As the digital health landscape continues to explode at a breakneck pace, a growing number of publications are shifting their focus and resources to this specific area of healthcare. We saw this most recently with the launch of Digital Health Business & Technology, a new brand created by Modern Healthcare to discover how technology is helping to improve patient care, identify investment trends and opportunities, and understand regulatory and funding decisions in the space.
Deputy Editor Gabe Perna, who was among the publication’s first hires, has helped spearhead the publication’s rapid rise to one of the leading outlets covering digital health within its first year. As Digital Health Business & Technology continues to capture the attention of the biggest stakeholders in healthcare, Gabe sat down with us to share how the publication is expected to evolve, the editorial content they expect to prioritize and what PR pros should keep in mind when reaching out.
Could you tell us more about Digital Health Business & Technology?
Modern Healthcare launched Digital Health Business & Technology following the acquisition of Mercom Capital’s Digital Health Business in June 2021, which brought more than 10 years of global digital health deal information and analysis.
It’s just not possible to only have one person covering technology in healthcare any longer. It’s too big of a space and too present in everything involving healthcare. For a long time, Modern Healthcare had one technology reporter who covered the broader landscape. Now, with Digital Health Business & Technology, we’re trying to do two things: go deeper into the technology itself; and, look beyond payers and providers (which have traditionally been Modern Healthcare’s audiences) to also include employers, pharma, consumers, and all stakeholders involved in the ecosystem.
We also cover capital investments in digital health as well for investors. We have a newsletter each Friday called “The Digital Health Deal” that captures all of the relevant funding rounds, M&A activity, and financial trends taking place in digital health.
What would you consider to be a great pitch — something that catches your eye? A bad pitch?
A good pitch comes from someone who understands what I’m covering and the industry. It involves including specific information (e.g., statistics, anecdotes), and I really like when someone’s able to offer an end user who can speak to the product. This is especially helpful for the companies who are still establishing themselves. There’s a lot of startups in this space and I can’t talk to every CEO of every startup. There’s just so many.
It’s just not possible to only have one person covering technology in healthcare any longer. It’s too big of a space and too present in everything involving healthcare.
So, if you’re not a Teladoc or one of the big players, I’d encourage people to bring customers or something else that’s unique to your story to help capture our attention.
How do you like to be pitched? Is there a best time of day or week, email vs. Twitter vs. phone, etc.?
I don’t have strong preferences here. Obviously, don’t pitch (or call) me on a weekend. Yes, there are people who do this! If it’s a good pitch, I’ll see it.
What are some pet peeves that you encounter from the PR world?
Never overpromise what you can offer in your pitch. We’ve had PR people who reach out offering a conversation with an executive or customer, and then once we confirm that we’d like to speak with them, we’re told they’re not available to connect. If you offer someone up, you need to know that you’re able to coordinate the interview that you’re promising. It happens more than you might realize!
In some instances, I know there might be some stage fright involved. While I’ve had PR people offer to instead share written responses to my questions, I would rather speak to another person at the company. I strongly prefer to jump on the phone with people since we tend to get a more honest answer than someone who spends time writing a response in the perfect words.