April 21, 2020

Midwestern consumers want COVID-19-related information. Local health systems can have the answers.

We’ve conducted research on Midwestern consumers and their COVID-19 communications needs. And we’ve found opportunities for health systems to be leaders in their local communities.

During March, we conducted research about Midwestern consumers and their communications needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Focusing on adult consumers in the Midwest, our research illuminated respondents’ needs for COVID-19 information from their local health systems. There were several questions driving our research.

  • What COVID-19-related information are Midwestern consumers searching for today? How will this change over time?
  • Is this information being effectively distributed? How?
  • Where are opportunities for health systems to be communications leaders in their communities during COVID-19?

Through our research, B&Y was able to identify several key findings.


96% of respondents surveyed feel that they are at least moderately well informed about COVID-19. However, 88% of individuals surveyed also believe there’s a lot of conflicting information.

These findings show there’s an opportunity for health systems to become the single source of factual information and guidance. 85% of respondents said they would listen to their health system if presented with information from them. Health systems have been building brand equity within their communities for decades. Building off of this pre-existing trust, health systems can be the single source of information locally. This is important because 84% of respondents value and are searching for local COVID-19 information. Health systems can step up and meet their communications needs.


72% of Midwestern consumers are receiving COVID-19 information from major news outlets and social media platforms.

Local health systems, like other community institutions, have connections with regional media outlets. Leveraging connections to local media helps consumers see and hear your health system’s brand as it shares important information. In addition to working with local media outlets, staying active on social media is essential. Educating and informing local communities has a great impact on preventing surges in COVID-19 cases and maintaining health systems’ capacities to treat patients. 


Midwestern consumers are interested in up-to-date information on current government mandates, safety tips and COVID-19 trends. However, respondents also showed a strong desire for health and wellness tips and information, especially from their local healthcare leaders.

Consumers are seeking answers to a variety of COVID-19-related questions. Health systems can be a local leader in their region by providing not only real-time safety procedures but health and wellness tips. Maintaining physical and mental health from home is difficult at any time, but especially during a pandemic. Health systems can continue to be local leaders by spearheading wellness campaigns and sharing health tips.

Midwestern consumers are searching for a large amount and variety of COVID-19 information. The majority of the consumers we polled stated they are receiving conflicting information. And that they are most interested in local information. This creates an opportunity for health systems to be communications leaders within their communities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

These are just some of the key findings we’ve uncovered from our research. There are other findings that we’re excited to share. If you’re interested in learning more, you can email me at justinb@b-y.net. I’d be happy to send you a copy of the data and discuss it further.


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