going on this summer gave the song new meaning for me—suddenly, it felt like a defiant, tongue-in-cheek anthem of celebration, even as the world was falling apart around us. While the stock market crashes, a pandemic rages, and politicians pour gasoline on the fire, Pitbull’s Timber makes you feel like it’s okay to have fun again, despite it all.

The “Head, Heart & Hands” of Content Strategy

The “Head, Heart & Hands” of Content Strategy

As the current pandemic continues to rattle different parts of our country, unemployment numbers teeter and a presidential election looms, one question continues to persist for marketers: “Will the strategy I’m working on be relevant and appropriate by the time it’s ready for market?”

It’s a challenging question, but there are three communications fundamentals that, if prioritized, will significantly increase the likelihood that the answer ends up a “yes” for your strategy work.

Imprint’s managing directors Meg Staknis and Duncan Milne have conceptualized these pillars as the “head,” the “heart” and the “hands.” Meg and Duncan sat down with managing editor Colter Hettich to discuss what each metaphor represents and why it is crucial to any strategy being developed now and for the foreseeable future.

How is this three-legged concept defined? How do changing attitudes affect content strategy? Which companies are shining as they align messaging with social injustice issues?

Watch the video and then reach out—we’d love to know what you think! You can ping us on LinkedIn or send us an email at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Celebrating “Get to Know Your Customers Day”

Celebrating “Get to Know Your Customers Day”

Know your audience. It’s a business rule that’s both golden and evergreen. So carpe diem on “Get to Know Your Customers Day” on July 16. The occasion that falls on the third Thursday each quarter offers a perfect opportunity to take stock of how well you know your audience and how to deepen that understanding. Imprintteam members share ways to do it.

Andy Seibert, Managing Partner

Open the door to humanity

Content marketing is really a partnership. And even though it’s not that you have to be best forever friends with your clients, getting to know them just makes it a better relationship. The key to getting to know your customers is opening the door and letting them get to know you. If they know you, the more comfortable they may be telling you about themselves. That adds humanity, which then brings out more creativity and better discussion, and takes the relationship beyond just transactional. That’s where we strive to get with our clients—to be an extension of their thinking, of their team. 

Meg Staknis, Managing Director

Be all ears

One of the most important elements of knowing your customers is to listen to them—really listen—in order to be the best possible partner

you can be. Listening is now more critical than ever because you are not seeing each other face-to-face as often. And you can both get Zoom fatigue or fall prey to the distractions of multitasking during video calls. (BTW, your customers always know when you’re multitasking. You’re not fooling anyone.) When you are doing other things instead of listening to your customer, you’re not learning about them, hearing what they need, or leaning into the problems they need you to solve.  Active listening is one of the most important things you can do to cement the relationship between the customer and your business. 

Duncan Milne, Managing Director

Get real

Sharing stories about experiences I’ve had as a customer with other businesses where messaging has been confusing or irrelevant; or talking about moments when I’ve been really surprised or emotionally touched by a communication have often helped me encourage a client to think more creatively and more empathetically. Having that anecdotal, real-life conversation often can help make the impact of a communication strategy feel real. By imagining ourselves as customers we’re able to figure out an answer to an essential question—will this communication actually help?

Ashley Brenner, Creative Director

Focus on the brief

Knowing the audience is the thing that drives all the work in content marketing. Any time we start a new project, even if it’s a client we’ve worked with before, we always thoroughly review the brief, which outlines who the work is for, what the communication goals are, and how success will be measured. Initially, the brief might seem like a minor checklist item. But, in fact, the information covered about the audience always points us to the project’s overall objectives. It keeps us on track with the client and engaging the target audience.

Dan Davenport, Editorial Director

Consider context

An important aspect of knowing your clients is staying absolutely current with world events that directly affect them. We may be creating content around, say, saving for a child’s college education, but we know those plans and decisions don’t exist in a vacuum. They happen amid a torrent of news that acutely impacts our clients’ outlook. And that’s an impact we must fully grasp. Then when we write, design and edit work we can more keenly grasp the moment the receiver is in — what they need, and what they’ll best respond to.

Ken Williams, Managing Director

Vary viewpoints

We’re always focused on taking an audience-based approach for clients in order to understand their customers’ needs. When possible at the start of a project, we include stakeholder interviews as part of our discovery and research to truly understand customers’ needs and preferences rather than relying on one person’s view. In addition to reaching out to the end-audience, getting viewpoints internally from sales, marketing, product, senior leadership, and other areas gives them the opportunity to describe their needs, which can lead us to a lot of additional insight. 

How are you working to better understand your customers? We’d love to discuss and hear what’s worked well for you, so please ping on LinkedIn or send us an email at http://imprint@imprintcontent.com

Podcast Success in a Pandemic

Podcast Success in a Pandemic

A video conversation between Imprint’s Meg Staknis and FlexShares’ Laura Hanichak Gregg.

COVID-19 turned the business world upside down and demanded laser focus from companies across all industries. The crisis has highlighted the essential need for effective communication and staying connected, especially in times of upheaval.

For the second installment of our “Clients on Strategy” vlog series, FlexShares Senior Vice President and Director of Research Laura Hanichak Gregg sat down with Imprint Managing Director Meg Staknis in May to discuss business-building changes amid the current pandemic.

A big success for FlexShares has been a strategic pivot to podcasts — a platform that recent research shows has seen its share of challenges during COVID-19. 

Listen in to discover more about:

  • FlexShares’ podcast strategy with The Flexible Advisor
  • Why podcasts are still working (hint: speed, efficiency and adaptability are among the top reasons).
  • The key role empathy plays in this format (which we also dig into in our COVID-19 industry best practices blog series).
  • You can listen to FlexShares’ latest episode of their series, The Flexible Advisor, here, and check out the advisor diversity research Laura mentioned in the video here.

What podcast strategies have worked for you during the pandemic? Are there other media formats or platforms that have been surprisingly successful for your team? Let us know! Reach out to us on LinkedIn, or email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Let’s Give Together: A 48-Hour Challenge (Extended!)

Let’s Give Together: A 48-Hour Challenge (Extended!)

In solidarity with those protesting police brutality and racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Imprint is issuing a challenge (now extended until 6 p.m. EST on Sunday, June 14).

For every download of our free “Colors of Imprint” coloring book or “Flavors of Imprint” recipe book Imprint will contribute $2 toward the cause of equal rights for all. The funds will be divided among:

We will document the distribution of the supplies and post a follow-up here so you can be sure your download helped those fighting for Black lives and equality, overall.

COLORING BOOK LINK

RECIPE BOOK LINK

Our Imprint family recently created these two books with COVID #quarantinelife in mind, with the celebration and unity of diversity at the core of each. We believe that Black Lives Matter, and we want to directly support those peacefully taking to the streets. With the summer heat upon us, we thought providing bottled water and fruit to demonstrators would be a great way to help sustain — physically! — the movement.

We also understand that because of COVID-19, not everyone is comfortable joining protests in person and wanted to offer at least one way to help from your home.

So, please download a copy of each book and share this link with your family and friends.

Being united is key to positive change.

Banks’ Use of Digital: A Discussion Between Imprint and M&T Bank

Banks’ Use of Digital: A Discussion Between Imprint and M&T Bank

A video conversation between M&T’s Laura Cleveland and Imprint’s Meg Staknis

What our day-to-day experience will look like in a post-COVID world is a question mark. But Americans say they’ll increasingly rely on technology for tasks they’ve historically done in-person, and that this reliance will continue after the pandemic subsides. This will have a marked impact on communications.

This is just one of the illuminating and timely points in our video discussion with Laura Cleveland, head of content strategy at M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust. In this first installment of our “Clients on Strategy” series, Laura shares with Imprint Managing Director Meg Staknis, how she and her team have adapted their communications  to enable many of the bank’s customers to complete tasks online for which they typically would visit a branch, including opening accounts, transferring funds, and even refinancing mortgages.

“Many customers who [aren’t] digital natives have had to learn to do everything online,” says Cleveland. “We’ve been hyper focused on delivering an efficient digital experience. It makes content that much more important.”

In the above clip, Laura and Meg also touch on: 

  • How the COVID-19 crisis helped clarify priorities.
  • Why “clear and pointed authentic content is more important than ever” — especially for banks.
  • Why cutting through information overload and providing customers with just the right content is a must.

And let us know your thoughts. How have you fostered digital adoption among your customers? In what ways have you identified the kind of content your customers want and need from you during this crisis? Ping us on LinkedIn or email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

3 Key Takeaways from COVID-19 Content Analysis

3 Key Takeaways from COVID-19 Content Analysis

We’ve been at it for eight weeks now: quarantining and working from home, but also assessing best practices for effective communications during the pandemic.

Imprint has analyzed marketing communications across five industries: insurance/annuities, banking, investments, healthcare and retirement, supplementing communications unearthed by our friends at Corporate Insight with our own research.

We’ve combed through hundreds of web pages, articles, videos and blog posts. When we took a step back to assess the five industries as a whole, these three common traits emerged.

1. They lead with empathy.

The best communications felt like one human was speaking directly to another. They acknowledged the people on both ends of the line—the senders and the recipients. And they recognized the severity of the issues that many people have been dealing with since February and early March.

That human, relatable tone is something a lot of brands try to deliver, yet few really succeed. Some of our standouts:

  • Chase: Their letter from Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, gives you a window into exactly who she is “a mother, a daughter, a banking executive.” And it succinctly describes the impact of the pandemic in entirely relatable terms: “COVID-19 has affected every part of my life.

A message from Thasunda Brown Duckett, (Chase)

 

  • State Farm: Their tone is simple and clear: We’re here for you. And their messaging reflects a business strategy grounded in today’s reality: fewer drivers on the road means fewer accidents, which leads to a return of premiums.

We’re Here For You, (State Farm)

Guiding you through turbulent times, (TIAA)

2. They’re credible and competent.

That sounds obvious, but let’s not take competence and credibility for granted. We’ve seen what can happen when they are.

Brands stand out from the rest when they differentiate through experience, insight, effectiveness or other credentials. A few of our favorites:

Insights on COVID-19, (New York Life)

  • Northwell Health: The largest healthcare provider in New York state, Northwell Health is at the epicenter of the current crisis. Some of their most effective communications are straightforward infographics, covering such critical info as how to properly wash your hands; comparing cold, allergy or COVID-19 symptoms; and ways you can prevent the spread of coronavirus. Communications heavy on visuals and short on text can be critical for under-served communities where English is not the primary language or literacy rates aren’t strong.

Coronavirus Digital Resource Center, (Northwell Health)

  • State Street: Like many investment providers, State Street is long on sophisticated thought leadership. They also shine with their perspectives on global business continuity, including summaries of the re-opening of their operations in China and India. And they are striving to take a leadership role to determine the industry’s future as a result of the current crisis.

An essential partner when you need it most, (State Street)

3. They pack an emotional punch.

We’re all feeling more frayed than usual. Throughout our assessments, the best communications touched and inspired us. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

  • New York Life: In the middle of the crisis, New York Life’s Brave of Heart Fund both sticks to its essence as a life insurer and supports healthcare workers and the families they’ll leave behind should they be lost in the fight against the virus.

The Brave of Heart Fund, (New York Life)

  • NYU Langone: On April 3, the NYU Grossman School of Medicine became the first medical school in the nation to graduate their fourth-year medical students early so they could join the ranks of MDs. It’s hard to stop thinking about the pride in the newly minted MDs’ faces seen on the screen capture of their Zoom graduation, and the contrast with a video message from their advisor on the hospital floor in full-body PPE. Their subsequent content connects with true emotion, like the video diary of a woman becoming a new mom during COVID-19 or the challenge of dealing with trauma in children as a result of the pandemic.

Early Graduation at NYU Grossman School of Medicine Sends New Doctors to Join COVID-19 Fight, (NYU Langone)

All of this is to say that yes—content marketing can be a complicated undertaking. But as with many aspects of our lives, this pandemic has forced us to look hard at the essence. To home in on the basics. And after our five-week comb through these industries, we learned the most fundamental ways to deliver effective communications in a crisis are these:

  1. Start from a position of empathy.
  2. Demonstrate your competence.
  3. Connect on an emotional level. 

Want more? If you’d like to see our full industry roundups of coronavirus content, you can click through each below.

Insurance / Annuities

Banking

Investing

Healthcare

Retirement

Finally, even these sectors represent just a sampling of pandemic communications. What other firms do you think exemplify best practices at this time? Please let us know—you can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Retirement

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Retirement

The retirement industry caters to a number of different audiences — two of the most important being individuals who participate in workplace plans like 401(k)s, and the employers that sponsor them. Both are grappling with their own sets of challenges.

  • Participants worry about accessing their savings and whether they should take action amid volatile markets.
  • Plan sponsors and administrators want info about the CARES Act, its impacts on their plans, and how best to communicate with participants. They must also ensure each communication targets the right audience and delivers what that audience really needs.

To uncover standout examples of communications in this space, we turned to our friends at Corporate Insight, who track communications, products and the overall customer experience delivered by companies in a variety of industries. Our team here at Imprint leveraged their library, supplemented by our own research, to evaluate COVID-19 communications in the retirement industry. We applied these four criteria to all the communications we found:

  • Client-centricity: Are brands putting their audiences’ needs at the center of their content—or talking about themselves?
  • Tone: How are brands speaking to their audiences?
  • Formats: How are they packaging their content? Video, long form, visual storytelling?
  • Differentiation: Do brands’ communications stand out from competitors’?

Here’s what stood out to us. Click HERE for last week’s roundup of the healthcare industry.

An emphasis on advice

Long-time retirement plan provider TIAA strikes a comforting tone with its COVID-19-related content. Not surprising, given that it has been serving teachers, academics, medical professionals and other care-givers for over 100 years.

  • Its communications acknowledge both the financial and emotional toll of market volatility, highlighting the role expert guidance can play in keeping people on track for retirement.
  • TIAA concisely explains what the CARES Act means for retirement savers.
    • The piece below includes a discussion of new rules expanding access to retirement plan loans.
    • And they also offer smart content explaining the long-term cost of that short-term move.
  • Articles aimed at retirement savers are put through a COVID-19 lens, making them feel timely and relevant.
    • TIAA Senior Director Kelly Greene has penned several thoughtful and personal essays offering advice to retirement savers struggling with a historic spike in stock market volatility.

Guiding you through turbulent times (TIAA)

Tailored for individuals

Retirement and other employer benefit plan participants access Fidelity’s workplace COVID-19 Resource Center via Fidelity’s NetBenefits site. NetBenefits provides participants with both the plan-specific information they need and general information about the pandemic.

COVID-19 Resource Center (Fidelity)

  • The site highlights the features of each user’s plan, helping them find content that applies to them.
  • Fidelity also includes general information that’s top of mind for many participants such as info about 401(k) loans, and Required Minimum Distributions on inherited IRAs.
  • The content Fidelity provides extends beyond retirement to include other benefits topics such as smart ways to use Health Savings Accounts to what the CARES Act means for student loan borrowers.
  • A COVID-19 stimulus recap, originally published on Fidelity’s public site, tidily explains new legislation such as the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The article gives a just-the-facts treatment to these stimulus measures, and offers links to each piece of legislation on the US Congressional website for readers who want to dig deeper.

What the CARES Act means for student loan borrowers (Fidelity)

Answering clients’ top questions

Retirement provider Empower addresses readers’ most pressing concerns via a no-frills, curated list of resources.

  • The market volatility resources provide a helpful mix of educational and actionable content for anxious retirement savers.
  • For plan sponsors, Empower offers creative and informative takes on topics such as using plan data to learn about participants’ behavior in volatile markets.

Financial Markets Perspective and Relief Programs (Empower)

We reviewed Milliman’s plan sponsor-focused COVID-19-related content:

  • Readers are served by a deep well of resources that appeal to a wide audience, from pension plan providers to 401(k) plan sponsors.
  • The focus of timely, in-depth articles include the crisis’ potential impact on pension plans, and the unintended consequences layoffs can have on corporate retirement plans.
  • Strong design and a variety of content formats elevate Milliman’s approach to its communications around topics related to COVID-19.

Navigating a global pandemic (Milliman)

(Note: We did not have access to Milliman’s participant site, and did not include that content in our review.)

The variety show

 

How we’re helping in uncertain times (Principal)

Principal engages readers using a wide variety of formats.

  • Users’ options range from videos and infographics to quick-hit listicles and longer-form articles.
  • FAQs answer key questions quickly (“Should I take my money out?”) and guides readers to more in-depth content.
  • An eye-catching chart illustrates the dangers of market timing for individual plan participants.
  • Principal’s Milestones educational offerings serve up the most popular resources first, meeting most participants’ needs in the process, and have a strong design aesthetic.

Principal Milestones (Principal)

Let us know what you think, and feel free to share other pieces that you think exemplify best practices as well. You can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here are links to the coronavirus microsites or information pages for each company featured above. (NB: Fidelity NetBenefits is only accessible if you have an account with Fidelity.)

TIAA

Fidelity NetBenefits

Empower

Milliman

Principal

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Healthcare

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Healthcare

The healthcare industry is so large and diverse that multiple content approaches are required to connect with B2C audiences about COVID-19. For example, hospital networks and other providers tailor their messages to connect with patients. Health insurers’ communications aim to address the needs of policyholders.

And while content strategies differ by firm objective and audience segment, the most effective content we’ve seen shares key qualities:

  • It aligns to the brand
  • It’s accessible and relatable to its target audience
  • It addresses that audience’s needs

To uncover effective examples, we turned to our friends at Corporate Insight, who track communications, products and the overall customer experience offered by leading companies in a variety of industries. A cross-functional team at Imprint reviewed what COVID-19 communications in the healthcare industry Corporate Insight has collected to date, and looked for examples for each of our four criteria:

  • Client-centricity: Are brands putting their audiences’ needs at the center of their content—or talking about themselves?
  • Tone: How are brands speaking to their audiences?
  • Formats: How are they packaging their content? Video, long form, visual storytelling?
  • Differentiation: Do brands’ communications stand out from competitors’?

Here’s what stood out to us this week. Click HERE for last week’s roundup of the investment industry.

Addressing a broad audience

Northwell Health is the largest healthcare provider in New York, with 23 hospitals and nearly 800 outpatient facilities. Its COVID-19-related content includes excellent, straight-ahead public health communications geared to reach a diverse B2C audience.

  • In particular, a suite of infographics effectively tackles key coronavirus topics in a highly visual way.
    • One offers an easy-to-read chart comparing COVID-19 symptoms with flu and cold symptoms.
    • Another offers five steps kids can take to combat “grouchy coronavirus germs.”
  • The infographics are well designed, and follow best practices for the format by economically using words to make their points.
    • These qualities make for strong public health communications, ensuring Northwell’s messages reach their diverse audiences. This includes often marginalized or under-served audiences such as non-native English speakers or those with weaker literacy skills, who need the critical info about how to protect themselves and their families during the pandemic.

Coronavirus Digital Resource Center (Northwell Health)

Communicating clearly

NYU Langone Health runs several hospitals, hundreds of outpatient facilities and two MD programs in the New York City area. Its content about COVID-19 is unsurprisingly heavy on medical expertise, yet peasantly light on clinical jargon.

  • Podcasts and print pieces bring in different voices from the medical world, from doctors to first responders. These experts discuss such topics as the search for a coronavirus vaccine and what it’s like to be an ER doc on the front lines of a pandemic.
  • NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine held graduation more than two months early to add more doctors to the ranks of frontline health care providers. A moving video on NYU Langone’s site features faculty and mentors congratulating the 52 new graduates and offering emotional thanks for their willingness to join the fight against COVID-19.

Our Latest News (NYU Langone)

Tufts Health Plan, a nonprofit health insurer with more than a million members, is nationally recognized for its coverage. Its COVID-19 content rises to that level as well, tailoring clear, just-the-facts information to widely diverse audiences: members, providers, employers and brokers.

  • On its COVID-19 home page, Tufts Health directly address its audiences: You have questions, we’re here to help, with key topics ranging from help identifying symptoms to knowing your options if you’ve lost your job because of COVID-19.
  • Each of their distinct audiences has quick access to FAQs and resources targeted to their needs.
  • Notably, Tufts Health policyholders can learn about testing, costs and virtual health care opportunities.
  • Tufts offers easy-to-find tools, such as a symptom checker, and they provide outside links to additional support resources including state Departments of Health and food assistance programs.

    Coronavirus Updates (Tufts Health Plan)

Serving the range of customer needs

 

EmblemHealth, a nonprofit insurer serving the New York City area, takes a customer-first approach that goes beyond health tips to address the economic impact of coronavirus and the efforts to curb it.

  • The company greets visitors to its website with a front-and-center note explaining that members may be able to switch plans if their job or income has been affected by COVID-19.
  • Clearly defined sections on the EmblemHealth site tackle a range of customer-centric topics, from benefit and care questions to food resource guides for readers struggling to acquire or afford groceries. This well-organized approach provides clarity for users and makes it easier for them to navigate all of EmblemHealth’s resources.

Coronavirus Disease (EmblemHealth)

Taking the next step

Much of the COVID-19 content in the healthcare industry rightfully focuses on ways patients and policyholders can stay safe and healthy. Pittsburgh-based provider and insurer UPMC covers this ground well, and offers bold, hopeful and forward-looking content.

  • Several articles discuss the realities of developing a vaccine for coronavirus, including the efforts of UPMC scientists. The researchers are making great strides: In early April, UPMC announced a potential COVID-19 vaccine that is awaiting FDA approval.

Our Response to COVID-19 (UPMC)

Insurer Florida Blue goes deep with its coronavirus content, delivering a nicely curated menu of helpful topics, from reading symptoms to managing the financial impact of COVID-19. It also offers some outstanding COVID-19-related content:

  • A map of testing sites makes it easy for policyholders to figure out where to go for testing, and the specific rules at each site: For example, whether appointments or doctors’ notes are required, or if patients need to wear a mask.
  • In his weekly videos, CEO Pat Geraghty explains how Florida Blue is responding to the coronavirus crisis. In recent weeks, he’s discussed his role in a gubernatorial taskforce to address improving Florida’s testing capacity, and announced a health innovation collaboration that will fund pilot programs to generate ideas for creating home-based COVID-19 tests and reducing risks for health care workers.
  • Visitors to Florida Blue’s COVID-19 site are greeted by an AI-based chatbot offering a wellbeing assessment to help visitors gauge the severity of their symptoms and suggest appropriate treatment avenues.

We’re here for you (Florida Blue)

Let us know what you think, and please share pieces that you think apply best practices. You can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here are links to the coronavirus microsites or information pages for each company featured above:

Northwell Health

NYU Langone

Tufts

EmblemHealth

UPMC

Florida Blue

Staying Creative In A Crisis

Staying Creative In A Crisis

In our latest video post, IMPRINT team members share the ways content has changed and how we’ve adapted to maximize collaboration and creativity internally and especially with clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. A brief look at what’s been learned and put into action includes:

  • Communication is everything, inside and out. Using technology that enables you to see your colleagues and clients is invaluable.
  • Getting back to basics and taking a truly empathetic approach to understanding and responding to a client’s urgent needs are musts.
  • Collaboration is key — and that includes you.

Have you come up with great creative approaches to content? Or, are you struggling with a project? Either way, we are holding office hours and invite you to reach out to us and schedule a session.  Email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

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