Welcome to the Coyne Exchange! This blog was created to promote conversation and new thinking about taking a more creative approach to both business and life! From Account Coordinators to the President and CEO, everyone here at Coyne PR has the opportunity to participate in our blog, offering opinions, trend insight, key learnings, or just something interesting! We hope to both inspire and be inspired as part of this process. Please understand that we will not be discussing any proprietary client related topics or information. Please stay tuned and keep an open mind -- it is the key to life! 

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80 Percent of Web Users Look Online for Health Information

When you hop on the computer, what’s the first thing you do? According to a new study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, checking your email and using search engines were the top two activities, respectively. The third most popular activity, with eight in ten users, is looking online for health information.

Among the breakdown, women (65 percent) were more likely to seek health information online than men (53 percent), supporting the belief that women are typically the “Chief Medical Officer” of the family. The study also found that the younger an adult is, the more likely he or she is to look up health information: 71 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 turn to the web, versus 29 percent among those 65 and older. Additionally, adults with at least some college education and those living in higher‐income households were also likely to go online for health information.

So, what do people search? According to Pew, most often web users research specific conditions and diseases (66 percent), followed by medical treatments and procedures (56 percent), doctors and other care providers (44 percent), medical facilities (36 percent), health insurance (33 percent) and food safety and recalls (29 percent). However, nearly half of Internet users who went online for health information said the research was for someone else, 53 percent of which were caregivers. The study found that web users who are between the ages of 30 to 49 are the most likely age group to be focused on other people. Among the “sandwich generation” respondents, two‐thirds were caring for young children while also looking for information on behalf of aging relatives.

The report also mentions that a report will be out this spring which will profile caregivers. If this study is any indication, that report should provide some interesting insight.


What's Trending in Toys in 2011?

Happy February!  Only 333 days left until Christmas.  For many, February means Valentine's.  For those in the toy industry, it means Toy Fair - the largest toy trade show in the western hemisphere.  This is the Super Bowl for those who design, manufacture and sell toys. For many, including myself, we anxiously await to see which toys will be anointed the holiday must-haves for 2011.  But before we can determine which toys will be the most sought after by kids this holiday, the TIA (Toy Industry Association) has identified what they are seeing as the trends in toys in 2011.  In no specific order, they are:

  • Active - products (active and sporting games) that prompt kids to build healthy hearts and strong bodies
  • Educated - products that engage kids through fun, multi-sensory activities
  • Tech-Savvy - motion-based tech as well as 3-dimensional or augmented reality games will transform the play experience
  • Socially Aware - toys and games that teach important values and social responsibility
  • Entertainment - licensed properties will again be hot with numerous family-friendly movies set to hit theaters this year

2010 was a good year for the industry.  Based on where the industry is heading (i.e. product innovation, diversity, etc.), 2011 looks to be another winner. 


Toy Industry 2010

2010 turned out to be another good year for the toy industry. According to the NPD Group, U.S. retail sales rose 2 percent from 2009.  Many of the categories that performed well included Plush and Building Sets, Outdoor & Sports Toys, Dolls and Infant/Preschool.  This increase, while only 2 percent, is important as it shows that the consumer is coming back. The economy is slowly improving and consumers are feeling better about spending, especially on their kids. With a crop of family movies set to release this year and cool product innovations, the toy industry looks as though it is prime for another good year in 2011. 


I'm Dying to Know About...CEO Health?

The recent news that Steve Jobs would be taking his second medical leave from Apple, effective immediately, has caused much buzz among business circles.  Without an explanation of exactly what his medical condition is, people are clamoring about the right to know the details of his health, under the guise that it is pertinent to investor relations. 

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article on Jobs’ health (, “Securities laws require publicly held companies to disclose material information that could affect investors' decision to acquire or sell shares. Directors decide what's material, however.”

Apparently, this has been an issue – and will continue to be –at major corporations throughout the country.  Subsequently, we’re now faced with a crazy balance of right-to-know versus privacy, about our private-sector business leaders, no less. 

On the one hand, you have ailing CEOs – simply put, a part of life – and their desire to keep some semblance of their condition private;  on the other hand, you have an investment-focused piece of the public who feels that they have a right to know the details of the CEO’s health and the subsequent succession plan.

Do people have a right to know the details of a CEO’s failing health? If there is a formidable succession plan in place – that is communicated properly to the public – does it matter if I know the ins-and-outs of a CEO’s illness?  I would argue succession plan – yes; health details – not so sure.

It feels like this post could be written for any number of celebrities who, through choice or coercion, usually end up sharing the details of their health with the public.  Many argue that, so long as they are in the public eye, the public has a right to know what’s happening. 

Now, of course, logic reasons, are CEOs just celebs in suits?


Physicians and Social Media

A survey out this month from Sermo, the largest online physician community, reveals the views and opinions of Sermo physicians. The Sermo community has over 117,000 physicians and it enables them to interact and collaborate with their colleagues across the country on different medical cases, drug options and various clinical issues.

The survey evaluated social media habits and preferences among this targeted population. Many of our health care clients at Coyne engage physicians through various channels including targeted trade and consumer press, peer-reviewed articles and medical conferences. The information revealed in the survey provides us with a closer look at physician preferences as well as different ways to effectively engage this audience.

A few key takeaways:

  • Physicians spend, on average, 2.7 hours online for their practice a day (oftentimes from their office vs. home). 
  • Sixty-four percent of Sermo physicians have changed a treatment based on an interaction made on Sermo
  • Almost half of physicians use Sermo as much or more than Google to obtain medical information
  • Not including Sermo, Facebook is the most popular social networking site used by physicians. However, when using social networks for medical purposes physicians rarely use sites such as Facebook or Twitter
  • The community appeal of Sermo – including the ability to connect with doctors and/or receive clinical advice, stay up-to-date on practices and guidelines and earn CME credits – are among the initial reasons why physicians join
  • Seventy-four percent of physicians surveyed state that sponsored educational events are the most successful “interaction” on Sermo
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