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The launch of the new Pharmacy First service means that millions of patients could be using their community pharmacy instead of their GP for a range of illnesses.

Pharmacists can offer expert advice and provide medicines for seven common conditions including earache, impetigo, infected insect bites, shingles, sinusitis, sore throats and UTIs in women.Called a ‘game-changing’ service designed to relieve pressure on the NHS, its success or failure will be down to one thing: whether the public is aware of its existence. As with many NHS services, the level of understanding and awareness varies from area to area.Getting messages out to the public, so they know what is available and how to access it, will be more important than ever.But how can you do that efficiently and effectively?

Leverage your digital communications: websites, newsletters, text, email and social media. The key to creating an effective and sustained digital communications initiative is planning. To get you started we’ve created a road map for developing your digital communications initiative:

  1. Develop a Comprehensive Digital Strategy:
    • Before diving into specific digital channels, outline your pharmacy’s goals and objectives for digital communication. Identify target demographics, key messaging, and desired outcomes.
    • Consider how digital communication can support your services (both NHS and private), Pharmacy First, Hypertension, Oral Contraception, vaccinations and so much more. You can raise awareness and have FAQ’s etc all to help your patients make informed decisions about their health.
  2. Optimise Your Website:
    • Ensure your website is user-friendly, mobile-responsive and optimised for search engines (SEO). Include essential information like location, hours, services offered, and contact details prominently.
    • Create dedicated pages or sections highlighting your pharmacy-first services, providing detailed descriptions, benefits, and how customers can access them.
  3. Launch a Newsletter:
    • Develop a regular newsletter to keep customers informed about pharmacy news, promotions, health tips and upcoming events.
    • Highlisletter editions, emphasising their value and how they address customer needs. Be sure to emphasise the speed and accessibility of your services.
    • Encourage newsletter sign-ups through your website and in-store, offering incentives like exclusive discounts or health resources.
  4. Utilise Text Messaging:
    • Implement text messaging services for appointment reminders, prescription refill alerts and personalised health tips.
    • Incorporate your services into text message communications, promoting relevant services based on customer profiles and preferences.
  5. Leverage Social Media Platforms:
    • Establish a presence on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
    • Share engaging content related to health, wellness and pharmacy services, including articles, infographics and videos.
    • Actively engage with followers by responding to comments, addressing enquiries and fostering community interaction.
    • Use targeted advertising to promote your services to specific demographics, based on interests, location or health concerns.
  6. Encourage Customer Reviews and Testimonials:
    • Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and testimonials on your website, social media pages and relevant review platforms.
    • Showcase positive feedback related to your services to build credibility and trust among potential customers.
    • Respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews, demonstrating a commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
  7. Monitor and Analyse Performance:
    • Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, email open rates, social media engagement and conversion rates for your services.
    • Use analytics tools to gain insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and trends, adjusting your digital strategy accordingly.
    • Continuously test and optimise your digital communications to improve effectiveness and maximize ROI.

By implementing these strategies effectively, pharmacy owners can leverage digital communications to reach customers and promote NHS and private services, ultimately driving business growth and customer satisfaction.

If growing your business and uptake of your services is a goal for your organisation, Redmoor Health has partnered with some digital communications providers to create a FREE learning workshop for independent pharmacy businesses, where we will delve into the world of digital communications and how it can take your pharmacy business to new heights and increase your revenue streams.

Blog by Shilpa Shah

Following the successful Pharmacy First event, introduced by Shilpa Shah, CEO of North East London LPC, here are the key topics that were discussed:


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