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Healthcare

Illinois Like, Totally Hired The Onion to Promote Obamacare Enrollment

onion

No, that’s not a lame joke headline, but it does concern an interesting media strategy: Get Covered Illinois, the organization in charge of that state’s new insurance exchange, will run sponsored content produced by The Onion in the lead-up to the exchange’s March 31 enrollment deadline.

The campaign will include “online banner ads, a video, an editorial and a custom news section” complete with expected zingers like “Recently Insured Man Can’t Wait To Get Out There, Start Seriously Injuring Himself” and this one:

onion_adsPretty good content marketing case study. But will it work?

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Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

CVS Quits Smoking, Gets Defensive About It

16601_10152165436598116_438158652_nThis morning’s biggest CSR news comes via the country’s largest pharmacy chain. As announced in this press release, CVS Caremark will stop selling all tobacco products at its more than 6,000 U.S. locations on October 1st, 2014.

The change comes in the wake of a January surgeon general’s report, which arrived exactly 50 years after the first and tied smoking even more directly to diseases like diabetes, colon cancer and erectile dysfunction (eek). The company spun it as a way of aligning its services and interests, which include public health—nice copy on the tagline, BTW. Here’s the key quote from CEO Larry J. Merlo:

 ”Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

This is a very smart move for several reasons.

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Twitter Is Your New Healthcare Customer Service Line

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Have a great day—and don’t forget to @ us when you tell your 235 followers how much we suck!

The fact that many brands use Twitter for customer service is nothing new; we covered a few of the best feeds last year, and many of them were created strictly to engage with customers. If you check out our listicle you’ll notice that most of the ones we included were consumer brands like Nike, Xbox, Amazon, etc.

But today ProPublica posted a must-read story on how Twitter became the new go-to customer service tool for the healthcare industry—and we thought it worthy of debate.

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Hospital ER Nurses Knew This Was Going to Happen Someday

ER wait times

Um, Healthcare? Pick up the white courtesy phone.

Every had a terrible accident, or have a loved one call in the middle of the night with some horrifying news, and you had to rush over to the nearest hospital?

Almost every time this happens: people have to wait in the ER for hours.

Ofttimes, this wait makes what airplanes do on the tarmac while your smartphone battery depletes to nothing seem quick. The wait is awful. Sitting there with uncertainty about what lies ahead. No one seems to really care because you may as well be known as “number 84.” And from your perspective, there seems to no rush.

Surely, someone has said fuming with frustration, “This wait is killing me!” Whelp, it finally did… 

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Wolverine Posts A Skin Cancer Prevention Message to Instagram

hugh jackman cancerCampaigns that build awareness about prevention and research into a disease are usually elaborate and loud. And rightfully so. A good cause deserves lots of attention.

The pink ribbons that mark the fight against breast cancer are ubiquitous and, at this point, known by everyone. The yellow bands of the Livestrong organization not only drive support for the organization’s cause, but have become something of a fashion statement. And even without Jerry Lewis, the annual telethon to raise money to fight muscular dystrophy raised $61.5 million over Labor Day.

But perhaps all it takes is an Instagram from a superhero to spread the word.

Hugh Jackman, aka Wolverine aka yesssss, posted a photo with a bandage on his nose explaining that his wife Deb told him to get a spot checked. It turns out that it was basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer.

“Please don’t be foolish like me. Get yourself checked. And USE sunscreen!!!” he wrote in the accompanying note.

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And Now Obamacare is to Blame for Bad Driving

DOT_message“The scourge of healthcare,” “A death spiral for all Americans,” “The beginning of the end” and “Socialism’s entry into the USA.”

These have been in the news as lovingly euphemisms for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.” It’s no secret the name, the idea and even the damn website isn’t exactly winning the White House many brownie points with the voting public.

And with this report via Forbes from the Manhattan Institute, we have another reason why people hate it: “In the average state, Obamacare will increase underlying premiums by 41 percent.” Makes so mad you could run someone off the road, huh?

Whelp, funny you say that…

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Pepto Bismol Tweet Proves to be a Runny Decision

peptobismolSocial media policies are a real thing. At least, they should be when it comes to large corporations. Content strategy, link building, hashtags and trends. And then there’s that whole proofreading thing.

Research for sources should be three-deep. Mandatory. Editing shouldn’t be any different.

You are not perfect. I’m not perfect. In fact, by the the time you read the end of this sentence, you will release your brain read over a second the. (See what I did there?) Every once in a while, you’ll find a brand that isn’t familiar with the snarky side of social media wants to flex its skills and take them out for a spin.

Enter into the fray, Pepto Bismol?

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Suzanne Somers Didn’t Fact Check Her WSJ Healthcare Op-Ed

"Sex And The City 2" New York Premiere - ArrivalsBlog world secret: typos are not a huge deal; we make like five of them every day. Errors in a high-profile guest article, however, will seriously damage your credibility. This week Chrissy from Three’s Company took a break from bragging about how many times she has sex with her 77-year-old husband every day to write an anti-ObamaCare piece for the Wall Street Journal‘s new “experts” feature under the super-scary headline “The Affordable Care Act Is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme.

She made the usual arguments about how this convoluted attempt to make healthcare more accessible would limit consumer choice and lead to dependence on the state before dropping two quotes that somehow escaped her editors:

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 10.02.48 AM

“Widely disputed” means the first quote has been used and corrected repeatedly over the past 60 years.

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POLL: Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana for First Time in U.S. History

To paraphrase an old folk song from the 60s: “The times they are a’ baking.” It’s no secret that this country is getting more liberal with its collective ideology. That’s not to say ACLU-card carrying “bleeding hearts,” hyper-political folk. The word technically refers to people who are not necessarily opposed to new ideas or ways of behaving that are not traditional or widely accepted.

Take this latest Gallup poll as Exhibit A:

Gallup Poll

Since the 60s, when America was puff-puff-passing more than most, to now, that “liberalism” of thinking has become more pervasive than ever before. And now, as Gallup notes, more than 58 percent of America is now down with buying a bong and keeping it watered-down.

Why?

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It’s Damage Control Time for the ObamaCare Launch

HHS_HealthCare_MOBILE_BILLBOARDYou might have missed this story amidst the embarrassing failure of the “destroy the government” movement, but there have been quite a few technical glitches related to Healthcare.gov, the homepage of the only government program that could ever possibly be “worse than slavery” (these folks with their messaging). So yesterday the team that created the very thing those guys hate most decided to start cleaning up after their own embarrassing failure.

A report from the Washington Times asserts that, among other things, federal officials only tested the site for four to six days when they should have done so for four to six months—and that organizational failures left many anxious Americans unable to register for insurance on Healthcare.gov.

In a formal blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services responded by admitting that “The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people” thanks to error messages, slow-loading pages, and all the things that you’d expect from a dial-up Yahoo account circa 1998. The post highlights elements of the “product” that are working, notes improvements and promises that a coming “tech surge” will help everyone use that site as it was meant to be used.

Obama probably could have written the post himself if he weren’t busy giving a speech to the press today in order to defend and explain his signature project for the millionth time: he said that there’s “no sugar-coating“ the “unacceptable” tech issues, so someone’s been listening. Then this happened:

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