Today’s news in the Wall Street Journal “Marketplace” section is chock full of opportunities for some PR peeps. Let me share (although I see they’re getting stingy with their story links and wanting $ so I promise to find other sources for links) and see if you agree and can go get some new business in your neck of the woods using these features below:
** WellPoint (aka Anthem) is asking hospitals to increase patient quality and reduce re-admissions otherwise the hospitals will not get payment increases as high as they used to. WellPoint is going to score hospitals on a test with 51 indicators for patient treatment quality. The indicators include preventing patients from relapse, following a safety checklist and patient satisfaction.
“The change is part of a broader shift within the health industry to compensate providers based on the quality of their care, instead of the volume of tests and treatments they perform. Next year, as part of the health-overhaul law, the Obama administration will rework how the government pays hospitals through Medicare so facilities with better-quality treatment outcomes get higher reimbursements,” said the Wall Street Journal today.
$$ — Public Relations Opportunity: Hospital marketing/PR departments need to educate physicians/providers on this new change that will cascade throughout all payers. It only takes the first one to cause the entire industry to follow suit, and the pressure will be on providers to deliver higher-quality treatment rather than higher volume. Having worked in health care marketing my entire career, hospitals focus less on provider relations and more on patient relations. There’s an opportunity to create integrated programs to help push quality treatment from all sides of the health care equation. In addition, PR can share these stories with patients (old, new and soon-t0-be) that quality treatment is a first priority.
** Auto manufacture is taking a hit with Japan still re-building after the quake that ruptured an entire industry. Demand for vehicles is rebounding, and U.S. dealerships are struggling with a shortage of Lexus, Honda and Toyota brands.
$$ — Public Relations Opportunity: Any U.S. dealerships that sell autos made in the good ‘ol US of A should pounce on this opportunity to sell American cars, especially fuel-efficient American cars. We’re inundated with advertising campaigns to sell us cars; but, what about a PR campaign that’s solid and education oriented? I always liked the programs by auto repair shops that taught women what’s under the hood.
Bundling of Digital, Print, Mobile Publications — Have you ever known a publisher to execute a PR campaign? GASP! Imagine if they did; perhaps that’s the way publishers get us to pay $455/year to get the Wall Street Journal online, in print and digital.
$$ — Public Relations Opportunity: Start engaging in social media, publishers and create a loyal community for the brand. Because, just like law firms, people are dedicated to a personality — the reporter who writes a favorite column or story. Because we can’t buy a year’s print subscription for $10 any more, we consumers of news are going to need some help keeping loyal with publishers’ brands and not reading at the local library.
Giving Away E-Books: No surprise here and a good PR idea…digital publisher Rosetta-Books, LLC is giving away digital editions of five classic titles (now movies) to jump start sales of online books. The promotion launched May 7 and ends June 3.
$$ — Public Relations Opportunity — E-book publishers are going to need to keep PR top of mind to ensure digital book readers keep the money flowing. I’m not sure how all this is going to work unless PR is adopted by authors and publishers. Perhaps authors are going to need to use PR/social media even more so on their own i.e. book signings, appearances at special events, social media engagement, and direct marketing.
There’s another story about Campbell Soup struggling to get people to buy the product after all the cool re-vamp re packaging, displays and what about the taste? Have you tried that stuff lately? My kid loves the Chicken and Stars, but man, I cannot eat that without hot sauce. So, PR teams inside and at agencies — how about a cook off contest using Campbell Soup as the foundation? And, I’m not talking about mom’s famous casserole with all those cream-based cans of fat.