Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Consider this surgical robotics ad for Venti Medical Center a cautionary tale; it goes to the extreme to demonstrate the banality of many hospital ad campaigns promoting leading edge technology. When I see ads touting new technology I always try to imagine the consumer looking at the ad with a big thought bubble over her head asking “So What?” I often clump these ads together with those promoting national rankings. If we’re going to talk about technology and rankings, we need to make it relevant (more about the consumer and less about us). Otherwise, it is just more narcissistic spewing and self-absorption. If we want to engage consumers, we need to find ways to talk about things they care about. And that starts with listening to them and caring about what they have to say. For many healthcare organizations, it will involve a major cultural shift.

3988 Venti ad


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To celebrate Halloween (one of my favorite holidays) I created this video using JibJab. It cost me $1.99 to produce this little video which features my friend Donald (vampire), my wife Scotti (witch), my daughter Meg (werewolf), my sister Colleen (mummy) and myself (the green guy). Enjoy the video and have a fun Halloween weekend.

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Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 5.42.33 PMJorge Muniz, a physician assistant and self-taught cartoonist, is an innovator. He has created an amazing collection of educational and entertaining illustrations (cartoons) designed to help students in the field of medicine recall complex medical concepts. Ultimately this is supposed to help them when taking medical exams. The illustrations found on Jorge’s website bring together his passions for art and medicine. Jorge’s concept is appropriately called Medcomic.

According to Jorge introducing memorable cartoons into the learning process makes it easy to recall important information when students are taking exams. Seems simple enough. Yet his approach is groundbreaking. It reminds me of Jonathan Gruber’s use of a comic book to introduce the concept of healthcare reform –  Healthcare Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works.

Jorge has recently started a Kickstarter Campaign with a goal of $15,000. Last time I checked he had exceeded $9,000 in pledges. He will use the funds to turn his illustrations into a book. I love what Jorge is doing and am excited to share his story here. I invite you to check out Jorge’s work and consider supporting his Kickstarter Campaign.

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As part of the Culture of Safety Campaign we recently produced for Signature Healthcare (see my earlier blog post), we created a number of videos featuring employees speaking about patient safety. We felt strongly that this type of peer-to-peer communication would be really important if the campaign was to be a success.

I thought I’d share a few of these videos with you. These were not scripted and are meant to feel authentic – in the voice of the employee.

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It is time once again to prepare entries for the annual Cardiovascular Advertising Awards. This awards competition is produced by the same people who bring us the Aster Awards each year. The CardioVascular Advertising Awards Program (CVA Awards) is one of the nation’s leading competitions recognizing healthcare marketing professionals for excellence in advertising for cardiac and/or vascular services. The CVA Awards is an annual contest allowing entries designed, printed and/or distributed the previous year to be scored, judged and recognized for excellence in healthcare marketing and advertising.

The deadline for entries is September 30, 2015 (postmarked on or before Sept. 30). The
late deadline is October 16, 2015 (postmarked after Sept. 30 and before or on Oct. 16). Entries must be postmarked on or before each deadline. According to the competition rules, no entries postmarked after October 16, 2015, will be accepted.

For more information go to http://www.cvaawards.com/.


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How Work Has Changed

Yesterday was Labor Day, and I labored. But it was the kind of labor I like. I got up in the morning, drank a cup of coffee, watched 30 minutes of SportsCenter, and then drove to the office. Because it was a paid holiday, no one was there. It was glorious. Quiet. Peaceful. I spread out my work on the conference room table and immersed myself in various projects without interruption.

As I dove into this one web project, I started sending off email messages to various collaborators – our web developer, our chief medical writer, and the client, in particular. The four of us exchanged email messages for a good part of the day and made significant progress. It was a very productive day.

As I was driving home I reflected on the day. I had worked seamlessly with our web developer in Wisconsin (Sean), our chief medical writer in Maine (Roxanne), and our client in Portland, Oregon. And I was in my office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Today, that is my work life in a nutshell. Often I am the one on the road, working from hotels, airports and client facilities – reaching out to my team in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida and Maine, among other places. And, of course, we now have an office in Boston and have added that to the mix.

I love the idea of growing our business by adding exceptional professionals to our team who aren’t based in Chapel Hill. They can be anywhere. There are no limits.

In the next several years, after our daughter finishes high school, my wife and I hope to move to the location of our choice. It could be someplace coastal – or it could be in the mountains of North Carolina or Virginia. We’ve talked about a number of options. Whatever the case, it is good to know that wherever we go, as long as it has an airport and Internet access, I can continue doing my job seamlessly. From my perspective, this is progress.


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Today is the last day to enter Ragan and PR Daily’s 2015 Ace Awards. If you’re interested in entering, you need to get moving. The awards recognize some of the best individuals, agencies and in-house communications teams in PR and Marketing. In all honesty, this is an expensive competition at $295 per entry for agencies. That means each entry is significant. Categories include:

Blogger of the Year
Tell us why you are the voice among PR bloggers and how you expand Web traffic or increase followers through quality writing and posts.

Brand Marketer
How do you market across multiple channels while you do brand advocacy and increase audience engagement? Tell us how you are a brand evangelist.

Corporate Social Responsibility Leader
What life-affecting CSR campaigns have you created and executed? It’s about more than a successful campaign. It’s a way of business life for your company and its employees.

Digital/Video Professional
Tell us how you combine communication skills with digital or video tools better than the rest. Share your work.

Event Marketer
Tell us why you are the best at marketing live or virtual events. We want to see how you increase attendance, command media attention or make your events better.

Government Communicator
What makes you the best in communications for a local, state or federal agency or department?

Health Care Communicator
Tell us why people come to you when they want health care PR or marketing done the right way, with integrity, passion, freshness and style.

Internal Communicator
How do you invigorate, inform and inspire employees every day? Tell us about your great work.

Media Relations Professional
Every day you generate media impressions, awareness, reporter relationships and success. Tell us how.

Nonprofit Communicator
What makes you the one PR agency or individual foundation, government agencies, professional associations, charitable organizations and academic institutions turn to for their communications?

Public Affairs Officer
What makes you a leader in political and public affairs, advocacy initiatives and influencer in policy/public opinion?

Public Relations Professional
How do you show command of an impressive number of PR tools, tactics and strategy? Tell us.

Social Media Strategist
Shares, likes, photos, tweets and pins. How do you link social media to business and communications goals?

Up and Coming Professional (under five years’ experience)
We want the next big thing in PR marketing and communications. If you have less than five years’ experience and great success stories, share them here!

Established Professional (over 15 years’ experience)
You’ve seen it. You’ve done it. You’ve conquered it. Tell us about your successes.


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