As healthcare marketers, it is our job to promote healthy choices and lifestyles that are backed by sound evidence and policy. Traditionally, the CDC and other federal agencies have been the source of health information for communities. While this is still true for many, more people are starting to distrust these agencies and are opting for alternative answers.
In the past, people had less access to information and relied on public organizations which had significant reach to guide them. It was generally assumed that agencies like the CDC and the FDA were reliable sources of health information.
With the increased reach of the internet, people have access to a much wider range of opinions and perspectives. While this democratization of information is positive in some cases, it has also undercut trust in those traditional sources of health information. “Wellness” companies and health influences have largely stepped into this gap to become more regular sources of advice for the millions who no longer trust government organizations.
The goal then for community organization must be to re-establish trust and loyalty in their brands. We cannot do this without engaging directly in the communities we seek to serve and addressing their local needs through real and immediate action. Only through this kind of readily observable change will people begin to feel more loyalty to organizations. It’s not a change that can happen overnight, but it is necessary if we want to ensure that there is reliable guidance for future public policy.