Reviews Press

Publish and be pampered

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7410.348 (Published 07 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:348
  1. Caroline White, freelance medical journalist
  1. London

    How freelance health journalists are under increased pressure from PR firms

    A“message” reported in the news media is eight times more likely to be trusted than an advertisement, according to a survey of 850 US and European opinion leaders, published earlier this year. An article in a news magazine is 10 times more likely to be trusted than a product advertisement, the survey, Building Trust, by public relations giant Edelman, showed (/www.edelman.com/

    Credibility depends on repeated exposure to the message, the survey indicated. No surprise, then, that the pharmaceutical industry, and nutriceutical and lifestyle product manufacturers court health journalists as eagerly as they do doctors. This courtship is not restricted to journalists writing for specialist medical publications; consumer media are also on the agenda.

    And there's a lot more of it on the way. “Health is a growth area for PR,” says Ann Mealor, …

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