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New Survey Shows Americans Look to Business to Improve Country's Health

Thursday, December 17, 2009 Research News J E 4
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NEW YORK, Dec. 16 As the healthcare reform debate continues, legislators and businesspeople alike might be surprised to learn that Americans are looking not only to government but also to business to improve our nation's health, even beyond employee wellness efforts. People are more likely to purchase from, recommend, and invest in companies that act on health issues -- creating a compelling case for businesses to step up their efforts.

The Edelman Health Engagement Pulse -- a new survey of 1,000 American adults -- reveals a stark gap between how Americans want businesses to engage in health and what they believe is actually being done. Eight in 10 respondents believe it is important for business to share knowledge and innovations that improve health, and seven in 10 believe business should invest in creating healthy communities, yet only about one in 10 say business is doing an excellent or very good job of meeting these expectations. The study also showed that seven in 10 people believe it is important for business to help employees lead healthier lives.

"Our findings underscore that people's expectations of business have expanded; today, a company's engagement in health is material to its license to operate," said Nancy Turett, global president, health, Edelman. "Equally important is that Americans are taking action to reward companies for getting it right."

The survey indicated that more than eight in 10 respondents are likely to purchase from, recommend, trust, or work for a company that is committed to engaging in and improving health, and more than seven in 10 are likely to invest in it. These findings show that closing the gap between expectation and action could provide growth opportunities for these companies.

The survey also showed that, today, 60 percent of Americans agree that business should be at least as actively involved in maintaining and improving health as it has been in maintaining and improving the environment. "We expect this figure only to increase as health continues to emerge as a critical sustainability issue for business in much the same way that environment responsibility has," said Turett. "Health engagement will be an increasingly key strategic lever for protecting and propelling business."

Continue the health engagement conversation at Edelman's blog: http://engageinhealth.com/. For more information on Edelman's Health Engagement Barometer: http://edelman.com/expertise/industries/health/documents/Edel_HealthBarometer_R13c.pdf

About the Survey

The Edelman Health Engagement Pulse was conducted in November 2009 by StrategyOne. The omnibus telephone survey included a representative sample of 1,000 American adults ages 18 and older.

About Edelman

Edelman is the world's leading independent public relations firm, with 3,200 employees in 51 offices worldwide. Edelman was one of the top ten "Agency of the Decade" by Advertising Age, and PRWeek's "2009 Agency of the Year," PRWeek's "Large Agency of the Year" (for the third time in the last four years), and Holmes Report's "2009 Best Large Agency to Work For" and was listed as a top-10 firm by Advertising Age in 2007 and 2008. Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), and BioScience Communications (medical education and publishing). Visit www.edelman.com for more information.

For further information contact: Stephanie O'Donnell stephanie.o'donnell@edelman.com 212-704-8251

SOURCE Edelman
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