Leveraging Awareness Months: Lessons Learned From a Month of Pink

The big, pink awareness month behemoth is over: Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And while many of us are sick of pink and ready to move on to the next thing, it’s worth a look back at the last month to see what ideas we can apply to other awareness campaigns throughout the year.

It’s not just about the products. There are plenty of consumer products taking advantage of breast cancer awareness month. But it’s not just about the Estee Lauder, Aerie and Avon consumer product brands of the world. A lot of health care organizations are taking back health awareness months and making the month their own.

Start a dialogue. Awareness months are meant to spark conversation. Now is the time to get your experts front and center. Mayo Clinic devoted six of their podcasts during October to breast health education with various physicians who could share their expertise. The podcasts are still available online, providing a longer-term resource for people searching for information. Cleveland Clinic also offered their expertise, inviting people to ask questions about breast cancer throughout the month using the hashtag #KnowPink on Facebook and Twitter. Physicians were on hand to…

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6 Easy Ways to Get Local News to Cover Your Story – and Why It’s Important

AnchormanChances are you have some great stories to tell: from patient success stories and new research to helpful information that impacts the lives of people in your community. And, your local news is often an effective channel for furthering awareness of your healthcare organization and getting your stories told.

Generating local news coverage can be fairly easy if you know the best practices. Here are six simple tips to help you get started:

1. Make it Routine. Whenever you are in the early planning stages of an event, make sure media outreach is always a part of your efforts. Think about the people involved – are you working with a patient family or a big community partner? Is the local mayor coming to your event? Your news media want to know about these things, so be sure to tell them!

Calendar2. Use Community News Calendars. Submit informational and fundraising events that are open to the public to local news community calendars. Daily and community newspapers, TV stations (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) and entertainment websites generally have community calendars. Try to submit your…

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Survey Says: Using Survey Data in Consumer Health

If you work for a brand that doesn’t necessarily have news to report on a regular basis, sometimes you have to create your own news. And, survey research is a great way to do that! After the award-winning success of our last public education campaign with the American Physical Therapy Association where we identified the Top 10 Fittest Baby Boomer Cities in America using survey research, we decided to use the strategy once again in a campaign for National Physical Therapy Month. APTA staff worked with members to determine 7 common myths about physical therapy that may discourage consumers from experiencing the benefits of physical therapist treatment. From those myths we developed a survey to determine the extent to which they exist among their target audiences. We used various tactics to debunk these myths, including media relations, advertising, a webpage and an infographic. Here are the four best practices I learned for effectively leveraging survey research:

APTA Infographic PortionCreate an Infographic

I know this one may seem fairly obvious, but when used correctly, infographics can be a wonderful tool, especially in consumer healthcare. Infographics take detailed, sometimes boring information…

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#Fun #Fearless #Fail


Ah, the Internet: every brand’s frenemy. Brands spend countless hours (and sometimes dollars) to grasp the ever fleeting, and often snarky, attention of the Internet (referenced here as a collective group). In today’s Buzz Bin, I’m going to break down a few recent campaigns that have the Internet abuzz.

Fun: Sherlock the lost & found Beagle

Dutch airline KLM recently made headlines for their new video, which features their arguably cutest employee, Sherlock the Beagle. In the video, Sherlock is seen returning forgotten items to customers throughout an airport. The video caught the attention of many because of the adorable dog, but there’s an underlying message that marketers should take note of: KLM cares for its customers and their belongings, and will do whatever it takes to keep customers happy, safe and on-time. As consumers increasingly information gather through reviews and secondhand experiences, as opposed to company created ads and websites, brands must understand that showing, not saying, is imperative to cultivating trust.

That said, I wish this campaign had a happier ending. Unfortunately, as many viral videos and stories seem to end, this one was just a marketing stunt. Take note, marketers: the only thing worse than lying…

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Beyond the booth: 10 tips for hosting successful media events at trade shows and conferences

Trade Show BadgeIndustry trade shows and conferences can be a great way to reach important audiences for your organization, including potential customers, investors and partners – and media.

Media attend conferences to learn what is new, innovative and trending. Conference attendees and people unable to attend look to media coverage for information and scoop on what they should be paying attention to in their industries. So, how do you break through the noise and really engage media at trade shows?

One option is to take it outside the conference hall doors and host an ancillary event with your key experts, partners and media. Here are a few tips to make this type of media event successful:

  • Have a purpose. Before diving in to plan an event, determine your goals. What do you want to get out of this event? What do you want media to take away? Media events can be a great way to deepen your relationships with industry media contacts, demonstrate your organization’s expertise in your field, share new information and more. Determine your goals, and let the goals inform your planning and messaging.
  • Play by the rules. Most conferences and…
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    Preparing for a Live TV Interview

    If you were watching Good Morning America this morning, you might have seen the inspirational meeting between a bone marrow transplant recipient and his life-saving donor.

    PadillaCRT client Be The Match®, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on saving lives through bone marrow and cord blood transplantation, brought Dallas resident Justin and New York resident Joe together for the very first time.

    In 2012, Justin donated bone marrow to Joe, who was fighting for his life after being diagnosed with lymphoma. After a year of anonymity, and then months of emailing back and forth, they finally met in-person – almost two years after Joe received his transplant.

    As if the anticipation of meeting for the first time wasn’t great enough, Justin and Joe were now going to meet on live, national television – how’s that for nerve-wracking?!

    But live television interviews don’t have to be panic-inducing. Below are a few tips to help you prepare so you can feel more comfortable and confident in front of the cameras.

    Practice what you’re going to say. Although you can’t predict exactly what the reporter will ask, it helps to review your key messages beforehand. There’s no need to memorize anything…

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    Crisis Management

    Ebola and Enterovirus: 3 Tips for Thought Leadership During a Health Pandemic


    The past few months have been a hypochondriac’s nightmare, with the spread of Ebola and the recent emergence of Enterovirus D68, a respiratory virus that is resulting in hospital admissions for many children.  I wouldn’t call myself a hypochondriac, but you can be sure that I know all the symptoms associated with each of these and my kids washed their hands no less than 10 times at a birthday party last weekend (to be clear, my concern was obviously Enterovirus and not Ebola, but if I noticed someone vomiting, with a raised rash, who was also bleeding from their eyes…we were not staying at that party!).

    Health crises such as these strike fear into the hearts of Americans, and naturally, capture more than their fair share of media coverage.  It’s a time for health care organizations to step up, provide useful information, and position themselves as thought leaders.  However, if you wait until the health crisis strikes to make a plan, you’re likely to miss out.

    The good news is that the approach to becoming a resource during a health pandemic also supports an organization’s evolution to brand journalism, a strategy that centers on creating relevant content that…

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    3 PR/Marketing Budget Imperatives for Healthcare

    It’s fall. That means football season, kids going back to school, the leaves changing colors, and, for many hospitals and health systems, it means the start of budget season. Even if your fiscal year is other than the calendar year, you’ll want to keep reading, or at least save this post in your budget planning folder.

    With all the change going on in healthcare, many systems are finding it difficult to prioritize when it comes to budgeting. And, that can be frustrating for PR/marketing executives trying to align their plans with organizational priorities. If that describes you, perhaps the list of budget priorities below will help you take a slightly different approach to your budget this year, and best position you and your organization for success.

  • Plan for the Unexpected. disaster recovery_dilbertBetween the changes in climate, changes in technology, and changes in your competitive landscape, odds are that you will have some sort of crisis, issue or major announcement to manage in the coming year. They say it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a few hours to destroy it. You’re almost guaranteed the latter, if you fail to plan.…
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    Tackling Childhood Obesity – What’s Working and What’s Not

    kids running

    It’s been a week of highs and lows for children’s health advocates.  A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than three-quarters of U.S. children eat fruit on any given day, and nearly 92 percent dig into vegetables in a 24-hour period.  As a mom of two boys, I find this to be a pleasant surprise.  But, it’s not all sunshine and roses.  Another CDC study uncovered that youth fitness has declined by about 10 percent since 2004, and is significantly below what it should be.

    Gordon Blackburn, director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic put the research into context, “Thirty years ago, we would not have expected to see 12-year-olds with symptoms of cardiac disease.  Now we’ve had to start a pediatric preventive cardiology clinic.”

    There has been a concerted effort through a variety of campaigns to move the needle on kids’ health and fitness.  In 1991, the “5 a Day” (now “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters”) campaign was created to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for better health.  In 2007, the campaign shifted to target Gen X moms with a digital effort focused on recipes,…

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    Put me in, Coach!

    playing-baseballLast night, I went to my first baseball game of the season, full of double plays, diving catches and even a grand slam. No, this wasn’t a Nationals game, or even a Norfolk Tides game, my local minor league team, but instead a Little League All-Star game as full of metaphor as it was of hot dogs and humidity. I never thought I would feel a sense of connection with these boys, but as I watched them run onto the field, I seemed to know exactly what they were feeling. Interns like myself share the same professional space as these little ball players. We are motivated, eager—sometimes tripping over our own feet in that eagerness—but wanting to learn and ready to put our training into play. With great coaches, we have a chance to learn some fundamentals that will create a strong foundation when we head up to the big leagues:

  • Don’t leave the base early: When writing an email or document, it is imperative to double check spelling, grammar and punctuation. Don’t send anything to anyone until you’ve ensured there are no mistakes. This even includes simple email responses, as small mistakes create…
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