A Preview: “New Realities, New Rules” PRSA 2014 Health Academy Conference May 7-9

I hope you’ll consider joining us in Washington DC May 7-9 for “New Realities, New Rules: Sharpening Your Competitive Edge in Health Care PR.” As you know, tectonic shifts in the healthcare landscape are propelling patients to the center of a complex web of decision-making that involves choices in practically every aspect of their care, including treatment options, choice of providers, and the development of pharmaceuticals.  Among the many mandatory and best-practice provisions to guide patient involvement, public relations professionals need to understand how these changes will impact their work, and how to best advise patient groups to navigate patient communications and content distribution in the modern era.

Dr. Theresa Mullen, PhD, of FDA’s Office of Strategic Programs at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research will be among the panelists at our pre-conference session, providing an in-depth look at how the patient’s perspective is changing healthcare marketing and communications in new and exciting ways. The two-part program brings together senior executives from government, industry, patient advocacy, and the media to provide informative and useful insights for communications professionals who are learning to communicate and engage patients and their families.

Senior executives from Novartis, Eli Lilly & Company as well as the National Health Council will provide attendees with a first-hand look at the recent trends and milestones that have put patients at the center of the evolving healthcare system. The pre-conference session will also showcase successful case studies of patient partnerships from the field, featuring strategies and tactics that provide insights into what kind of information patients use to form their decision.

The opening keynote speaker for the main conference on May 8 is Ezra Klein, a columnist for Bloomberg News, who most recently left the Washington Post where he oversaw Wonkblog.  He is now at Vox Media where he is creating a new media publication focused on giving the public crucial contextual information necessary to understand what’s happening in the world today.

Thursday morning breakout sessions include, When Contagion Strikes:  The PR Playbook for Managing an Infectious Disease Outbreak with Glen Nowak, professor and director, Center for Health and Risk Communication, University of Georgia and Abbigail Tumpey, associate director for communication science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Amp Up Your SEO:  Creating Content to Increase Your Website Referrals with Rich Pulvino, digital media specialist, Carestream. A Birthday Celebration with a Difference:  The American Cancer Society Turns 100 with Jessica L. D’Avanza, APR managing director, Enterprise Communications Strategy, American Cancer Society, Inc.

John J. Seng, founder, president of CEO Spectrum will be the luncheon speaker, Leveraging the Data Deluge:  How Market Research Can Strengthen Your Communications Strategy.

Afternoon breakout sessions include, Arrest the Risk:  Reaching African-Americans about a Deadly Heart Condition, with Laurie Mobley, senior vice president of BRG Communications. International PR Perspectives and Practices:  Health Care Communications with a Global Twist with Edward M. Stevens, APR/APR+M, chairman & CEO, Stevens Strategic Communications, Inc.; Aaron Blank, president, Fearey Group; and Carol Levine, APR, Fellow CPRS, Partner, energiPR. Life is Too Short for Bad Powerpoint with Meghan Dotter, principal, Portico PR.

Boosting Buzz Using Online Brand Journalism with Lisa Arledge Powell, president, MediaSource and Robert Mackle, director of public affairs & media relations, The Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center. How Pfizer Boosted its Brand Using an Executive Visibility Program with Andrea Rothschild and Christine Cassiano, co-founders of ARC2 Communications & Media. From Obstacles to Opportunity:  Digital Solutions for Complex Issues with Margaret Long, vice president of Government Advocacy, Astellas U.S., LLC and Margaret Shubny, executive director, Healthcare, GolinHarris.

On Friday, May 9, the conference continues with a breakfast keynote session, The New Rules of Marketing and PR with David Meerman Scott, a marketing strategist and best-selling author of nine books.

Breakout sessions for the morning include Translations vs. “Transcreations:” The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing to the Hispanic Community with Wilson Camelo, president, chief marketing officer, Camelo Communication. Fair or Foul?: Working with the FDA’s Rules for Digital Communications with Mark Senak, Eye of the FDA Blog, Fleishman-Hillard. Once Upon a Niche:  Using Storytelling to Build Online Healthcare Communities with Daniel S. Dunlop, MA, president & CEO, Jennings Health and Marie Gross, vice president, business development, Signature Healthcare.

Friday’s lunch program will be, The Future of News, with Mark Little, founder and CEO of Storyful, a social news agency. Afternoon breakout sessions will include, Using an Integrated PESO Strategy to End the Medical Cost Blame Game with David Kochman, communications director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC and Kelly Calabria, senior vice president, group director, Capstrat.  Influence the Agenda:  Aligning Health Care Trends to Leverage Though Leadership with Sherry Sanderford, communications director, Aetna and Brian Parrish, executive vice president and principal, Dodge Communications. Health Care Crisis Communications in a Digital Age with Andrew D. Gilman, president & CEO, CommCore Consulting Group and Roger Conner, president, Conner Communications.

So as you can see, we have an excellent line-up and a full agenda. Register by April 8 and save $100 at www.prsa.org/haconference