Deadly, Communicable Disease Helps Shrink the World

New York Times editorial writers warned on November 25 that the West African nation of Mali may likely become the next target for a widespread, life-threatening Ebola virus outbreak. The editorial reported totals of more than 15,000 people made sick by the virus thus far, killing 5,400 with most of the victims in West Africa. That number has grown since to include over 18,000 diagnosed and almost 7,000 killed.

Examples of sensationalized Ebola headlines seen in the United States
Examples of sensationalized Ebola headlines seen in the United States. Images: CNN, USA Today

As a U.S.-based, professional health care communicator, like most other Americans, I was certainly aware of the outbreak of deaths in West Africa, and was concerned for the sake of that regional population, but not really from the standpoint of any potential risk to Americans.

But when U.S. media broke the news of the first American to die from Ebola on U.S. soil, I couldn’t help wonder whether our sensational reporting bordering on panic was shared elsewhere in the world. Also, is the drama in the media overdone or justified?

I queried our GLOBALHealthPR agency partners in other countries affected by the virus such as Spain and the United Kingdom, as well as countries that at the time weren’t directly involved at the time, including Portugal, Argentina, Japan, and Singapore; to understand how local authorities and media were addressing Ebola. What was being done and reported, and what insights can we glean? [Read more…] about A Global Media Scan of the Ebola Outbreak

Today’s post comes to us from our GLOBALHealthPR Spain partner, Berbés Asociados.

asochomeopatiaFor years, specialized health communications agencies have collaborated with three main actors for generating and sharing information: the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare professionals (represented mainly by scientific societies), and health authorities.

Given today’s economic circumstances and taking into account that this sector has undergone a 360-degree transformation in recent years, one would have expected the structure and key players involved to simultaneously change with the times. This assumption is correct. [Read more…] about Patients, Key to Health Communications

Today’s post comes to us from Clara Compaire of GLOBALHealthPR Spain partner, Berbés Asociados.

President of Spanish ALS Society

There is no doubt that the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has become one of the most viral campaigns ever known. Thanks to this initiative and the power of social media, Amiotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) has gone from being a virtually unknown disease globally to one that is on everyone’s lips.

In Spain, it’s catching on. [Read more…] about The Global Perspective on the #IceBucketChallenge

Today’s featured post comes to us from our GLOBALHealthPR Spain partner, Berbés Asociados.

Last Monday, in the wake of elections to the European Parliament and with no prior warning, the media was caught off-guard by an announcement by Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to call a press conference. The reason was to inform of changes to the country’s monarchy. The media were unanimous: King Juan Carlos’s abdication was a virtual certainty. Now it is a reality. [Read more…] about The Next Generation

Today´s blog post comes to us from Sara Nieto of our GLOBALHealthPR Spain partner, Berbés Asociados.


A client calls his communications partner regarding a new strategic direction that executives have just agreed to take. In the client’s mind, he already has plenty of activities he wants to convey. He provides his press office with new information, data and results to carry out his plan. This new announcement also has significant social importance, so it will interest the general public and is therefore newsworthy. [Read more…] about When Things Work Out Right

Today’s blog comes to us from Berbés Asociados, our GLOBALHealthPR partner in Spain.

2013 was not a good year for the media in Spain, according to a new annual study of the Madrid Press Association. Last year, a total of 4,434 journalists lost their jobs and 73 media companies closed. [Read more…] about Spain’s Journalists: Happy Professionals?