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January 18, 2022

3 Key Communications Takeaways from #JPM22

This week marked the 40th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference (#JPM22), becoming the second year in a row that the big healthcare investor conference has gone digital, as the Omicron variant surges across the country. Known as one of the most important communications moments of the year, companies used this opportunity with all eyes on the healthcare industry to announce new partnerships and deals, in addition to discussing the evolving impact of the pandemic.

Here are the key communications insights from #JPM22 that brands and communicators should pay special attention to.

1. Agenda-setting media still see the conference as a “resourcing” opportunity.

While there may not be as many top-tier stories written, deskside chats with CEOs or in-person networking opportunities, the JPM conference is still a milestone opportunity and platform for executives to level set and to share company goals that can act as a “kick-off” for communications efforts for the year. Net-net, Media are still looking to make connections (even on Zoom) and find resources for their upcoming coverage even if the coverage isn’t imminent.

2. M&A and partnership news still have a worldwide stage at JPM. 

The kick-off of JPM is often a time for big pharma companies to unveil major deals – but nothing like that happened this year. There was, however, still a substantial amount of announcement news including a significant partnership between J.P. Morgan and healthcare start-up, Vera Whole Health. Net-net, if timing lines up for a big announcement, companies should still do it at JPM – it’s still a smart time for media and the market.

3. Brands touting “whole person” health will secure top headlines. 

Numerous companies presented plans on improving coordinated care to take care of the whole person (e.g., Cigna, One Medical, Vera Whole Health). Moving forward, we will continue to see a surge in not just healthcare brands but also consumer brands communicating their customized health options that address the whole person (everything from cardiac health to mental health). Net-net, in order to compete and secure media coverage in 2022, companies will have to promote their 360 “whole person” health offerings and drive home the differentiating factors or benefits with the person at the center. 

With #JPM22 behind us, the conference has maintained its status as a tentpole event for healthcare media coverage (not to mention the pandemic's status as the "big story"). However, we believe the conference will change in 2023 and beyond. We learned from the pandemic that we can conduct numerous transactions digitally, and J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference was no exception. While we hope that #JPM23 will return as an in-person event, in-person conferences as we know them may be forever changed. In the meantime, as we plan for virtual conferences and events in 2022 and beyond, we'll continue to use the power of influence and move at the speed of culture.

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