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Healthcare communications to journalists “on life support”

Only 2% of journalists surveyed find information provided by pharma 'trustworthy'

pharma med comms journalists

Journalists are unhappy with the information they receive from health communications agencies and the pharmaceutical industry, with 85% of journalists claiming that the industry is “out of shape” or “on life support”.

A survey conducted by digital communications group ISEBOX has revealed that journalists are unhappy with the information they receive from health communications and pharma groups, with 85% of journalists claiming that the industry is “out of shape” or “on life support”.

A survey of 166 health journalists across the UK and US by digital communications group ISEBOX assessed the value of information provided by pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

Only 2% of journalists found press releases and other information provided by pharmaceutical and healthcare companies 'trustworthy', with 16% of journalists saying that they do not trust the information at all and almost half (48%) only somewhat trust it.

“Journalists still need newsworthy, simple, clear content relevant to their outlet whether that is traditional print media, web, radio, TV or social media,” said health journalist and media communications consultant, Jo Willey.

“Over-complication or irrelevant content opens up the possibility of miscommunication, something which could be far more damaging,” she said.

However, some 36% of those questioned said regulation restrictions on communicating industry news are in the best interests of the consumer.

Willey added: “Regulations are welcome and necessary, however, care must be taken that these regulations - or the fear of breaching them - do not prevent pharmaceutical companies from effectively communicating accurate, creative content.”

The survey also found that half (50%) said they never visit the newsrooms of pharma companies, with almost a quarter (22%) calling them 'unsatisfactory' and two thirds (64%) saying there is “room for improvement” when it comes to the information provided.

Marc de Leuw, chief executive officer of ISEBOX, said: “Healthcare communications is clearly a balancing act between the governance placed on drug companies and a press eager for transparency and meaningful content.

“It’s in the interest of both parties to enter a more open dialogue to raise the bar on effective information of exchange.”

Article by
Gemma Jones

26th June 2017

From: Marketing

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