Basics of Health Care PR

The latest PR Strategist examines the challenges facing firms and pros specializing in health care PR. There is specific advice for pulling together a health care PR team:

In lieu of the dream team of generalists pulling in specialists as needed, the best firms today establish teams of specialists with a generalist at the helm. The team leader, who must also be an astute manager, will cull the right people with the right talent and put them to work ...

For example, if you were putting together a team for a product that treats rare disorders, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Huntington's Disease, you might tap into an issues-management specialist for availability, compassionate use and pricing issues, an advocacy/professional-relations specialist to work closely with the patient and neurology community, a science writer to help demystify the mechanism of action (MOA) of the drug and how it works in the body, and so on.

The leader who cannot orchestrate his or her team (often strong practitioners in their own right) will align the wrong people with the wrong skill sets with complex client business.

If you have access to a media database, the May issue of Pharmaceutical Executive deals with the practical challenges of health care PR, including articles on:

  • Surveying the messaging landscape

  • The art of advertorials
  • Press releases and the FDA
  • But what are the competencies of a successful health care PR pro? See after the jump. More from Michael Roth, writing in PR Strategist:

    The balanced health care PR professional should have a working knowledge of the following areas, regardless of his or her specialty:

  • Product communications (pharmaceutical, medical technology, OTC)
  • Corporate communications (reputation management, corporate philanthropy, investor relations, internal communications)
  • Media relations (financial, consumer, trade, professional)
  • Multicultural communications
  • Crisis communications
  • Clinical trial recruitment
  • Marketing (advertising, medical education)
  • Advocacy and professional relations
  • Public affairs (legislation, lobbying)
  • Medical insurance (Medicaid, Medicare)
  • Intellectual property (patent, trademark, copyright)
  • Hospitals (formulary, safety issues)

  • In