Welcome to Marty's Medical Musings

We love doing healthcare PR at Palin. And we've got views about the best way to do it. We're proud of our campaigns and we like to tell people what we've achieved.

So whether you want to check out the latest written blog from Marty below, watch our latest video production, get some 'tips' for improving your PR function or catch up on our latest success stories, this is where you do it.


Martin Palin

Managing Director, Palin Communications
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Recent Posts

Social media and reputation: Simplifying the equation for Australian healthcare companies

What do wine and social media have in common?

They are two topics about which a lot of rubbish gets spoken.

So here I want to at least have a go at simplifying social media. I’ll leave viniculture to others.

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Topics: Healthcare PR, Best Practice PR, healthcare marketing, social media, content marketing

PR’s constant renewal

None of the cells that make up your bones, skin and muscle as a kindergarten kid are still alive when you are an adult. They’ve done their job, died and been replaced by new cells.

The notion of “business as a living organism” got me thinking about how much things have changed in business since my own consultancy made the transition from start up to young adult.

The name and essence of the business is essentially unchanged since our doors opened when John Howard was in his first year as Prime Minister. But now none of the people in the Palin Communications team are the same, it’s in a different location and what we help clients achieve now is unrecognisable from back in the day. It’s the same organism but it’s composed of different cells.

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Topics: Healthcare PR, public relations

When content is not strategy (or how to get retweeted to millions of followers)

People who work in PR are used to explaining to clients that a good media relations strategy is almost always completely detached from the content of "the media release". 

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Topics: Healthcare PR, Best Practice PR, Social Media and Community, Medical marketing

From awareness to activation: Direct to consumer campaigns for big medical companies

The bulk of medical marketing efforts for prescription medicines and medical devices have historically been directed at doctors and other healthcare professionals. These days however the buzz words are “patient empowerment”, “consumer focus” and “consumer health literacy”.

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Topics: Healthcare PR, Best Practice PR, Social Media and Community, patient activation, Medical marketing

Some future (obvious and not so obvious) Australian trends in healthcare PR

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Topics: Healthcare PR, Best Practice PR, Social Media and Community

Does PR Wag the Dog?

How did I miss Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman in Wag the Dog the first time around?

What a classic movie for students of PR! Spin doctor De Niro is recruited to save a US President in trouble during an election campaign after he is accused of assaulting a young woman. The President recruits Hollywood producer Hoffman to use his movie-making tricks to help him create an imaginary (and highly distracting) war between America and Albania. 

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Reducing the risk of death

There was a story in the Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend (31/5/14 p19) that was about how people who leave prison are more likely commit suicide than the general community. I get all this – my first job out of university was in the NSW Department of Corrective Services interviewing prisoners about how they were being treated in jail. Even a young psychology graduate like me could tell lots of these guys were going to leave jail troubled, unhappy, dislocated and dysfunctional.

But it’s quite another thing to suggest – as the journalist did – that prisoners leave jail with “a higher risk of death than people outside.” Because guess what? The risk of death is pretty absolute and it is something that is coming for us all. 

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Price signals and medical care

In Joseph Heller’s legendary ‘70’s novel Catch 22, archetypal free profiteer Milo Minderbinder is astounded that the novel’s protagonist Yossarian is granted “all the dried fruit he wants” as part of his recovery from war trauma.

Milo is incredulous as he reads the prescription that Doc Daneeka has written. Milo is driven by market efficiencies and the prospect of a fair profit for all. So his head spins at such an open prescription. “All the dried fruit you want?” he says to Yossarian. “You don’t even have to eat it. Or need it”.

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The Trend Toward Independent Agencies in Healthcare PR

Many years ago I had a letter published in one of the marketing magazines in response to an article about a multi-national pharmaceutical company that had awarded its entire diversified marketing budget to one global holding company on the promise of greater integration.

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When diseases are no laughing matter

I happily entered into the spirit of things as part of a panel at the recent “Festival of Ideas” session on “Medicalising Normality

Industry critic Ray Moynihan was holding court and we had engaged the audience in the creation of a new disease – “Chronic Procrastination Syndrome” – or CPS we called it.

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