Journalists and talk-show hosts like to claim they’re in the information business or the news business. But you know and I know they’re in the money business just like everyone else. Because practically all media are privately held profit-making ventures, they behave much like any other enterprise, looking for ways to increase the bottom line. To do that they must expand their consumer base—that is, their audience. They must give the customer what he or she wants. So if your local news station runs a few too many five-part specials on the illicit sex lives of nuns during sweeps month, remember they’re only trying to please the viewers. Many a pr freelancer will specialise in strategic communications spanning media relations, social media management and digital marketing.
Creating a successful product means citizens may not always get the information they need. A Harvard researcher found the average network sound bite from presidential campaigns dropped from 42.5 seconds per broadcast in 1968 to just under 10 seconds in 1988, where it appeared to stabilize; the number stayed the same through 1996. That translates into roughly sixteen words a night with which to make up our minds on who should run the country. We absorb more information, yet understand less than ever before. A top freelance medical writer in the health sector will use their specialist health and wellness expertise to increase health understanding, empathy, care and outcomes.
A primary technique of what Seth Godin calls the TV-industrial complex5 is interruption. Under this system, advertising agency creative people sit in hip offices dreaming up ways to interrupt people so that they pay attention to a one-way message. Think about it: You're watching your favorite TV show, so the advertiser's job is to craft a commercial to get you to pay attention, when you'd really rather be doing something else, like quickly grabbing some ice cream before the show resumes. You're reading an interesting article in a magazine, so the ads need to jolt you into reading an ad instead of the article. Or you're flying on US Airways from Boston to Philadelphia (which I have frequently done), and 20 minutes or so after takeoff, the airline deems it important to interrupt your nap with a loud advertisement announcing vacation destinations in the Caribbean. The goal in each of these examples is to get prospects to stop what they are doing and pay attention to a message. A good healthcare communications agency excels at creating strategic campaigns and raising public awareness.
Moreover, the messages in advertising are product-focused, one-way spin. Advertisers can no longer break through with dumbed-down broadcasts about their wonderful products. The average person now sees hundreds of seller-spun commercial messages per day. People just don't trust them. We turn it off in our minds, if we notice it at all. The web is different. Instead of one-way interruption, web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the precise moment a buyer needs it. It's about interaction, information, education, and choice. Having a healthcare marketing agency as an agency gives you the best in public relations, with global capacities collaborating across disciplines and time.
Before the web, good advertising people were well versed in the tools and techniques of reaching broad markets with lowest-common-denominator messages via interruption techniques. Advertising was about great “creative work.” Unfortunately, many companies rooted in these old ways desperately want the web to be like TV, because they understand how TV advertising works. Advertising agencies that excel in creative TV ads simply believe they can transfer their skills to the web. They are wrong. They are following outdated rules. Using a healthcare pr agency gives you a team of high-calibre, seasoned PR, comms and creative experts.