What Music Taught Me about Healthcare Communications

Posted by: in Healthcare Insights on June 29, 2011

Listening to music on my iPhone on the way to dinner Saturday night (Corner Bistro, hamburgers, yummy, sorry to digress), I realized the way I experience music has evolved drastically since I was a teenager. Then, I held new CDs in my hand, anxiously ripping apart the packaging and listening to the album in my room from start to finish as I looked at nothing more than the artwork. Now, I’m skipping songs after 30 seconds while checking e-mail and playing Angry Birds.

I realized all this while reading a great article by John Pareles, music critic for The New York Times, about how the music industry and consumers have changed in this ever-digital age, as music moved from records to mp3 players and now away from Earth and to the “cloud.” Much of Pareles’s article focused on these cloud services and companies that offer online storage for your music collection, making entire song catalogs available from any device with an internet connection.

Pareles writes that when the musician Bjorck releases her next album, every track (every track!) will have a smartphone app. Bjork herself says that she aims for the songs “to be a spatial experience, where you can play with lightning or crystal or the full moon and the song changes.” It certainly seems the days of sitting in your room, listening to music, are gone, and musicians have to do more and more to break through the infinite quantities of music available on the web.

So what does this have to do with health? In my view, as communicators, we need to help our clients change the way they create content. Just as consumers aren’t playing records end to end, patients and other audiences seeking healthcare information aren’t satisfied to get that information from one source or channel. And I’d bet that while they’re seeking information on health, they have a multitude of other things competing for their attention. Case in point: a fascinating visual from Go-Globe.com shows that worldwide, every minute on the web:

  • Over 168 million e-mails are sent
  • Google serves nearly 700,000 search queries
  • Twitter blasts 98,000 Tweets

Our goal should be to consistently partner with clients to create content that works within regulatory frameworks but makes them experience health and knowledge in a meaningful way and across channels where important dialogue is created. It’s certainly a challenge but one I’m excited to tackle, perhaps as I skip through Bjorck songs on my iPod and send out a few e-mails.

By: Adam P. Silverstein

Adam Silverstein is an Account Director with the W2O Group.

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