Together for Health: MSD x PHAP’s Multisectoral Collaboration for Healthcare Progress

What It’s About

The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), in partnership with MSD in the Philippines, hosted a media enablement session titled “Together for Health”.

This engagement sought to help deepen journalists’ appreciation of relevant healthcare issues and the importance of making health topics more accessible to the broader public. 

In the Philippines, partnerships for health continue to be essential in managing ongoing challenges, anticipating and addressing health-related issues, and providing new opportunities to encourage health-seeking behaviors and contribute to the population. ‘Together for Health’ underscores the importance of multisectoral collaboration in pushing for continuous progress in healthcare during and beyond the pandemic. 

Why It Matters

Collaboration is an important step in addressing complex health issues. It is both necessary and critical, given the complexity of public health issues and the multiple stakeholders involved. 

One of the key stakeholders in the healthcare sphere is the media. They play a vital role in raising public awareness on health issues. The media possesses substantial power in setting an agenda — what we should be concerned about and take action on, and how we should frame and think about them. 

With the critical role of media in health promotion established, PHAP conducted “Together for Health,” a series of media enablement sessions which aims to deepen appreciation of journalists on complex healthcare issues and underscore the importance of making health topics more accessible to the wider public. 

To achieve this objective, the capacity-building initiative gathered renowned scientific experts, health leaders and decision-makers, and patient groups to provide insights and perspectives on the matter at hand. An interactive panel discussion also addressed the current trends, and their impact on healthcare. 

PHAP and MSD engaged public relations agency NGP-IMC to gather the media to be part of this event — driving home the point that collaboration across sectors is crucial for the impact we seek. 

This event also marks the second year that PHAP, MSD, and NGP collaborated to stage a momentous occasion. 

Together for Health Campaign Execution and Success

Objectives:

  • Together for Health aims to support growing media knowledge and understanding of critical industry hot topics related to the healthcare ecosystem and patients’ unmet needs, specifically in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region; 
  • The event also serves to draw attention to the inequitable access to healthcare services, and to propose solutions for them; and
  • To discuss strategic tactics for moving forward in the patient recovery period, including continuing investments in healthcare. For the media, the goal also includes improving public communications and health reporting.

Campaign Execution

NGP-IMC executed a PR plan to capture the vital essence of this event and share it with as wide an audience as possible. This meant a combination of organic and paid marketing and PR:

  • Pre-event press releases were seeded to various media, particularly major digital broadsheets. With these releases, the event was positioned as an industry-led initiative – and gathered renowned scientific experts, health leaders and decision-makers, and patient groups to provide insights and share their perspectives through an interactive health forum. 
  • The agency also invited resource speakers from the private sector and the government. More importantly, we secured the commitment of the media attendees of the enablement session. 
  • The agency also supported the program design as well as the collaterals, ensuring cohesion. 

Campaign Success

Where Together for Health year 1 saw 12 media outfits attended the media enablement session, this year saw 14 media outfits in attendance. 

Apart from resource speakers from National Government, including the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth, medical societies, and healthcare companies like Ayala Health who were all present last year, the 2024 run of Together for Health included patient groups and health champions from the legislative branch. 

These increasing numbers signify a growing interest in being part of healthcare discussions and making a greater impact. 

As these events continue, the goal is to invite even more collaborators and encourage concrete action. 

Media participants releasing stories related to their learnings from the forum garnered ₱10.89 million worth of PR values — easily double that of the first year run which saw ₱5.27 million in PR values. 

Key Insights

  1. Always seek to give value. Forums featuring Industry insights, and partnership stories are highly appreciated by the media. 
  2. Find opportunity in partnerships and collaborations. Partnerships when mounting an event can be helpful in maximizing impact. These collaborations can contribute to resource sharing that may complement the event’s offerings, be it through network, expertise, or content.
  3. The right execution matters. If you want to create a greater impact, one size doesn’t fit all. Tailor your events to the goal. In this instance, a media enablement forum was the perfect avenue to strengthen relationships with the media. For healthcare companies, sustaining such initiatives can help:
    1. Educate their audience
    2. Position them as a though-leader in the industry by owning a specific industry issue
    3. Relay their sincerity and authenticity in achieving their mission to created positive impact for healthcare in the Philippines

Work with NGP

Ready to hold an engagement like Together for Health? Take a look at how we’ve done it for countless brands over the years, and get in touch with us today!