NBCUniversal is the latest addition to an ever-increasing roster of media companies that are fully embracing the health care industry for everything it’s worth, today announcing a first-of-its-kind panel event that will kickstart its future health-centric strategies and highlight how medical storytelling has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“As we were approaching one year of the pandemic, we were having conversations virtually every day about some form of health, whether that was COVID or a sick relative or wearing face masks,” says Mark Marshall, president of advertising sales and partnerships at NBCUniversal.
To acknowledge that holistic conversation and tie the medical field to its storytelling, NBCU next week is set to hold its first-ever “Health is Universal” summit, a series of panels and discussions about innovations and “human resilience” within the sector. “Everyone should tune in” to the once-in-a-lifetime media event that’s “up there with Live Aid,” Marshall jokes—even though it won’t be accessible to the general public.
The closed-door event will take place virtually on Thursday, Feb. 25.
On the agenda are presentations including “Examining Emerging Trends in the Health Industry” hosted by CNBC’s senior health and science reporter Meg Tirrell with leaders from UnitedHealth Group, Ro and Lilly, and a special seminar about the role and influence of caregivers by Marshall himself.
The summit will also feature a panel titled “Bringing the Health Experience to Content,” featuring some cast and crew members behind TV medical drama “New Amsterdam.” That presentation will be moderated by Yusuf Chuku, one of NBCU’s most recent hires who’ll fill the newly created role of executive VP, client strategy and insights in the company’s pursuit of boosting its One Platform storytelling.
“NBC, we’ve always told stories that are culturally relevant, and health care has always been part of it,” Marshall says, citing the network’s medical programming from classics like “ER” to “Chicago Med” and its contemporaries. Health care has a universal role in society, and when conveying that through entertainment mediums, “it’s different than kind of watching a legal drama” because “everyone resonates,” he adds.