4 questions for Beni Meier

Beni Meier has been Head of Corporate Communications at KPT since 2018. With over 400,000 customers and around 600 employees, KPT is one of the ten largest health insurance companies in Switzerland. In “4 Questions for…” he explains, among other things, the importance of digital communication channels for KPT and the key factors for successful communication in the healthcare sector.

Blog_4 Fragen an Beni M_#Foto 1

Beni Meier, Head of Corporate Communication, KPT Healthinsurance

What fascinates you and excites you about your work?
The best thing about my job is the versatility. Every day is different. When I start work in the morning, I often don’t know what I’ll be facing during the day. The spectrum of tasks is very wide: internal communications, media relations, customer communications, social media and marketing. That makes it exciting – but also requires flexibility. In my role, I’m also close to the relevant topics in the company and get to work with very different people through all levels of hierarchy. Which I consider a great privilege.

What is the secret to successful healthcare communication?
Healthcare is enormously complex. There is a great asymmetry of information between the general population and the experts from the industry. This should always be kept in mind before communicating. For the messages to get through, they need to be reduced to the essentials. Communication should be as simple as possible. Focused measures and plain language are needed. By the way, this was also the case with Corona communication: The more focused and simple the messages are, the more impact they have. What I also learned in this context: if a decision cannot be communicated, it is most likely wrong.

“The more focused and simple the messages, the more impact they have.”

What challenges does health communication face in the digital realm? And how do you solve them?
In the digital realm, especially on social media, the specter of a loss of control and a possible “shitstorm” still exists. In practice, the exact opposite is true: There is a merciless battle for attention on the web. In this environment, you can only survive with good and unique content. If you don’t have it, it is not worth the effort. It goes without saying that digital channels are becoming increasingly important for our customers and thus for us as well. In the meantime, it’s by no means just the younger policyholders who use online channels – we’ve found that more and more older people are also very digitally affine. Despite the countless exciting possibilities that exist in online communication, one should not get bogged down and consider the cost-benefit ratio. It often pays to have a certain amount of courage to take a step back: It’s better to use fewer online channels, but to do it right.

“There is a merciless battle for attention on the web. In this environment, you can only survive with good and unique content.”

In which area of communication does the healthcare system need to take action?
In the public and political arena, the discussion is dominated by costs. Of course, this is an important criterion – but there are many other factors, such as quality or supply. The Corona crisis has just made this very clear. In our communications, we should therefore be careful not to join in the one-sided cost discussions and instead emphasize the advantages of our healthcare system. Such messages certainly resonate with the population. According to various studies, people are aware that our healthcare system is of high quality – and that good quality does cost something.

About the interview series “4 questions for…”
In Farner’s interview series “4 Questions for…”, communication professionals from the healthcare industry answer questions about communication from their personal perspective. They tell us how they communicate successfully in a complex environment, how they overcome challenges, or which factors will be critical for effective communication in the future.