Four Key Takeaways from #BlogHer18 Health

Co-Authored By: Samantha Bolinski, Senior Account Executive and Kate Callan, SVP, Social Strategy

We had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2018 BlogHer conference where, for the first time, the focus was on health. Held in the uber-chic neighborhood of Tribeca, New York, the conference was swarming with women from all areas of the health and wellness online media space. The conference kicked off with a networking/cocktail hour followed by the 2018 Voices of the Year Honorees ceremony where the list of recipients included inspiring and revolutionary women such as Chelsea Clinton, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey and Tarana Burke, to name a few (ya know, NBD).

Following an epic night with several women who, quite frankly, changed the world, we were ready to tackle day two of #BlogHer18 Health! The agenda was jammed packed with sessions led by some pretty fierce, self-made influencers in the health/wellness industry, both on and offline.

Topics included personal stories from women who have overcome significant obstacles in their own lives and became advocates for others’ health, overviews of disease awareness health campaigns, engaging with and educating the media, using video and photos to enhance storytelling and how film can be a catalyst for conversations around health, to name a few.

As we reflect on BlogHer18 Health, here are our four key takeaways:

    1. Authenticity is key to engagement. Authenticity is what an audience craves because it shows vulnerability, particularly in the health industry. It’s all about being honest and true, and unapologetically you. Authenticity is what invites your audience to open up and engage via comments, liking and direct messaging. An engaged audience that connects with the true persona of an influencer or brand is more valuable than a huge audience that is not engaged. Influencers are savvy and those with a strong focus on authenticity will pull this through to the brands they chose to align with.
    2. Know your audience, and tailor content for them and each platform you use. In addition to authenticity, tailoring content based on platforms is critical in managing and maintaining a community. During BlogHer, influencers shared that their followers visit them for different things on different platforms and they tailor content to what works best for each audience. Knowing this, community managers must remember to identify the right place for the right content at the right time to be successful.
    3. Online connections are powerful ways to manage health issues. Today, communities of all types have been reliant on social media to connect with others going through similar experiences. Patient communities are looking to hear from fellow patients to help support and guide them on their health journey. While medical information from a physician cannot be replaced, online patient communities often supplement these discussions with real life experiences.
    4. “Your best idea doesn’t come to you while you’re texting.” Arianna Huffington said it best! Despite co-founding an online media group, Arianna has become an advocate for the need to unplug and destress in a world that is always connected. During her closing talk, she reminded everyone how important it is to disconnect and talk to your peers to conceptualize new ideas. Instead of emailing or texting back and forth, host a brainstorm or take a (device-free) walk. Do not neglect exercising your creative side!

For more from behind-the-scenes at #BlogHer18 Health, follow us on Instagram (@Toniclc) to view highlights from the conference floor and on Twitter (@Toniclc) to read the insights we heard throughout the day!

Lastly, huge thank you to SheKnows Media for a wonderful and educational experience!

Share a recap of our takeaways with this cool infographic. [Click to view full PDF]

Transforming into a Digital Disruptor: Lessons Learned from #MMMSkillSets Live

By: Samantha Garcia, Senior Account Executive, and Rachael Schwartz, Vice President

EHR. Biopharma. Ethnographic data. Digital disruption. These pharmaceutical marketing terms buzzed around the room during the April 12th Medical Marketing and Media Magazine (MMM) Skill Set Live event in Philadelphia. The line-up of speakers included key industry leaders like Lisa Flaiz, Group Product Director at Janssen, David Stievater, Director at Epocrates Solutions Design and Athena Health, Dr. Theodore F. Search, Founder & CEO at Skipta, and Will Reese, President and CIO at Cadient.

Kicking things off, Flaiz spoke to the importance of taking a fresh approach to innovation, viewing tech as an enabler and not a strategy unto itself, and creating valuable digital experiences for patients and doctors. “Patients aren’t going to Google or Bing just at diagnosis,” she said. “They are using search throughout their entire journey and are no longer relying solely on their health care providers for information, guidance and support.” With the knowledge that patients are going on the internet in between doctor visits and beginning their (sometimes terrifying) search of the unknown, pharma marketers have the opportunity to make their relatable information discoverable, understandable and, most importantly, accessible with the help from search engine optimization (SEO). Interestingly enough, this area of “digital” is often overlooked – a missed opportunity to the pharma marketer. Major kudos to Lisa Flaiz for opening our digital eyes to techniques that can make or break a business plan and ways to differentiate those techniques from the crowded marketplace.

Epocrates Solutions Design’s David Stievater took the podium and drove home the importance of turning a challenge into an opportunity. Audience members were highly engaged as he explained that the key to success in digital healthcare revolves around the delicate balance of the present and the future – leveraging proven digital channels to reach and engage the full market audience in cost-effective ways, while testing new strategies with the use of digital health, electronic health records (EHR) platforms and health system partnerships. From the eyes of a PR professional whose clients consist of highly-regulated pharmaceutical companies, it was intriguing to hear Stievater’s take on today’s marketing challenges and how, as an industry, we need to do a better job of fostering and inspiring innovation.

Skipta’s Theodore Search provided the audience with some key insights around the importance of a holistic approach to mastering the power of social media – a tool we use quite often at Tonic Life Communications to help our clients expand their voice.

Will Reese of Cadient brought it all together for us when he honed in on interconnected strategies that marketers can use for transforming the digital healthcare experience. He spoke about the importance of drafting the customer experience – customer satisfaction needs to be brought into the development. Putting the patient/customer first and deeply understanding behavior during the stages of business planning and development is the key to success in this industry. Hats off to Reese for a great presentation, plus this awesome closing quote: “Never forget to ask ‘what if’ and ‘how,’ otherwise you’ll never know.”

So, do you feel prepared to transform into a digital disruptor? Share your thoughts with us here or on Twitter mentioning the handle @TonicLC.  Thanks to MM&M for hosting the event and inspiring rich dialogue around a topic near and dear to us at Tonic!