Does negative press make you Sicko?
Posted by Lauren Turner, Account Planner, Health
Lights, camera, action: the healthcare industry is back in the spotlight. (Not that it ever left the stage.) Next week, Michael Moore’s documentary film, Sicko, will start playing in movie theaters across America.
The New York Times calls Sicko a “cinematic indictment of the American health care system.” The film is generating significant buzz and is sure to spur a lively conversation about health coverage, care, and quality in America. While legislators, litigators, and patient groups are growing excited, others among us are growing anxious. And why wouldn’t they? Moore attacks health insurers, health providers, and pharmaceutical companies by connecting them to isolated and emotional stories of the system at its worst. Moore’s film portrays the industry as money and marketing driven, and fails to show healthcare’s interest in patient well-being and care.
Sound familiar? Of course. The healthcare industry is no stranger to negative press. A drug may be a blockbuster one day and tolled as a public health concern the next. News reporters may focus on Pharma’s annual sales and its executives’ salaries while failing to share R&D costs. Or, as is often common, the media may use an isolated, heartbreaking, or sensationalist story to paint a picture of healthcare as a whole. With all the coverage, it’s a shame no one focuses on the industry’s numerous prescription programs, charity services, and philanthropy efforts.
Many of our clients face these issues; companies come to us hoping we can help them better manage their reputations through “Get the Facts” or issue management campaigns. Your brand or corporate site may already have these informational assets, but can users easily find them?
We can place text ads, video ads, and rich media ads in paid search results or in relevant websites within our ever-expanding content network. Whatever the problem, Google can act as a platform for educating the public and promoting your message. We help you connect your company’s assets while helping users find the information they seek.
If you’re interested in learning more about issue management campaigns or about how we can help your company better connect its assets online, email us. We’d love to hear from you! Setting up these campaigns is easy and we’re happy to share best practices.
As for Sicko, all I can say is — go easy on that buttered popcorn.
Update: I asked Google for a comment on the “Sicko”/Google Healthcare Advertising blog post and got back this statement via email: “Google has no official opinion on Michael Moore or his movie ‘Sicko.’ ”
I guess that means that Google corporate doesn’t consider Ms. Turner’s opinion of “Sicko”–including the sentence, “Moore’s film portrays the industry as money and marketing driven, and fails to show healthcare’s interest in patient well-being and care.”–as official. It’s commendable that Google allows its employees to express their opinions in what appear to be official public Google blogs, but using “Sicko” to pander to advertisers doesn’t come off as the most credible or noble approach to filling Google’s coffers.
Turns out Ms Turner only wanted the poor maligned HMO’s to have their say via the democratic process of advertising. Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy?