Five years ago, together with the HIMSS media team, I launched Insights – a pan-European eHealth print magazine. Today, it is the most recognized brand in the entire HIMSS Europe portfolio. In this post I will share some principles behind developing HIMSS Insights that can help media and communications professionals create targeted and engaging professional content.

himss insights 1First: Positioning | Plan thoroughly and get your concept right.

Content has no value unless it is consumed. To get your audience to read your content, you have to specify who it is intended for and what benefits it will bring to the reader. And, you need to establish yourself as a credible and reliable source of information.

Before HIMSS Insights, eHealth publications tended to serve a small community of IT professionals who implemented technology but rarely made any strategic decisions. With HIMSS Insights we’ve taken eHealth to a more ‘glamorous’ level of healthcare leaders.

Instead of positioning the magazine as “The leading journal for health IT” we chose “The IT Journal for Healthcare Leaders” as the new approach.

That being so, we clearly described our audience, defined our own image and widened the scope of our reporting. HIMSS Insights was not about technology implementations or product features; this magazine focused uniquely on the strategic impact of technology and innovation in the entire healthcare spectrum.

Our confident positioning was celebrated with the premier issue’s headline:
“What now, Europe?”

Second: Content | Create adequate content for your audience.

Don’t create content that “everyone understands” but create content that respects the himss insights 2intellectual level and information requirements of your audience. This means that you will have to sacrifice some audience segments in order to be meaningful to others. 

Great content is truthful, accurate, controversial and engaging. Most importantly, great content corresponds to the intellectual capacity and expectations of its intended readership: leadership content for a leadership audience; technical content for a technical audience.

HIMSS Insights content is created by some of the best journalists in their field. Topics are thoroughly selected based on input from the audience and research data. The depth and the tone of reporting aim at well-educated readers in senior positions. Controversial topics go right on the front-page.

The luxury print format and design underline the content quality of the publication: while digital journalism is perceived as fast, cheap and superficial, HIMSS Insights requires conscious reading – at the right place, the right time and maybe with a glass of wine.

Third: Distribution | Actively reach out to relevant audiences.

Stop creating more and more content; content has no self-purpose. Instead, invest more time in re-purposing existing content and in creating multiple channels for its consumption. 

More time goes in content production than in content distribution: this is a wide-spread pattern in the media and communications industry. But there are many content providers out there, all competing for the same pair of eyeballs: Facebook, Twitter, email, local newspapers, breaking news, special interest newsletters and so on.

Our readers simply don’t have enough time to consume all the content at their availability. We need to make our content relevant to them. The brand, the positioning, the quality of the reporting, the reputation of the journalists are all factors that help to increase relevance. But, we also must actively invest in sharing the content.

Each issue of HIMSS Insights has multiple points of contacts with the audience. The journals are physically circulated at HIMSS events, hospitals, workshops or at member meetings. The digital version of the magazine is a central piece of HIMSS newsletters and digital communications campaigns. Additionally, staff members actively engage readers – on social media and in person to ask for feedback and help them share their views and opinions.


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Positioning, content and audience are natural building blogs of every publication, every content marketing strategy and every single content piece that is created. Before setting out to develop a new publication, campaign, article, video or tweet – simply ask yourself this question: Who says what to whom and why? 

Having completed its fifth year of successful coverage, I wish the entire HIMSS Insights team to keep up the high-quality coverage and to continue receiving the support it needs to produce a unique publication with unmatched coverage in its field.

Brought to you by Armin Scheuer | ASC


External Links: 

HIMSS Insights: Digital Version
HIMSS Insights – News Website