News and blogs

New activity for the healthcare market: research

Together with one of our crisis contract partners and an external research agency, we conducted two studies that may also be relevant for other organizations in healthcare: a reputation survey and an issue management study.

onderzoek  - Serge.jpg

Those who are familiar with the healthcare sector will know that these studies typically follow in the wake of a crisis communication pathway.

Broadly speaking, both studies aim to map the organization's past record, where it stands today and where it is headed. Healthcare institutions can use the results from these studies to underpin their communicative and organizational activities.

Reputation survey

The reputation survey had three reasons:

1. Restoration of reputation

The healthcare institution for which the survey was originally developed had been facing negative publicity for some time, gaining particular attention at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017, when it was placed under enhanced surveillance by the Dutch Healthcare Inspectorate. There had been upheaval before, however, with the organization receiving negative attention from media and stakeholders.

The reputation survey helped map the current image of the organization among its stakeholders and the extent to which this image had changed after the negative publicity and the subsequent positive coverage.

2. ISO certification

Like many of its peer institutions, our contract partner is compliant with the ISO quality management standard for Healthcare and Wellbeing. Performing a stakeholder analysis is a vital part of this quality management standard; the care institution is expected to periodically request stakeholder feedback on their collaboration and relationship with the institution. A reputation survey helps map these stakeholders, their opinions about the healthcare institution and their needs.

3. Substantive communication with stakeholders

Many institutions mainly base their stakeholder communication on insights and practical experiences. A study may reveal whether this communication actually meets the needs of the stakeholders.

In line with this, it should be noted that many organizations perceive a growing need among relatives and informal carers for more targeted, relevant information, as well as for increased involvement in the care provided to a parent or relative. These studies map their information needs and form the basis for concrete communication.


The issue management study was triggered by questions of viability. Fast-changing government policies, innovations, increasing market forces, and increasingly critical clients are forcing care organizations to respond faster to social developments and market developments, as well as to the changing wishes, needs and financial capabilities of their clients. Being able to signal, monitor, analyze and explain these developments and to anticipate on the issues that might ensue is no luxury indeed.

Organizations that understand the short-term, mid-term and long-term developments hold information that can bolster their organizational and communication vision and strategy. This allows them to work on their visibility within the sector, i.e. thought leadership, and to deploy targeted marketing campaigns to involve future clients, informal carers, volunteers and staff in the organization at an early stage.

The goal of each institution after a crisis is to continue on the path of recovery and discover how it may optimally serve and continue to involve its clients, staff members and other stakeholders.

Communication is an essential component of this process. Well-founded, transparent and well-structured communication ensures internal consensus and harnesses external support at the same time. This type of communication relies on the full overview obtained by combining the results of the reputation survey and the issue-management study.

For more information about the studies conducted by Wisse Kommunikatie and partners, please contact Serge Beckers via or call #31 26 4431523.