Shootout At ‘Ye Olde’ Medical Media Corral

Shootout At ‘Ye Olde’ Medical Media Corral
SHARE
THIS



Medical Observer and its iconic stable mate Australian Doctor were in shock this week after they were confronted by an old friend they thought they’d lost when they came under the one publishing house some two years ago – the anxiety and Tension of a competitor.

The launch of a vibrant new medical media group this week – complete with a colourful tabloid fortnightly newspaper  (hang on a minute, isn’t print dead or dying…are these people crazy?)  came as a surprise to many in the medical media market.  Few were more surprised than iconic weekly newspaper brands Medical Observer and Australian Doctor, both of whom now reside with one publishing company, after Cirrus Media acquired Medical Observer – until then its fiercest rival – about two years ago.

The Medical Republic Group, is the the brainchild of B&T owners and re-developers, The Misfits Media Company, which was formed  by two ex-publishers of Cirrus Media just over a year ago, after they completed a management buy-out of the B&T and Travel Weekly brands.

launch cover

Misfits CEO and B&T Editor David Hovenden said that when the idea was first put to him and his partner Dan Uglow by a colleague recently they thought it was pretty stupid.

“Healthcare is about to go through a fascinating time of change with disruption and its a reasonably big market,” Hovenden said. “But the investment to get in and make it against the likes of Cirrus, which owns two 100 pound gorilla brands and the likes of the RACGP and the AMA? We laughed it off at first”

“But we do like the concept of ‘stupid’. There’s often something big and dreamy on the other side of  the ‘stupid-brave’ divide. We changed our minds, got some friends and our bank to pitch in another mortgage or two and got started.”

That was only three months ago and this week the first issue of their fortnightly newspaper launched.

The good start might have been something to do with the team they managed to rope in. Ex Cirrus CEO and  Australian Doctor and New Scientist publisher, Jeremy Knibbs;  Dr Kerri Parnell, one of Australian Doctor‘s longest serving editors; academic, activist and emergency doctor, Dr Ursula King; Frazer MacKenzie-Andrew, well known past sales and marketing manager from Medical Observer and a cast of medical editors and journos from the likes of The Medical Journal of Australia, Sydney University, We Are Social (the global social analytics agency), even Southern Cross Austereo – which is where their digital director came from.

“Its a very creative and passionate group and they already love it,” said Hovenden. “We’re coming in hot with passion, purpose and a creative new approach. Our print is spectacular and different, our digital is shiny and new and device agnostic and we’re focussing on doctors who are in the growth phase of their careers in a digital era.”

Editor-in-Chief, Dr Kerri Parnell said she felt a little nervous when she was first asked because she wasn’t sure that there was a strong enough reason to add more reading to the in-trays and mobiles of already time-starved doctors.

“GPs usually have about five balls in the air, and sometimes a few chainsaws and a fire torch as well. On a quiet day. We needed a good reason to be doing this and a good way in. But I soon realised that this venture was firmly looking to the future. That it would be engaging and enabling doctors to meet the very real challenges of digital disruption, a failing and disconnected healthcare system, incorrect incentives for quality care and wasteful state-federal face-offs.”

“We believe the health of Australians can be enhanced by better supported and connected primary care, patient empowerment, shared decision making, enriched continuing education and seamless information sharing across the entire health system. ”

Publisher Jeremy Knibbs thinks there isn’t a better time to get back into the medical media sector. “Digital disruption has hardly hit medicine, but it’s about to through things like cloud based scriptwriters, ingestible sensors and the like. The opportunity such change provides is to significantly improve the working lives of GPs, especially the generation who frame their lives around mobile and social. GPs are the most efficient component of our healthcare system today, despite the challenges of being  generalists in the information age, and they will need to be in the future if the system is to retain its integrity. We’re here to facilitate that with a fresh approach”.

Why print then?

Knibbs quotes two reasons: “It’s overly simplistic and sometimes misleading to clients to say print is a dead duck. Its not what it was certainly and its not for some markets. You  should always look carefully at how your audience is changing its information consumption and adapt. But I don’t think you could say that New ScientistMonocleThe Economist , The Atlantic and VICE are bad businesses because they have strong print components. We love those businesses. They are creative and tap into their audience’s souls. Print can be very soulful if engineered for the times.  On top of this we have a luxury in medical media in that print readership is extremely high and remains so, even among young readers.”

“Cirrus has dropped readership on their papers a lot this year but only because they’ve ignored and starved them, not because print is declining. It’s a mistake. Print is still very effective in this market if done the right way.”

But Knibbs sees digital  as the group’s engagement, growth and innovation engine. The group has spent a lot of time thinking about its evolving digital presence. To start we have a relatively simple but shiny mobile-first offering. We are only at beta today. But we are building a social analytics back end with We Are Social which we’ll switch on when the traffic and data starts to flow and we’ve tested properly.”

Until now doctors have been slow to adopt digital at work because they’ve been tied to their desks by their  scriptwriters and the healthcare sector worries obsessively (and necessarily) about  privacy, regulation and data. “But that’s all about to change,” said Knibbs. “Highly secure cloud systems are here. Doctors are going mobile with patient management. Digital tech is going to meet bio-tech in the middle. When this happens none of us – patients or doctors – will know ourselves. Its going to be a wild and fun ride.”

 

 

Latest News

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage
  • Advertising
  • Media

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage

If you mistakenly thought this was an interview with Kojak's Telly Savalas, as it turns out, it's even better than that.

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand
  • Marketing

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand

Didn't much fancy that Telstra story above? Well, perhaps B&T could tempt you with this tasty Optus tickler instead.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018
  • Media

AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018

AKQA R&D in collaboration with Google has developed a process called Somesthetic Transfer. It uses machine learning to take both the style and texture of an artwork and apply it to another image to be 3D printed with a UV printer. The works will be displayed at Semi Permanent 2018 in Sydney from Thursday 24 […]

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid
  • Marketing
  • Media

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid

Design students from Torrens University’s Billy Blue College of Design have partnered with WPP AUNZ’s Health & Wellness division to decode clinical data on ‘Medicinal Marijuana in the Treatment of Epilepsy’. Their creative solutions will be presented at a Vivid Ideas Exchange titled ‘Design can save your life: how can creativity improve comprehension of health data?’ […]

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals

If you read one diversity case study on B&T today, make it this one. Not that there's any others to choose from, really.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor
  • Marketing

Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor

B&T was going to insert a homage to Sherbert's classic "Howzat" here before realising it was naff and showed our age.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account
  • Media

PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account

ICYMI, PHD has FTW the HSBC business IRL. It's not so much a LOL or NSFW, but a TL;DR. Ahh, forget the whole thing.

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition
  • Media

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition

Customer experience (CX) intelligence platform, InMoment, has expanded into Australia and New Zealand with the acquisition of customer experience agency, brandXP and appointment of Claire Fastier as its APAC business head.

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now
  • Opinion

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now

In this opinion piece, Performics Australia performance content account director Steve Robinson (pictured below) dives into the hazy relationship between marketers and voice-activated technology. From settling family disputes, (“Hey Google, are fossil fuels really made from dinosaur bones?”) to running a household, (“OK Google, add toothpaste to my shopping list”), voice-activated systems are becoming more […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance
  • Advertising
  • Media

SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance

Video advertising and monetisation platform SpotX has announced the launch of an online resource library for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The library can be found on the company’s website and is part of a wider educational initiative by SpotX – which is headquartered in the US and has an office in […]

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert
  • Marketing

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert

Integrated communications firm Daylight Agency has cemented its presence in the government and political arena with the appointment of industry veteran David Begg. A practising solicitor for over 28 years, Begg (pictured above) will head up the agency’s new government division. He has extensive experience working with large commercial clients on high-profile regulatory and legal […]

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland
  • Marketing

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland

Frost Design has shown off its comprehensive rebrand of iconic Australian infrastructure and property business John Holland, based around the brand idea of ‘Transforming Lives’. John Holland CEO Joe Barr said Frost was the only branding business who understood that the impact of the rebrand was just as important internally as it would be externally, […]

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston

We've got an absolute cracking Women in Media profile today. Not to say it's approved by the Chiropractors' Association.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Dance Together at the Presidents Ball
  • Media

Netflix Secures Producer Deal With The Obamas

It seems former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama aren’t quite done with the international spotlight just yet. The Obamas have officially signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will see the power couple producing films and series with the streaming giant. According to Netflix, “The Obamas will produce a diverse […]

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad
  • Opinion

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad

One need only view our editor's hot pink leg warmers today to realise he's neither fad nor trend.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content
  • Opinion

Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content

And why is B&T running a photo of an engaged couple for this content engagement article? It was either that or a carrot.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles
  • Media

Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles

Fairfax Media has today announced the recruitment of 20 trainee journalists to join the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday. This represents one of Metro’s largest trainee intakes in years and underlines the commitment of the mastheads to fostering a new generation […]

Sydney Australia - November 7, 2011. An extreme close up of an American express card issued by the Australian bank Westpac.
  • Media

AMEX Launches Global Media Review

Are there not enough hours in the day? Are you cheek-by-jowl with your co-workers? Well, hopefully you won't win this.

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic

Sydney Water has pioneered a way to create records from marine plastics and, in doing so, encourage more people to join the movement of local clean-up groups rolling up their sleeves every weekend to clean plastics, litter and other pollutants from the city’s beaches and waterways. Plastics are collected by volunteers, then cut in pieces […]

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing

Aussie credit card comparison site Credit Card Compare has announced the appointment of Caroline Raffan as its inaugural head of marketing. Raffan (pictured above) has over 10 years’ experience in brand strategy, campaign development, digital marketing, events, public relations, content creation, market research, advertising, stakeholder management, social media marketing, and project management. She joins Credit […]

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine

In this opinion piece, Phil Murrell (pictured below), country manager for Australia and New Zealand at Sizmek, argues that programmatic ad spend needs to move up the branding funnel. When I started in digital advertising way back in 2004, we got our media insertion orders via the fax machine. We relied on that machine to […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis
  • Media

An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis

Whoops! B&T's stuffed up and this certainly comes with our sincerest apologies for any offence caused.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adland Execs To Be Locked Up
  • Media

Adland Execs To Be Locked Up

Continuing adland's fascination with prison when it comes to charitable causes comes this latest trip to the slammer.

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners

Now in its second year, the Australian Directors’ Guild’s (ADG) Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship program announced its next round of eight mentoree recipients. The winners were announced at a special event held last night at FINCH, Sydney and attended by members of the screen and advertising industries. Acclaimed director, and ADG President, Samantha Lang, […]