Before developing the campaign, marketers must keep two things in mind: First, consumers do recognize, when presented with
the facts, that pharma products save and improve lives. This means that on some level, there is a reserve of good feeling
that can be tapped, as evidenced by the successful efforts in the early '90s. Second, pharma must realize that most healthcare
issues are local—they must be dealt with first on a community level. Communications efforts must be grassroots, and companies
must determine how the community operates, what links exist between organizations and institutions, what the community's needs
are, who its influencers are, what communications networks already exist and whether others need to be created, and what kinds
of messages will be most effective.
In addition, pharma must not overlook the role that the media plays in consumers' lives. The public tends to trust most media
outlets, which can be distrustful of Big Pharma, as evidenced by the constant flow of negative articles about the industry.
Those media that have access to patients and consumers also understand what a large pharmaceutical industry brings to the
table. Helping media understand how pharma positively impacts our lives is paramount in fighting the image war.
But even a big, powerful industry can't control such a media maze. Instead, it must control its own messages. In the case
of Big Pharma, the message is very powerful. Just for starters, here are five salient and powerful story lines that all patients
understand. Only Big Pharma can say it has:
1. Researched, developed, and launched the cure for polio and other pandemics.
2. Brought early drugs like AZT and DDI to market for AIDS, and then has used sophisticated computer-based research to
explore the possibility that multiple-drug regimens could slow the onset of AIDS for years.
3. Researched and focused on every facet of cardiovascular disease, leading to revolutionary changes in both acute and
4. Brought the world major advances in diabetes, ranging from early diagnoses and drug delivery for insulin to lifelong
management of the disease.
5. Fostered substantial movement in solving one of the greatest, most-complicated medical mysteries ever to confront mankind—what
causes cancer—which has led to partial remissions and cures for certain types of cancer.
Unless pharma defines a compelling story, and defends it vigorously in the consumer marketplace, others will enter that vacuum
and tell the story for it— in far less flattering ways. The pharmaceutical industry knows why it spends billions of dollars
on product pipelines and research: That investment leads to successful products in the marketplace. One highly successful
product can pay for dozens of dead-ends and failures. But the average consumer doesn't understand that. Pharma needs to better
explain to consumers how that investment has led to cures or long-term management of the devastating diseases that continue
to plague our nation.
Accounts Dittus Communications hired Financial Dynamics as a consultant. //Bellezza Products selected Howard, Merrell & Partners
as its agency of record for Hydroxatone. //MEDHOST selected Jetstream Public Relations as its agency of record.
People Cari Weisberb will serve as chief marketing and creative officer of Three Bridges, a specialty communications group launched
by Flaum Partners. //Palio Communications appointed Eric Rivera as vice president and account director and Stephanie Robbins
as account coordinator. //Rob Rogers was promoted to US chief creative officer of Sudler & Hennessey. The company also promoted
Joe Garamella, to executive creative director, and hired Kathy Jenkins as brand catalyst, a new position.