At the BIO Patient and Health Advocacy Summit last year, I learned a great deal about the FDA’s unprecedented approach to “Patient-Focused Drug Development,” and realized just how far advocacy relations has come during my 20 years of practice in health care PR. The way patients are being perceived by the pharmaceutical, diagnostics, insurance, hospital and biotech industries is dramatically changing. As health communications professionals, we need to understand exactly how these unprecedented shifts impact the way we counsel our clients, and construct and implement integrated communications programs.
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Eli Lilly, Novartis, FDA, the National Health Council and Top Advocacy Groups Discuss Tectonic Shifts in Patient Communications
Tags: Corporate Communications and Public Relations, health academy, healthcare communications, section conference
There’s been a lot written about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its potential impact on key industry players — i.e., pharmaceutical and device companies, clinicians, health plans and patients. But, what about the PR professionals who work alongside these players?
Whether we work in-house or on agency teams, PR professionals know that everything that affects clients affects us too. . . eventually. We can be reactive and wait for the ACA dust to settle or we can proactively help clients navigate the new landscape.
Now, there’s a huge opportunity for us to be proactive and to expand the range of internal and external stakeholders with whom we work.
Historically, health product companies have been organized around departmental “silos” – e.g., Patient Safety, Advocacy, Product Management and Access. For decades, health care PR and marketing teams focused on product/service promotion. Our goal has been to demonstrate clinical outcomes; our opinion leaders have come from academia and science.
In the wake of Medicare reform and the ACA, a new mandate has emerged: to help health decision-makers understand the relative outcomes and costs of available treatment options. The goal is now to demonstrate total value as our opinion leaders include health economists, payment authorities and policymakers (in addition to clinicians).
To help clients succeed in this new environment, PR teams need to make five key changes:
Tags: Corporate Communications and Public Relations, health academy, Legislation and Regulations, Professional Development and Training, professional interest sections, prsa conferences, section conference, Techniques & Tactics, Trends
Do’s, Don’ts and Docs: A Prescription for Improving Health Care Through Physician and Patient Conversations
A few minutes before midnight on the evening of April 3, 2012, I sat alone, exhausted, in a hotel room in Washington, D.C. The room was silent except for the constant click, click, click of my mouse as I nervously refreshed our website every other second. The story had already been broken hours ago by the Associated Press and word was beginning to spread about the next day’s announcement. However, all I cared about was making sure that our website, the central point of information we had worked on for months, went live when it was supposed to.
As April 3 became April 4, the site, as if sensing my anxiety, refreshed and the content — which we had spent countless hours meticulously editing, proofing and polishing — appeared in bright, bold colors illuminating the darkened hotel room. For a few hours, I could rest.
On the morning of April 4, 2012, the ABIM Foundation, along with Consumer Reports and nine medical specialty societies launched the Choosing Wisely® campaign at a standing-room-only event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The ABIM Foundation, long a leader in advancing medical professionalism, created the campaign to encourage physicians and patients to engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and procedures that may provide no benefit, and actually could cause harm. To help begin these conversations, the nine societies created lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question.”
The event marked the official unveiling of these lists, and while we were hopeful they would be well-received and embraced by physicians and patients, we were surprised, and, quite frankly, a bit overwhelmed by the response.
Tags: Communities, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, health academy, Media Relations, prsa conferences, section conference, Techniques & Tactics
The world continues to change so quickly. Using technology to connect with target audiences is essential in penetrating the cluttered atmosphere, especially in the field of healthcare. Social media has expanded our professional coordinates and positioned communicators to participate in the real-time conversations shaping the marketplace of ideas.
For the last 20 years, I have seen how successful policy and campaign workers use technology to transform outreach and activism. Those who embrace the effort, become early adopters, build their critical mass and consume the environment like a tidal wave.
At first, it’s overwhelming, but eventually you find your groove. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Groupon — initially, it did not occur to me to join them. However, for career insight or to get a better deal on frozen yogurt, it is essential to be plugged in. Patterns definitely emerge, and information management becomes key.
I’ve seen the impact firsthand at my organization, the Oncology Nursing Society. We’re engaged in a multitude of membership advocacy efforts that educate decision-makers on nursing and cancer.
Tags: Advocacy, Communities, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, health academy, professional interest sections, prsa conferences, section conference, Social Media, Techniques & Tactics, Trends
“That headline seems improbable, if not impossible, right?!?!” As public relations professionals, managing expectations is a daily challenge. We’re working in real time within a relentless news cycle, where the communications demands of our organizations have become greater and more complex. Budgets and staffing haven’t kept pace, and every day seems like a battle just to tick off a few more items from our ever-growing “to do” lists.
Realistically, how do you map out your yearly PR plan when communications is the department everyone turns to and assumes will get the great hits because “press coverage is ‘free media,’ right?”
I’ve been there, and want to let you in on a little-known secret that will help you wrangle the many, varied communications messages, audiences and events into a seemingly unrealistic, but actually quite workable, plan. First, let me set the stage and explain where I’ve seen this done exceptionally well.
Tags: Corporate Communications and Public Relations, health academy, professional interest sections, prsa conferences, section conference
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- Eli Lilly, Novartis, FDA, the National Health Council and Top Advocacy Groups Discuss Tectonic Shifts in Patient Communications
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