Insights & News

PRSA Health Academy Conference: Wrap Post

BRG had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the recent PRSA Health Academy Conference here in Washington D.C. It was an engaging conference with compelling speakers and a passionate high-energy group of attendees. All in attendance shared interest in communications that increase awareness of important health issues, and positively and impact everyday choices people make in the name of health and wellness. The interactive presentations were diverse and far-reaching including organizations like the American Cancer Society, CDC, and Aetna.

Senior Vice President for BRG Communications, Laurie Mobley, spoke about BRG’s award-winning campaign, “Arrest The Risk” at the conference. She shared some highlights from her speakership, as well as some standout sessions from the conference.

What did you speak about in your session, Arrest the Risk: Reaching African-Americans About a Deadly Heart Condition?

Laurie: I shared how BRG helped the Heart Rhythm Society deliver Communications For Better Living® through an award winning awareness campaign, “Arrest the Risk,” which educated African-Americans, an at-risk community, about sudden cardiac arrest. I walked through some key insights including the importance of grounding a campaign in new data, selecting partners and spokespeople with a personal passion for the issue, and developing a customized market-by-market approach for grassroots outreach based on reaching at-risk patients in each city. I enjoyed the opportunity to answer questions ranging from selecting a partner, timing for research and campaign rollout, and engaging members and other audiences. The topic seemed to resonate with a broad range of communicators working at professional member organizations, pharmaceuticals, advocacy groups and hospital systems.

What were your favorite sessions from the conference?

Laurie: There were many stand-out sessions from the conference including those from Storyful, American Cancer Society, and Aetna.

Storyful’s impactful presentation showed the multiple ways their team is helping news organizations shift through the huge volume of user-generated content to select the best visuals to further the news in real-time. The presentation really got people talking about the best ways to use user-generated content to support health causes and also show the human element around the patients that are impacted by healthcare discoveries every day.

American Cancer Society shared the behind the scenes process and strategy behind turning the American Cancer Society’s 100th Birthday into an opportunity to rally people around a campaign aimed at finishing the fight against cancer, increasing their relevance among consumers. You can see the video here:

At the end of her presentation, Angela Hayes even got a room of us on our feet to do the American Cancer Society Fight Back Line Dance to honor anyone fighting or supporting the fight against cancer. Learn the dance!

Finally, Sherry Sanderford from Aetna shared Aetna’s best practices for communicating thought leadership around accountable care partnerships against the ever-changing healthcare landscape, including educating media on the issues in real-time.

What, in your opinion, was the greatest value in the PRSA Health Academy Conference?

Laurie: PRSA Health Academy was a great opportunity to connect and collaborate with a cross-section of likeminded healthcare communications professionals working to find the best elements to further awareness and increase action around causes that help people live their best lives.

We’re looking forward to the PRSA Health Academy, returning on May 13-15 in Cleveland, Ohio.

BRG encourages all public relations professionals with a focus on healthcare to attend this worthwhile conference.