Academic Network

Articles for July, 2008

Portland Business Journal Recognizes Academic Network, LLC, as one of Portland’s Fastest Growing Private Companies

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

International Corporate Giants Boston Scientific, ConAgra, GlaxoSmithKline And Others Depend On Portland’s Academic Network LLC And Its Medical and Nutrition ExpertsTo Develop, Test And Market Products

PORTLAND, ORE., JULY, 2008 – Spurred on by a sales growth record of nearly 300% as well as a 300% jump in its contact center outsourcing capacity, Oregon’s award-winning Academic Network has been named one of the fastest growing private companies in Portland by the Portland Business Journal. The medical and healthcare communications and consulting firm, which recently opened offices also in Washington DC and New York City, now offers clients expanded services like global clinical research recruitment services, drug safety/pharmacovigilance, blogging and social media services.

The Portland Business Journal’s annual list consists of privately held companies whose growth represents the best in the region. In order to be considered for the list, a company must have revenues of at least $500,000 and experienced revenue growth during the past three years.

“Our growth this last year exists in part because of our expanding partnerships and extended outsourcing consumer care solutions with industry giants like ConAgra, GlaxoSmithKline, Fleishman-Hillard, Ethicon Endo-surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company, and Boston Scientific,” says Academic Network co-founder, David McCarron, MD, FACP, who has appeared in the New York Times, CBS, PBS, NPR and CNN. “We wouldn’t have this success without Portland’s rich multilingual healthcare workforce.”

About Academic Network, LLC
Academic Network, LLC is a leading medical and health communications company conceived by academic professionals to serve as a singular source for communicating health-related issues to consumers and health professionals. Academic Network works with leading pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and other Fortune 500 companies, as well as healthcare organizations, in developing effective communications strategies through consulting, telecommunications, Internet and other emerging media sources. The firm offers the combined technological and medical expertise necessary to meet the demands and expectations of today’s health-focused public. Visit the Academic Network website at

For more information, contact:
Claudia Johnson

Building the Case for Health 2.0

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

According to recent surveys by the Pew Internet Trust, 60 – 80 percent of Americans have used the Internet to find health information; and as of January 2008, the Internet rivaled physicians as the leading source for health information. In fact, iCrossing’s “How America Searches: Health and Wellness” January 2008 report states:

Internet is the most widely used resource for health information: 59% of adults use online resources to obtain health and wellness information, versus 55% who go to their doctors and 29% who talk to relatives, friends or co-workers

Yahoo! Health has found that 80 percent of online searchers are looking for themselves, while 20 percent are looking for someone else. For cancer and Alzheimer’s, the proportion of people searching for others is higher. (Source: Jane Sarashon Kahn, The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media)

And consumers aren’t just going one place in their search for health information online, although the vast majority start with a search engine. Once they begin their quest, they’re route takes them through multiple sites (WebMD, Wikipedia, Mayo Clinic), blogs and social networks to gather information. (ibid)

What are they going online? According to JupiterResearch, the top three reasons people congregate online are:

  1. To see what other consumers say about a medication or treatment (36%)
  2. To research other consumers’ knowledge and experiences (31%)
  3. To learn skills or get education to manage a condition (27%)

(Source: JupiterResearch. Online Health: Assessing the Risks and Opportunity of Social and One-to-One Media, 2007)

These are all powerful motivators for consumers… but they also should be powerful motivators for those who provide medication, treatment and education to begin to listen, track and monitor the conversations they’re having…

Listening: Your First Step to Online Success

Monday, July 7th, 2008

In an article today in the Boston Globe called “Hurry up, the customer has a complaint”, author Carolyn Johnson cites several examples of consumers complaining quite publicly about products and services in their blogs and other social media options like Twitter.

“We’re in a world where one person, by their actions, can make a
company look bad, and it can get echoed and amplified over and over
again,” said Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research
and coauthor of “Groundswell,” a book about business and social
technologies. “The power has shifted, [so] that big companies now have
to be worried about one individual with a microphone called a blog.”

Frankly, I’d call it a megaphone, not a microphone. I’ve personally seen the amazing reach of a “meme” (conversation) that explodes through the blogosphere. And believe me, reach and frequency can be exponential, especially where a little brand controversy is involved.

The article goes on to make great examples of companies like Comcast, Southwest Airlines and Dell; each of whom have people dedicated to monitoring their online reputations for consumer kudos and complaints.

My bottom line on this?

If you do nothing more than listen to the chatter online, you’re doing more to protect your brand, your online reputation, and (likely) your value as a company, than most. Listening is the very first step to success.