Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks Nine things students learned about DTC from focus groups

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An Interview with Professor Jim Avery of the Gaylord College of Mass Communications. Professor Avery discusses preparing graduate students for a career in health advertising.

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The students performed some focus group studies of DTC and you may be interested in their results. Also, this may be a good connection for a “new dog” source of interns and employees for your business.

Questions Asked:

  • Tell us more about the Gaylord College of Mass Communication
  • You recently taught a graduate seminar on Medical Promotion, which is one of several new seminars aimed at helping to prepare students for professional careers. How does your seminar fit into that program?
  • You mentioned that health advertising is a rapidly growing category with plenty of new jobs opening up for graduates. I know from Advertising Age that 13 of the Top 100 consumer advertisers in 2005 were pharmaceutical companies – and that doesn’t even include other healthcare companies. I suppose, therefore, that pharmaceutical companies hire a lot of advertising agencies who hire your graduates. Can you give us some specific numbers we can sink our teeth into? How many health advertising professionals are out there?
  • What percent of your students end up in healthcare advertising? Are they drawn to the field because of or despite its inherent challenges or is just for the money? What motivates students these days? (See Pharma Marketing Blog post: “Generation X Pharma Reps“, which includes a chart of UCLA college freshman survey results that shows an increasing interest in wealth as a motivator over the years.)
  • What advertising agencies seem to be hiring the most these days? How does your school help students find these jobs?
  • The focus groups sound interesting. I’m dying to know the results they got! But before you tell us the results, why did you have them do focus groups?
  • What were the results of the focus group studies?
  • Did the study results influence positively or negatively how students viewed the category overall?

Guest Bio

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Professor Jim Avery at University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Mass Communication discusses preparing graduate students for a career in health advertising.

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