Written by Anastassia Pogoutse

On November 29th, Jessica Wong from CPC Healthcare Communications visited the University of Toronto and held a brief information session on healthcare marketing. The information session, hosted by Dr. Nana Lee, Director of Graduate Professional Development, aimed to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to the world of healthcare marketing and to communicate internship and job opportunities in this field.

Marketing agencies are employed by companies and non-profit organizations alike. CPC Healthcare Communications helps companies build their brands, offering services in advertising, website design, customer relationship management, and a range of other areas.

The term “healthcare marketing” likely evokes thoughts of advertisements for pharmaceuticals. However, it is also used to encourage behavioural change, for example, in the form of antismoking campaigns. Companies involved in the healthcare industry advertise not only to medical professionals but also to patients or potential users of their products. This latter type of advertising is called “direct-to-consumer advertising”, and falls into one of two categories: branded and unbranded. Branded advertising refers to the use of a brand (usually represented by a company logo) in advertisements. According to Canadian law, branded advertisements cannot include any information about a product’s therapeutic use or benefits. On the other hand, unbranded advertisements are free to elaborate, but do not link products with any specific company. These may be produced by companies to educate the public about health conditions that can be treated by one of their products.

Jobs in healthcare marketing demand a skillset that includes excellent project and time management, scientific proficiency, and the ability to be analytical and detail-oriented. As Jessica puts it, it is “a good field for mixing science and business”. To prepare for work in this industry, she suggests gaining experience in managing events, marketing, business, blogging, and graphic design.

CPC Healthcare Communications offers internships lasting four or eight months in their Medical Writing and Account Services departments. To find out more, check out the company website at www.cpchealthcare.com.