Apr 10 2014
The movement toward brand journalism offers special benefits to the health industry. Healthcare affects everyone’s life, so audiences naturally relate to timely news and information about topics like medical advances, patient treatments and personal health advice. Equally compelling are the human-interest stories that abound in the healthcare field.
Such high-interest content makes brand journalism sites a no-brainer for many healthcare providers.
In fact, several top healthcare organizations have implemented this storytelling tool and are seeing success. For those considering adopting this approach, we’ve shared a few examples of providers who are setting the standard.
Advocate Health Care health enews
Advocate Health Care, a hospital group in the Chicago suburbs, launched health enews a year ago to increase mindshare among local journalists and consumers. An in-house newsroom of six core communicators develops content for the site, including videos, feature stories and commentary on breaking health news.
While the site’s intent is to build awareness of Advocate’s services and expertise, some of the most captivating articles are personal stories told by people within the organization.
For example, Tim Nelson, an Advocate public affairs manager, shared his experience helping his…
Mar 13 2014
Last Thanksgiving Jeff Joseph was running in the 5K Turkey Trot in St. Paul, when he suddenly collapsed. His heart had stopped; he was dead. Quite fortunately, Bruce Kiecker, a nurse with St. Paul’s United Hospital, was also participating in the Turkey Trot. Bruce didn’t hesitate to intervene and started CPR on Jeff. Bruce continued hands-only CPR until the ambulance arrived 10 minutes later.
The willingness of random bystanders to perform CPR is crucial in saving a life. In fact, only 7 percent of people who have a sudden cardiac arrest survive. In Minnesota, the survival rate is more than double that, at 16 percent. Because of the quick action of Bruce, Jeff is alive and anxiously awaiting the birth of his first child, due later this month.
The executive director of the Twin Cities chapter of the American Heart Association made a special presentation to Bruce and Jeff at a recent AHA board meeting held at the PadillaCRT Minneapolis headquarters. AHA’s Barb Ducharme gave Jeff a CPR Anytime Kit, and Bruce received the CPR Save Award for his courage, composure and compassion.
But you don’t have to be a medical professional to help someone in cardiac arrest. How can…
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.