For the second and final day of our Annual General Meeting (AGM), Lisbon-based host Jorge Azevedo (Guess What, Portugal) really iced the cake by scheduling our guest speaker Nadim Habib (CEO and Economics Professor of the NOVA School of Business and Economics, Portugal; as well as a good friend and colleague of Jorge’s from his Hill & Knowlton days).
Professor Habib addressed our group frankly: “We as parents are to blame for ‘empowered’ patients, or should I say ‘impatients,’” he wisecracked. “The kids we’ve never said “no” to are now making health care decisions. Patients today don’t even know the value of what they’re dealing with,” he reasoned. “Google is the biggest problem,” he said, only half-joking. It all adds up to broken and illogical health payment systems and structure. “If they get a certain number of days for free visits to the emergency room or doctor office visits, they will use every bit of this ‘free’ health care for the most inconsequential or routine health needs,” he concluded, based on his research tracking the rise of routine care being provided in emergency rooms throughout Portugal and much of Europe.
Prof. Habib also lamented the decline of general medical practitioners vs. specialty medicine.
He held us, 17 GLOBALHealthPR partners, captive with his assertion that big pharma needed to start thinking outside the box. As an example, he derided prescription package inserts with warning labels as patient-unfriendly and ineffective. “No one ever reads these – they are not written for patients. They are written for lawyers and regulators,” he charged.
“Better to follow the example of such companies as Amazon and Apple,” Prof. Habib said. He suggested that GLOBALHealthPR partners challenge our pharmaceutical clients.
Prof. Habib spent the last half hour of his presentation proposing that GLOBALHealthPR consider taking specific directions in marketing and selling to health industry. (I won’t go into any detail here – suffice to say he gave us plenty of food for thought.)
In my previous installment from Lisbon, I neglected to mention that our host Jorge arranged for the GLOBALHealthPR Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Fundaçao Portuguesa das Comunicações (Portuguese Communications Foundation). The Foundation promotes “the study, conservation and dissemination of historical, scientific and technological heritage in the field of communications.”
On day one, we welcomed Yap Boh Tiong and Patsy Phay of Mileage Communications into the partnership. By the end of day two, they’d contributed lots of good ideas based on their decades of international corporate and product marketing experience in Asia Pacific.
Besides Prof. Habib’s remarks, here are a few more highlights of the second day of our AGM: Marie-Hélène Coste (MHC, France) presented her perspective on the recent scandals with health industry in France, in particular the patient deaths with the Servier Mediator weight loss drug, and the “tentative climate” as a result of French government officials implicated in financial misdeeds. She noted that her office clientele with medical “learning societies” remains strong.
Priti Mohile and Dinesh Chindarkar (MediaMedic, India) shared an invigorating overview recommending ways that GLOBALHealthPR partners could increase the online buzz for ourselves and our clients through the world. Dinesh predicted increased public use of Pinterest and demand for video. Priti emphasized that GLOBALHealthPR partners should take advantage of our deep knowledge of healthcare that even much larger digital shops lack.
Dinesh Chindarkar is carefully tracking Pinterest, Slideshare and other social media trends.
Paola de la Barreda (PR Partners, Mexico, standing right) and Paul Jans (VIVA!, Australia, left) shared their thoughts about how each leads her and his respective office’s collaborative efforts in GLOBALHealthPR, including enhancing utilization of our online data management and task-sharing online resources. They also stressed how GLOBALHealthPR provides a unique platform for sharing public relations strategies and business management and entrepreneurial best practices.
Following months of research and development, Eugenia de la Fuente (Paradigma PEL, Argentina), joined by Patricia Blanco and Laura Torres Cárdenas, shared her team’s proposal for a state-of-the-art measurement method of public relations campaign effectiveness. Both traditional and online/social media were included in the model analysis to evaluate a media program. The partners agreed to further develop and incorporate this new evaluation model.
Laura Torres Cárdenas of Paradigma PEL, and Neil Crump, Aurora