April 2018 - Kendrick PR
April 9, 2018

Challenges in the Aesthetic Industry

As we have discussed in my previous blog, the face of the aesthetics industry has changed considerably over the last few years. With more demand, and more clinics on the high street than ever before, it can seem like the media spotlight is constantly scrutinising the industry. With clinics and practitioners facing fresh challenges every day, it is increasingly important to know what kind of crises may be on the horizon, and how to protect your reputation if and when they may hit home.

Industry Issues

When thinking about issues management for your aesthetics business, there are two types of challenge to consider:

  1. Direct issues are (as the name suggests) specific to you or your clinic, such as customer complaints, product problems, staff issues or health and safety
  2. Indirect issues refer to broader, industry-wide problems that can have an impact on a multitude of businesses. Such ‘indirect’ examples include the PIP scandal, which called into question the ethics and patient care of the entire aesthetic industry.

Knowing how to handle both direct and indirect issues is one way in which a clinic can create a leading, trusted reputation and survive those inevitable bumps in the road.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOc0YG0Rykk

Aesthetics and the Internet

Like it or not, the rise of the internet, particularly social media, has had a huge impact on the aesthetics industry. It is more important than ever to maintain an online presence, and use this to bolster your wider reputation. For many potential patients, the internet will be their first port of call when it comes to locating potential clinics for their procedures, and you want to be sure that you are at the top of their google searches. Whilst the internet can be a fantastic way to gain exposure and showcase what you can do, it can also open you to complaints, negative reviews and, on occasion, slanderous trolling, all of which is public for anybody to see, presenting a new problem to aesthetic practitioners. It has never been more crucial to be adequately prepare for such comments by implementing protocols ahead of time and responding in a calm, professional manner that will allow you to control the narrative of negative online comments.

The A.C.E Method

This is a quick and simple method you can use to deal with many issues scenarios or negative comments online and it stands for Acknowledge, Clarify and Engage. Firstly – acknowledge the problem or comment. This does not mean you agree or disagree with it – you are merely letting the complainant (and your wider audiences) know that you are listening and engaged. Try sentences like “We are sorry to hear that” or “we have seen the news / comments about X today”. Secondly, your response or reaction can only be put in place effectively once you have all the facts – so this is your next step, to clarify the situation and also to insert one of your positive key messages. An example might be “we are currently working to gather all the facts regarding this matter, as we are fully committed to our patient’s safety and satisfaction”. Lastly, it’s preferable to take negative situations offline and manage directly – out of the permanent Google glare – so you need to engage with the complainant in a positive way to resolve the situation. Rather than “can we take this offline” (which overtly suggests you don’t want everything played out in public!) try something like “please can you let us know the best way to contact you directly to resolve this matter”.

For more information on how to effectively manage issues, negative comments and reviews for your aesthetic business, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The Changing Face of Aesthetics

The aesthetics industry has undergone a massive overhaul in the last few years, and not just due to rapid growth in consumer demand and the sheer number of clinics opening their doors. I believe we are now in an era of ‘society-driven’ medicine – where public and media perceptions of our industry are in a symbiotic cycle; the one feeding and driving the other. Like it or not, celebrity culture and the media now influence many of the trends seen in aesthetic practices today, and knowing how and when to engage with this can be a critical tool to keeping your clinic ahead of the curve.

Celebrities, the Media & Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery and medical aesthetics once only belonged in the realms of Hollywood. Celebrity advocates were seen as the exception to the rule – and weren’t particularly aspirational! Overall, the messaging portrayed cosmetic procedures as something secretive or desperate – it set people apart from the crowd (and not in a good way!) – think Madonna or Pamela Anderson. Switch to today – the huge shift towards minimally invasive products and procedures has enabled cosmetic surgery to be within the grasp of the ‘average’ person. We still have celebrity influencers – but these are now much more likely to be social media ‘stars’ like Kim Kardashian. The desired outcomes have shifted towards looking good, not ‘done’ – that ‘tweakments’ are more about maintenance rather than overhauls. Nowadays, cosmetic surgery is about helping people FIT IN – not stand out.

Information Superhighway

The way we consume and access information has EXPLODED thanks to the internet and social media. Whilst this has opened up the potential for mass education and promotion of goods and services in aesthetics, there is the double-edged sword of misinformation, which practitioners must counteract with informative, balanced content. Social media has made everyone with a phone a potential influencer who can directly impact your brand and reputation. Our industry is particularly susceptible to highly unrealistic beauty standards – with ‘Selfies’ now driving beauty and fashion trends, and frequently being cited as a reason for those considering an aesthetic procedures. Body dysmorphia is an increasingly common phenomenon which must be handled carefully and ethically. Aesthetics is a fast-paced, often controversial area – with the media often fuelling the ‘whatever next’ bandwagon, so it’s important to let your patients and potential customers know how to separate the ‘new and interesting’ from the bizarre and irresponsible.

 It’s interesting to note that what is sensational one minute can often be standard procedure the next – e.g. the Vampire Facial – the infamous viral photo of Kim Kardashian’s bloodied face caused initial shock, yet PRP is now standard practice in many clinics. Another example is vaginal rejuvenation – seen as shocking and extreme at first, but quickly normalised and adopted by many clinics. The bottom line is to decide which trends are truly well-founded in medicine and quality application before advocating them in your clinic, and to take an active role in informing and educating your potential patients through your communications channels (website, social media etc) to ensure a responsible approach and minimise risk.

For more information on adapting to the changing face of aesthetics, or other unique problems facing the aesthetic industry, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

April 3, 2018

The E.L.I.T.E. Masterclass Workshop

If you’ve been following our blog, newsletters, or social media, you’ll know all about what The E.L.I.T.E. Reputation Programme™ can do for you, but where you might be stumped is in how to utilise the programme effectively for your aesthetic business. Luckily for you, our masterclass workshop in E.L.I.T.E. is here to help!

Our Workshop

If funds are limited, hiring PR and marketing sources can be pricey and for many new, start-up, or smaller aesthetics businesses – not realistic with the budget you’re working with. However, neglecting PR and marketing completely is never going to help get patients through your door. This is where The E.L.I.T.E. Reputation Programme™ comes in. As a breakthrough tool, The E.L.I.T.E. Reputation Programme™ is the first online training programme of it’s time, designed specifically for aesthetic practitioners, and our exclusive half-day workshop is a masterclass in how to use the programme in a way that’s going to work for you. From 1PM to 6PM on Friday 20th April, join Julia Kendrick in Central London for an informative session that will cover the key principles of the E.L.I.T.E. Reputation Programme™, complete with 1:1 advice, tools, and exercises to help hone your PR Skills. Attendees can look forward covering the following topics:

  • Launch Success 101 (clinics and/or products)
  • The three essential marketing tools every clinic needs
  • How to get media coverage
  • Building a leading reputation

Booking your place before April 6th entitles you to the early bird discount, costing only £499 instead of £750! There are only ten spaces available, so be sure to act fast so you don’t miss out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-bMzm-byQs

E.L.I.T.E. Competition Winners

A huge congratulations to the winners of our recent E.L.I.T.E. Competition! We can’t wait to start working with you and see the results!

1st Place: Julie Scott of Facial Aesthetics Ltd, winning the entire programme, worth £2,400

2nd Place: Dr Lisa Godfrey of Revamp Aesthetics, who won five free modules, worth £500

3rd Place: Lucy Hollands at LK Aesthetics Ltd, winning 3 free modules, worth £300!

Well done to our lucky winners and thank you to everyone who entered!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLAhTepUQls

For more information on our workshop, the E.L.I.T.E. Reputation Programme™, or managing your online reputation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!