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MMC Helps Depend Brand Raise Underwareness

A010_C011_07104S 0000965Image courtesy of Depend

One in four Americans* experience bladder leakage. Depend brand launched “Drop Your Pants for Underwareness,” its largest effort to date to help break down the stigma of the issue and support the millions of people who have it.

To help raise Underwareness, MMC and Depend scored two discussions about the campaign on the TODAY Show in less than a week. TODAY Show’s Willie Geist sent out this tweet, which led to the first segment and social posts from the show on Twitter and Facebook.  Kathie Lee Gifford discussed the campaign with co-host Hoda Kotb a few days later.

The Depend brand continued to ignite the movement with Drop Your Pants and Dance for Underwareness, a concert headlined by alt-dance group Capital Cities at Pier 97 in New York City. The concert attracted nearly 3,000 attendees (many of whom dropped their pants and donned Depend Underwear), including media from top entertainment and lifestyle websites such as Examiner.com Celebrity.

Finally, Depend brand partnered with celebrity talk show host and comedienne Sheryl Underwood, who has bladder leakage and wears Depend Underwear every day, to tell her personal story in an inspirational online video.  Last week, MMC coordinated a media day with Sheryl who explained why she stands up for and dropped her pants for Underwareness to top-tier outlets like Huffington Post Live, Essence magazine and Examiner.com Women’s Health, among others.

Check out the online buzz with #DropYourPants and #Underwareness and visit www.underwareness.com for more information.

*between the ages of 20 and 85

How the #IceBucketChallenge is a Game-changer for Cause Awareness

today show ice bucket challengeImage Courtesy Today.com

In the last week, chances are someone you know has dumped a bucket of ice over their head to raise awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). But a week ago you may not have even known what ALS was. This viral initiative has dared hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions — of regular folks as well as many high profile people like Mark Zuckerberg, Jimmy Fallon, the entire New England Patriots football team and Ethel Kennedy to douse themselves with ice water and generated millions of media impressions. Coverage has included leading broadcast and online outlets – even a live on-air accepted challenge from The TODAY Show’s Matt Lauer.

The #IceBucketChallenge was not propelled into the spotlight with the help of a recognizable pharmaceutical company or celebrity endorsement. Rather, the celebrity falls to regular people and patients like 29-year-old Pete Frates, who set the wheels in motion with his own challenge to a few friends and favorite athletes. The rest is history (or on your Facebook newsfeed).

This movement is not without controversy; with many questioning whether participants are only accepting the challenge to be part of the trend. The true test of the #IceBucketChallenge and viral campaigns like it is whether it can span beyond raising awareness and convert social posts to dollar signs for research and truly #StrikeOutALS. According to a recent interview with PRWeek, there have been a flood of donations to ALSA.org, with $5.7M being raised in the last two weeks alone.

Campaigns like this provide inspiration for other diseases that lack a recognizable celebrity advocate, including multiple sclerosis, lupus and mental illnesses. Parkinson ’s disease, for example, has benefitted from high awareness and research funding because of Michael J. Fox’s goal of eliminating the disease “in our lifetime.” The #IceBucketChallenge proved that you don’t need a recognizable face to attract awareness and funding. You just need a great idea that goes viral. #nopressure.

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Andrea Fassacesia named to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40

Andrea Fassacesia photo

MMC is delighted to announce that Andrea Fassacesia, MMC’s Senior Vice President, HWB Media Specialist, has been named to the PRWeek 40 Under 40.  Andrea joins an elite group of dynamic individuals under the age of 40 who are leading the charge for the next generation of communicators. She will be honored at a PRWeek dinner on September 16th.

Andrea, who joined MMC last year as a vice president, was selected for her understanding of what it takes to craft a “must cover” healthcare story and deliver clients’ messaging in top-tier media.  She credits her background in account management to helping her understand overall client business goals, placing them at higher priority than her relationships with top-tier media. “If I feel a story angle isn’t newsworthy,” she says, “I always find ways to re-shape it. Clients and the account team should never have to ask me how to reshape a story; I always want to have the answer before they ask.” Andrea has also been a key player on many MMC Health & Well-Being new business pitch teams, including two in the last week.

This is the second year in a row that an MMC staffer has been selected for this award.  Last year, Samara Finn, SVP of social media strategy, was honored for her expertise in harnessing the power of online influencers for MMC clients.

Leaked Info from Google Confirms Earned Media’s Impact on Search Rankings

googleSEO (2)Image Courtesy of Google

In response to a recent patent filing by Google, a number of online influencers (okay, Search-nerds!) are talking about something we already knew: earned media has a definite impact on organic search rankings.

Like most platform-owners, Google is usually tight-lipped when it comes to the inner mechanics of their algorithm. In the filing, however, a bit of the mystery is revealed: not unlike Facebook, their engine favors high- over low-quality sites. Anytime a brand (or company) is featured in a story on high-quality site, Google counts it as an “implied link.” The more links, the better the ranking.

Reacting to what many are calling an “inadvertent leak,” one watcher stated that “this single-handedly validates all of the PR that you’ve generated for your brand, all of the mentions and citations that you’ve accrued through hard work, great products and reputation, and effective public relations, even if you didn’t necessarily get an explicit link in the coverage.”

In short, PR is the new SEO.

So, if Google views media placements as “implied links,” how do we know whether or not the mentions we’ve secured through “earned” are having an impact? For site owners, there are number of tools that can provide the answer, the simplest (and most common) of which is Google Analytics.

If you’d like to see how many links point to a particular website, or if you’d just like to give Google’s algorithm a kick, try this hack: enter “links:www.sitename.com” into the search bar (minus the quotes, and obviously more descriptive than “site name”) and hit enter.

Vine Introduces Vine Messages

WINEImage Courtesy of Vine

In case you missed it, Vine has just pushed a rather interesting update that introduces a new feature – Vine Messages – to their platform.

In a nutshell, Vine Messages (or VMs) enables video conversations – one-to-one or one-to-many – with other Vine users. The option can be found in the app’s navigation menu: to send a VM, simply go to the “Messages” screen or tap the “Message” button on a user profile – it’s that simple.

Now here’s where it gets interesting…

VMs aren’t limited to one’s Vine contacts: anyone can send a VM to anyone via email or SMS, even if they’re not part of the Vine community. Seems like an interesting way to engage our followers, crowdsource feedback, invite non-Vine users to connect, etc.

On the flip-side, having the service “open to all” could have darker implications… something to keep an eye on for sure.

Marina Maher Communications (MMC), Ketchum Sports Entertainment (KSE) and Client Procter & Gamble Celebrate Moms and Families of Olympians at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

olympics

During the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, MMC and KSE joined Procter & Gamble, a Worldwide Olympic Partner, in welcoming moms and families of Olympians to the P&G Family Home. The P&G Family Home, the heart of the Thank You, Mom program, honored the role moms play in helping their kids achieve their dreams. To celebrate this important role, brands like Pantene®, Gillette®, Bounty® and Olay® helped serve 11,500 total guests from all over the world, every day of the Games.

From Opening to Closing Ceremonies, MMC and KSE were on site promoting the P&G Family Home via celebratory events with Olympians and their moms like Gold Medalist and Vicks ambassador Ted Ligety, Gold Medalist and Olay ambassador Jamie Anderson and Gold Medalists and Puffs ambassadors Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Placements to date for the P&G Family Home include World News with Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America and E! News.

Additionally, MMC and KSE supported the debut of “Tough Love,” P&G’s first spot created specifically for the Paralympics to continue to raise awareness for the event and the Paralympians who are among the most inspiring athletes in the world.  The coverage has included Mashable, Huffington Post and GMA Live.

For more videos on how the P&G Family Home served as a home away from home for Olympians, moms and families, visit RaisingAnOlympianFilms.com.

From Inside The ePharma Summit: Wearables

This year’s ePharma Summit continued to bring out the best and brightest of the industry to share successes, exchange best practices, and talk about some of the new opportunities that exist where the worlds of digital and healthcare meet.

An exciting technology that presents lots of opportunity for Pharma is wearables. These devices, which range from the almost ubiquitous FitBit, Jawbone, and Nike Fuelband, all the way to Google Glass and the Google contact lens that can detect glucose levels in tears, have been around for a few years, but are really starting to become more mainstream. They were all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show, too. Wearables are turning people into data centers, with a constant stream of information generated daily. Pharma is in a unique position to help make that data meaningful for patients, doctors and research.

While the future value of wearables in healthcare are yet to be fully realized, ZocDoc took a stab at predicting the future:

Wearable tech – An infographic by the team at ZocDoc

At the ePharma Summit there was lots of speculation about the use of wearables– and the data they generate– in health management, adherence, insurance and treatment. While the verdict is out on how to capitalize on this data and technology, this is an area that MMC, and all of Pharma, is going to be following closely. It represents an area for the courageous Pharma executive to lead.

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