By Danielle Bedard
Think pharma and health-related topics cant be fun? Think again! Just between us girls (OK, guys take note, too), humor can be an effective communication tool across a range of print and interactive media, even when the subject is serious.
A new start-up in the online health information space, ChickRx, takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to womens health issues on topics ranging from stretch marks to STDs. The 20-something Ivy League grads who founded the site capture the essence of the female perspective, avoid clinical jargon, and provide information that is useful and credible.
Young adults are often an overlooked demographic in need of some serious Rx information. According to this Pew Research report, 31% of online teens get health, dieting, or physical fitness information from the Internet. And 17% of online teens report they use the Internet to gather information about health topics that are hard to discuss with others such as drug use and sexual health topics. ChickRx tackles these topics in a way that is funny while letting people know that healthcare is no laughing matter. A dedicated panel of health experts provides insight on topics that young women care about, from gynecological health and fitness to how to squash a Diet Coke addiction.
Recognizing that humor is a magnet for young adults, as well as the gap in health information specifically aimed for this demographic, ChickRx offers a DailyCandy-meets-WebMD type of resource.
However, its not just young women that want a laugh when dealing with serious health issues. MinniePauz, a community targeting women in midlife, provides serious information about a range of topics from how to recognize the symptoms of heart attack or stroke in women to that “aha moment many women experience when they realize theyre hitting menopause. At the same time, they prove theres humor in hot flashes.
For every woman that has spent countless hours researching symptoms, these sites work because they deliver information in an easy-to-use, humorous, and relatable way. While ChickRx offers more medically focused information, both take the approach that learning about health can be entertaining.
Funny and pharma dont always go hand in hand, but sometimes laughter can be the best medicine. Expert health sites dont have to be boring to educate and inspire. Being a good listener and having a sense of humor works for most relationships.
For pharma, the challenge is incorporating humor in a way that reflects the brand voice and is synergistic with other marketing materials. However, as pharma looks to deepen relationships with patients, partners, and physicians, responding with a friendly tone and a sense of humor¢‚Ç¨”particularly online¢‚Ç¨”can be an approach that works.