The American Medical Assn. has ceased publication of its 215,000-circulation American Medical News tabloid newspaper, citing a drop in ad revenues and failure of an online version to bring in sufficient revenues.
Ronald N. Levy (Sep. 9, 2013): Doctors NEED the information so the AMA cessation creates opportunity for a healthcare company or major PR firm to hire one or two of the top editors and to do this as a monthly.
By hiring the ad sales chief, one might make the project profitable--more money than cost, plus doctor gratitude and opportunity to increase awareness of new products, trial results,
prestigious staff additions, soaring sales of something, opportunity to do articles cut down from larger ones done for professional publications, and more.
In "should we or shouldn't we" situations, legislators and political leaders would have additional incentive not to attack the publisher.
For a major PR firm moving into this niche with the two top editors
and large numbers of grateful doctors, it's an additional reason for accounts to pick this PR firm in a shootout for either the whole account or a project.
If doctors are honored with awards of excellence or are at least included on lists of great doctors, some doctors may gladly see the publisher's detail reps sooner and perhaps be more responsive to them or demand less in the way of free lunch for the office staff in return for a few minutes of listening to a pitch.
Would pharmacy chains, plus stores like Walmart and Target, not feel very warm toward the company if the publication runs not puff pieces but genuinely helpful articles from the retailers that the merchants would love presented to 250,000 doctors?
And all this for VERY little cost even on paper, even less cost if
publication is online, and perhaps a dollar profit either way. If the ads in AMA's publication have nearly all been from healthcare companies, a hefty addition to billings--perhaps more than enough to pay two top editors plus an ad manager--could come from selling ads to insurance companies, lawyers, makers of office equipment, medical societies building memberships, and other organizations to whom reaching doctors is important.
When you reach doctors with direct mail ads, it's obviously a sell, but when your message is in this kid of publication, you're surrounded by a helpful seling environment.
Knock, knock. When PR opportunity knocks, one should be not hasty to knock it.