The Top Health Stories of the Decade


The Top Health Stories of the Decade

Techniques That Can Help You To Earn More Media Coverage

By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)

To help our clients find formats that are getting the best results, North American Precis Syndicate ranks the top feature news stories of the year by the highest number of placements in media outlets nationwide.  We have compiled the results to show the top feature news stories of the decade, those that have performed brilliantly, way above and beyond what is typically expected. 

The most successful stories included attractive color photos or infographics, helpful advice from experts, celebrity spokespeople, the latest statistics, results from surveys, trends, time-saving tips, money saving ideas and other helpful information.  The stories were targeting people across various demographic groups, relating to prevention, treatment and protecting health, of the readers, their friends and family members. 

We are passionate about working on the kinds of stories that help millions of people nationwide with the news that is potentially life saving or can improve the quality of their lives. 

To name a few, here are examples by topic, of the work from the best and brightest health communications professionals for some of the most demanding management teams at leading organizations:

  1. Prescription Products/Branded: AbbVie for Humira
  2. Prescription Products/Unbranded: Janssen Biotech for Psoriasis
  3. OTC Products: Salonpas Pain Patch
  4. Health Care Products and Services: Quest Diagnostics
  5. Associations: American Heart Association
  6. Government: CDC

Give your health feature news program a results booster shot by following these tips:

  1. Photos: Use beautiful, eye-catching color photos, infographics or informative charts and graphs. A person talking to a doctor may work well.
  2. Statistics: Include compelling statistics from a reliable source such as a medical trade association or a government agency.
  3. Expert: Provide a quote or use a byline format from a reputable expert from a medical association or a government agency.
  4. Websites: Include a link to your website or social media site for more helpful information.
  5. Phone: Include a toll-free number for more information.
  6. Prescription Medication: Alert readers about who is at risk, what the incidence is, how many are affected, the symptoms to look for and available methods of treatment, and encourage people to see their doctor for early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
  7. OTC: Alert readers of symptoms to look for and available methods of treatment, and encourage them to ask their pharmacists for more information.
  8. Nutrition: Offer advice about food choices and include nutritional information with a recipe, possibly from a celebrity chef, and a quote from a nutritionist.
  9. Problem Solving: Include tips to help people overcome health problems that readers or their friends and family members may be facing.
  10. Misconceptions: Create awareness about the truth of your matter by offering supporting facts from a credible source to separate myths from realities.
  11. Case Studies: Tell readers about real-life experiences of individuals who have been helped by your product or service, to meet their challenges in extraordinary ways, and quote them about the experience to inspire others.
  12. Home Maintenance: Encourage readers to maintain their homes regularly to avoid common health issues such as poor air quality, mold or bacteria.
  13. Clinical Trials: Alert readers about new methods of treatment that have been tested in Europe or in other countries and direct them to a site for information about how they may be able to participate in clinical studies in the U.S.
  14. ISI: The current trend has been to weave the important safety information into the body of the article rather than including that as a note to the editor under the cutline or as a link for full prescribing information. Results have been good all three ways and what matters more is the popularity of the topic. For example, new help for breast cancer victims would do well even if the product is mentioned several times in all caps, in bold with a registered trademark sign next to it.
  15. Patient Compliance: Alert readers of the dangers of not taking the medicines that have been prescribed for them and encourage them to comply with a doctor’s advice by describing the benefits to their health and longevity if they do.

Here’s how one of the NAPS Health Featurettes scored massive media results:

CHALLENGE:  Educate readers about AHA research that could yield transformational discoveries to better detect, treat and prevent cognitive decline.

APPROACH:  Feature news story on “New Brain Health Initiative Could Unlock Mysteries Of Alzheimer’s, Dementia”

Using research from AHA, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, a division of the Allen Institute. Highlight launch of the $43 million research project to bridge the science of vascular and brain health through revolutionary, out-of-the-box thinking.

RESULTS:  This feature got well over 1,000 known placements, including 101 in print. This appeared in all 50 states, with a readership of 19.6 million and on sites with 66 million unique visitors cumulatively. About 47% of placements were in the top 50 markets, 54% were in the most populous third of the states and 39% were in the wealthiest 25% of states. The article was viewed 1,661 times on our site.

“We’ve been satisfied with their teams services and NAPS.” Maggie Francis, Communications Manager at AHA.

To see more Top Stories of the Decade for Food, Finance, Home, Auto, Technology, and more, click here

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