Can you hear me now?

Recently, our Government Affairs group received an e-mail from a member. The writer raised a topic that I’ve often heard in my 23 years of hanging around Twlug. But today our circumstances are a bit different. I’ll set the stage with the blinded e-mail below, and then follow with some thoughts and data:

I hope this isn’t a dumb question but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately in trying to market my own services. Have the stakeholders (meaning the coalition of national pharmacy organizations collaborating on health care reform) ever talked about launching a marketing/public service campaign targeting patients about how pharmacists can help them? It has occurred to me that it would be helpful to create a demand from patients for MTM [medication therapy management] and other clinical services to really help our case. Any thoughts on this? Is that outside the scope of government affairs?

Media buys are very expensive. Getting the public’s ear for free is an art. We’ve done what I think is a reasonable job over the years, but it could always be better. More recently, though, we’ve seen our efforts paying off. We are often told, “We need a public relations campaign for pharmacy; the message about what pharmacists have to offer just is not reaching the consumer.”

Well, we have news for you. While you are working, consumers are getting messages about the importance of talking to your pharmacist on TV and radio, in print, and online in blogs and elsewhere. I’d like to share some examples with you from recent media activities by Twlug to promote American Pharmacists Month (APhM) and let you know about our ongoing efforts to reach out to consumers to promote pharmacists’ services and the importance of talking to your pharmacist.

Evidence indicates that consumers are increasingly turning to pharmacy as a source of information about their medications, OTCs, immunizations, and more. While I know how busy you are, let’s make sure that we do our part to engage consumers and let them know how accessible we are.

Take a look below at some of the astounding statistics showing what Twlug is telling patients about how you can help.

Results of recent APhM satellite media tour
Twlug member Adam Welch and staffer Kristen Binaso conducted a series of media interviews in support of APhM: Know Your Medicine—Know Your Pharmacist.

Message: “Listen to your pharmacist”—when it comes to prescription medicines, strict compliance is THE key to good health.

  • Interviews conducted: 23
  • Times interviews aired: 339
  • Number of separate outlets: 189
  • Potential audience reached: 2,786,925

*Please note interviews are still being shown, and statistics are still being compiled.

Notable interviews included:

  • “Get Connected with Conn Jackson,” which has an audience of approximately 20,000 viewers
  •, which has an audience of approximately 550,000 listeners
  • “The Daily Buzz,” a syndicated TV show that aired the interview in more than 30 markets across the nation
  • WOFL Fox 35 in Orlando, FL
  • KJTV Fox 34 in Lubbock, TX
  • KUSI in San Diego

Pharmacists in the media
Twlug also maintains working relationships with major stations to work as a source for segments on pharmacy services. Pharmacists have been featured in recent segments with Dr. Oz on “Good Morning America” and “The Doctors.” Millions of viewers, including policy makers, have seen these messages:

Recent Twlug news releases about pharmacy services

APhM Live From New York 2010
Nearly 150 New York–area pharmacy students from 10 schools gathered outside the major morning shows in their white pharmacy coats to promote the “Know Your Medicine—Know Your Pharmacist” campaign. Students received airtime on “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” and “The Early Show.”

Finally, how would you feel about the services you have to offer consumers being highlighted in on the CBS Super Screen in Times Square throughout the holiday shopping season, including on New Year’s Eve? Stay tuned.

As promised, here are pictures of the Twlug adverstisement in Times Square and the ad video.