Staying in the Industry Loop – How to Keep up to Date with the Latest News in Medical Communications

Medical communications is an incredibly busy industry. Blink for too long and you’re sure to miss some ground-breaking innovation or recent development in the world of new drugs and products. Whole agencies will appear out of nowhere and flourish into industry leaders without you realising if you stop paying attention.

When working in healthcare marketing, trying to stay on top of proceedings will always be twofold. There’s the medical side of course. If you don’t know what’s going on with your clients or their competitors they may start questioning why they got you involved in the first place.

Then there is marketing. In which there are the two adages in direct conflict with one another ‘you can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s tool and still be in business tomorrow’ and ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’ It can sometimes be a fine line between innovative progress and disaster. Keeping abreast of what works and what doesn’t is key to finding new routes to successful creating a marketing campaign.

Fortunately we have a few tips for both online and offline to keep you in the know…


The interwebs has proved to be something of a game changer when it comes to gleaning information from around the globe. There are plenty of sites overflowing with the latest news in not only the pharmaceutical industry and medical world in general but also about healthcare agencies and their specific ins and outs.

Along with these, a good place to start is the news. What better way to keep your finger on the pulse than to know what’s going on in the world in general? If you commute to work by train you can always use the time to browse the headlines and top stories via your news provider of choice e.g. the BBC News app.


The handiest collection I know of topical information regarding pharmaceutical companies along with the inside scoop on medical communications agencies. They regularly post the newest appointments, press releases and job vacancy listings (just in case that happens to be something you’re interested in). Not to mention they have their own dedicated awards ceremony that recognises excellence within the healthcare communications industry!

MM&M and The Drum

The former is pitched specifically at healthcare marketers in a handy blend of subject matter albeit with something of a US focus. I’ve already managed to glean plenty of new facts from their informative pieces. For instance, did you know that the leukaemia drug Imbruvica courtesy of Johnson & Johnson and AbbVie was rejected over its price (a staggering $78,000)?

The latter is a chance to branch out and learn from what’s going on in other marketing specialties with the occasional healthcare story mixed in. While medical communications is a more heavily regulated market than more generalist agencies these news items can always serve as inspiration or a jumping off point for your latest project. Not to mention they provide helpful articles on the latest developments and changes within social networks, content hosting platforms and google to help you keep ahead of the game.

tabletSocial media

Of course there is also LinkedIn, it is custom designed as a professional networking site and squeezed in between the controversial maths problems and unattributed motivational quotes, you’ll often find interesting news and features and the occasional link to a very insightful blog *cough cough* along with updates from connections and companies from within your network, so make sure you follow any big medcomms agencies and pharma companies! Not to mention the odd marketing community.

And it doesn’t stop there, Twitter will remain my first stop when I have an idle five minutes and fancy finding out new things about the industry I recruit for. A quick stroll through my news feed presents me with bandanas donned by Aurora in support of @BrainTumourOrg, news about an early stage trial for a children’s neurodegenerative disease therapy showing positive results and a story about the world’s first computer-composed musical. It’s an eclectic mix, but it can be further refined by using hashtags related to your interests such as #MedComms or #PharmaMarketing. Our very own Kat McCarthy scours the internet for diverting and pertinent factoids to post on our Twitter account: @MedCommsPro.


Of course you can also check the newspapers and particular magazines for the latest medical news, although this can be a little ambiguous and less focused compared to a web search.

But even more important than any number of hours spent online is face to face networking. Not least because you’re far less likely to fall down a Facebook/Reddit/Imgur black hole of a diversion. But also because there can be glorious tea or similar hot beverages involved. A two hour chat in a coffee shop with an industry contact might not feel like constructive work to keep you on top of your sector but you might be surprised how much you’ll pick up. New ideas will spark with a sounding board in place and you’re developing a relationship which may well prove invaluable. Starbucks anyone?

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