Feb 13 2014
Last week, CVS Caremark announced that it was pulling cigarettes and other tobacco products from its stores because it wanted to focus on becoming more of a health care provider, with CEO Larry J. Merlo stating, “We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting.” And, while the retailer will lose about $2 billion per year as a result of the move, it stands to gain much more. Merlo said the decision to stop selling tobacco products “was really more of a discussion about how to position the company for future growth.”
CVS has the largest chain of pharmacy-based health clinics in the United States, offering care for common illnesses, like strep throat and pink eye (Bob Costas could benefit from a visit). By 2017, it anticipates growing clinic locations to 1,500. Retail health care is becoming big business with approximately 20 million patient visits to date and Accenture indicates that the industry could see 25% to 30% growth in the next few years. What about CVS’ move positions the retailer to take advantage of the opportunity?
Jan 23 2014
If you are a journalist looking for new opportunities, check out the healthcare industry. And, if you are managing a healthcare marketing and public relations department, you should think about having a journalist on board, if you don’t already. Why? Because healthcare public relations needs to evolve to a brand journalism model in order to maximize the opportunity to connect with an audience searching for information that’s local, fresh and relevant to them.
Twenty years ago we could count on the local media to carry our story for us. Not today. The makeup of local news has changed. To begin with, there are fewer local news reporters in television and print to cover the news. According to the Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2013 report, the newspaper industry has seen a 30 percent decline in newsroom staff over the past decade. Local television viewership continues to decline, although online usage is up which bodes well for TV’s ability to capture younger audiences. Still, local TV devotes more time to breaking news, weather, traffic and sports than enterprise or feature stories, where most health stories reside.
At the same time,…
Jan 16 2014
My colleagues and I recently attended the Hampton Roads American Marketing Association luncheon with guest speaker Jay Baer. The New York Times best-selling author and president of the marketing consulting company, Convince & Convert, spoke to the crowd about his concept of Youtility, the shift away from selling towards providing useful information and help to anyone, not just customers. Jay captivated the audience, changing how we view, treat and attract consumers. Here are three major takeaways from the luncheon:
Be a farmer, not just a hunter. I’m sure you’ve felt this way before: meeting goals set by your boss or company can feel like a legitimate hunt. Incessantly contacting the media for that one big hit, manning your client’s booth at a conference or even using stunt techniques like devil babies in strollers – these actions all are strikingly similar in one sense: they scream, “Me! Me! Me! Look at what I have!”
In today’s marketplace, people are overwhelmed by marketers and their constant efforts to be in front of consumers. Jay calls for a shift in how companies interact with consumers. When creating content, think to yourself, Would…
Dec 19 2013
Did you know that 99% of the information we receive each day is almost immediately filtered out by our brains? In order to be successful, marketers have to determine ways to place their content in the elite 1% that survives; and with visuals being processed 60,000 times faster than text, infographics could be the answer. In the last two years, Google searches for infographics have increased by 800%; they’ve become so popular in fact, we are now creating infographics about infographics!
Infographics are especially useful in an industry like health, which is driven by data and numbers (not exactly content that leaves you on the edge of your seat). Don’t get me wrong, us health communicators have hoards of valuable information to share, but in a world where Miley Cyrus makes more headlines than a potential cure for Alzheimer’s, we have to find ways for our messages to cut through the clutter. Some organizations are leading the charge, mastering the use of infographics for information dissemination. The following are my favorite health-related infographics from 2013, in no particular order.
Dec 5 2013
By Liz Rea and April Sciacchitano
2013 is coming to a close, and it’s been quite a year for health news and communication. A lot of great (and not so great) things happened in health this year, and we made it through the year despite the government breaking, er… shutting down. In case you missed it, here are our picks for the need-to-know moments of 2013.
16-year-old Jack Andraka opens news doors for cancer detection. With the help of Google and Wikipedia, Jack Andraka unveiled a simple test for detecting pancreatic cancer in 2012 that is 168 times faster, 400 times more sensitive and 26,000 times more economical than traditional tests. In 2013, the news spread about the test, which uses mesothelin as a marker to detect cancer, and talk of its vast potential began, with some hoping it can be modified to detect a multitude of cancers.
Boston hospitals responded swiftly to the marathon bombings, thanks to emergency preparedness.
In the wake of 9/11 and numerous natural disasters, Boston hospitals come together for an annual training to better prepare themselves for the unthinkable. When just that happened…