Digital Marketing

Show NOT Tell: The 7 Best Health Infographics of 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.

  • The Affordable Care Act: Addressing the Unique Health Needs of Women- Created by the Office on Women’s Health,
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  • Digital Marketing

    Case Study: How to Grow Your Holiday Campaign

    Special thanks to the co-author of this post, Kelsey Mohring, AAE, PadillaCRT

    We love a good holiday campaign…I mean who doesn’t? At this point, you’re (hopefully) already rockin’ around your 2013 campaign and are amidst the holiday hustle and bustle of executing your promotional tactics. You may be preoccupied with your current campaign but believe it or not, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can grow your campaign next year.
    Here are 3 ways to grow your holiday campaign in 2014:
    1. Set a Goal

    The first step to a successful campaign is setting clear, measurable goals. Previous benchmarks can help guide your new goals but if you’re launching a brand new campaign you may not have benchmarks to base your goals on.

    In 2012 PadillaCRT helped Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) launch their first 12 Days of Holiday Cheer campaign. Our goal was to collect 100 messages of appreciation for our doctors, nurses and staff from patients and fans. The incentive for reaching the goal would be a surprise music video from the staff. Within two…

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    2013’s Big Moments in Health PR

    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…

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    Conducting a Successful Product Recall in a Social World


    It’s a company’s biggest nightmare.  A product recall.  What’s worse?  When it’s a children’s product, since emotions run especially high when the wellbeing of little ones is at risk.

    Last Friday, baby food and toddler snack brand Plum Organics issued a voluntary recall of a range of their products.  I found out about it on Monday night, while browsing my Facebook news feed.  Comparatively, the well-known Tylenol recall in 1982 was initially communicated with Chicago police driving through the city announcing the warning over loudspeakers.  Indeed, the communication of product recalls has changed since the advent of social media.

    In today’s social world, a product recall can present great risk to brands if done incorrectly.  However, as demonstrated by historical best practices from brands such as Tylenol and Lexus, a product recall can provide an excellent opportunity to connect with consumers in a meaningful way.  UK-based Eclipse Marketing found that almost three quarters of consumers will consider a repeat purchase following a recall if they had a good brand experience.  On the flipside, if a recall is badly executed and poorly communicated, 70% of customers would actively criticize a brand online and through word-of-mouth.

    While Plum Organics…

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    4 Lessons from the Rollout of

    President Obama himself has called it “unacceptable,” and many call it embarrassing. It has inspired material on everything from Saturday Night Light to the CMA Awards. In fact, the IT chief in charge of the project announced his resignation this week and the future career of the secretary of health and human services is also in question. Regardless of which side you fall on, it’s safe to say the rollout of The Affordable Care Act’s health exchange has been anything but smooth.

    Amidst a government shutdown, millions of Americans flocked to the reportedly open-for-business exchange, hoping to find affordable coverage, only to leave empty handed and frustrated. Government officials are blaming the $40 million project’s unexpected traffic volume for much of the site’s malfunctions. I’ll direct you to SNL for my initial response; however as a communication professional I can’t help but believe there’s more to the site’s rollout failure than heavy traffic. I do realize the exchange involves highly complex software and is much more intricate than your average microsite or website, making the stakes and room for error that much higher. Fortunately, there are…

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    Digital Marketing

    The #1 Trick (or Treat) to Successfully Engage Your Facebook Community

    Is the eerie silence from your Facebook fans becoming spooky? This Halloween we have just the trick to ignite (or reignite) your fan base and drive more fans to your page, which is the perfect Halloween treat for any Facebook community manager. Ironically, it’s this seemingly simple piece of advice that haunts you time and time again: you must first and foremost figure out the type of content your community “likes” (literally and figuratively) and when they want it most.
    “But my community doesn’t respond at all, it’s like a ghost town.”

    Witches brew! You just haven’t discovered what trick or treat makes your community bite yet (and I’m here to tell you, you don’t need to invest in a bunch of Facebook advertising to make it happen). PadillaCRT client Albemarle Health is proof of this. A hospital based in a rural community in Elizabeth City, NC, Albemarle Health first launched a Facebook page in 2010. It was apparent their community was more present on Facebook compared to other social networks, and their fan base grew steadily, but slowly. We knew Facebook is where we needed to focus our efforts;…

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    Big Data: What does it mean for healthcare?

    The answer: big data. Target tracked the buying habits of thousands of newly pregnant women and found many pregnant women bought fragrance-free lotions and soaps, vitamin supplements such as zinc, calcium and magnesium and cotton balls in early stages of pregnancy. This type of big data enables Target to guess a woman is pregnant and even estimate her due date based upon her purchasing habits..

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    Are we aware yet? Time to remake the roadmap for health education

    You will never see a marketing plan without the words “raising awareness” in it.  It’s the center of what we do, and there are people pulling the hours and working the relationships to bring that plan to life, masterminding every ad, news story and event. But despite carefully mapping out our path to public health nirvana, we’re not there yet. October is breast cancer awareness month, and we’re all wearing pink, but one-third of breast cancer diagnoses are made in late stages according to the CDC.

    Why aren’t we aware yet?

    Flavors of the month and dedicated days work great for media (National Trail Mix Day, anyone?), but we need to be high-impact communicators in order to strike a chord with consumers. Oversaturating the market with a health topic isn’t enough to get through to consumers. Less is more, if less is also more strategic. Instead of overextending news hooks, we need to find ways to be more real in engaging people: understanding where they are and how they view of our topic of interest. Ask some tough questions:

    What’s even interesting about health?  (Really?)

    Health education and communication can be…

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    Corporate Responsibility

    Voting with Your Dollars: 3 Strategies for Getting Millennials to Buy Into ObamaCare


    When Barack Obama was elected President in 2008 (and re-elected in 2012), it was largely because of the efforts of Millennials, the generation of people who are approximately 18-34 years old.  The impact of youth on these elections is well-known, but did you know that the President needs Millennials just as much now to ensure the success of his healthcare reform initiative?  This time, he’s asking that Millennials vote with their DOLLARS instead of casting an election ballot.

    The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “ObamaCare,” expands access to healthcare to all people through a variety of initiatives.  One of them is to offer more affordable and accessible health insurance through online exchanges, which officially opened for business on October 1, 2013.  As an incentive to participate, ObamaCare has established a “shared responsibility requirement” (aka a $95+ fine that will increase to $695+ in 2016) for anyone who does not obtain some form of health insurance.  Now, here’s where the more than 19 million uninsured Millennials come in.  According to, “Insuring young, healthy people helps balance out the risk of covering older, sicker adults.  But if America’s 20- and 30-somethings don’t sign up,…

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    A Killer Tan

    Using Sociology 101 to Execute a Successful Teen Health Education Campaign

    As summer officially draws to a close, it signals the end of lounging by the beach or pool and working on your tan.  However, for more than 30 percent of Caucasian high school girls, tanned skin is a not just a summer phenomenon.  With the help of a tanning bed, it’s part of their look year round.  A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the government agency’s concern for this growing problem that gives new meaning to the term “killer tan.”  People younger than age 35 who participate in indoor tanning have a 75% higher risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

    That’s why the CDC has included reducing indoor tanning among high school teens from more than 30% to 14% as part of its Healthy People 2020 objectives.  This goal seems perfectly reasonable, but it is notoriously difficult to change teen behavior.

    More than two years ago, the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund introduced the powerful “Dear 16-Year-Old Me” video that went viral with…

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