Healthcare

Health Care Complexity Calls for Full-Service Partner

Who said health businesses can’t have it all?

You can, and you should.

A full-service agency partner offers most (if not all) the communications services your company needs to effectively build, grow and protect your brand.

Specialty firms, without question, do award-winning work. But if you think twice, health care’s complex, extremely intricate ecosystem requires a perfectly aligned strategy and deep understanding of health’s wide spectrum of unique audiences.

I may be a bit biased, but I think a full-service agency offers health clients a more comprehensive, one-stop, 360-degree worldview. Seamless messaging and most (if not every) communications discipline you need is united “under one roof” to forge a comprehensive client/agency strategic partnership around your brand.

Years ago, I helped lead a highly specialized health care PR firm. While we worked on some amazing programs, many of our clients regularly lined us up with other specialty agencies that also offered niche services.

The other firms each provided a separate service needed, such as digital health programming, pharmaceutical sales materials support and medical advocacy programing. Others specialized in physician-to-physician communications, Rx and corporate branding and proprietary health market research, to name a few of the disciplines.

Unfortunately, this combined crew of specialty firms often resulted in fragmentation.

Each agency excelled in their own space. However, the brand could suffer due to a lack of message and creative consistency, resulting in a diminished overall brand experience.

Health care businesses should consider an “all-in” agency partner that will ensure every aspect of health care marketing and communications programming. Each of the combined disciplines should be seamlessly connected with business goals, objectives, strategies and brand focus. From my viewpoint, health companies need a full-service agency partner to address their communications challenges with strategic and creative support.

Consumers, now more than ever, are managing their own health choices. Providers, payers and pharmacists are at the core of this consumer-centric paradigm. Pharmaceutical, bioscience and medical device companies need to connect with purpose to each of these groups, and when appropriate, also forge close collaborations with government and health care nonprofits.

A partner with diversified experience in each of these health sectors makes good business sense. The health industry requires a deep understanding (and love) for such areas as health market research, medical technology, interpreting medical science, navigating government regulatory requirements, educating physicians, motivating consumers, expanding national and global markets and telehealth.

Also equally critical are the necessary services health businesses need to integrate and support all of their communications and marketing initiatives. These include strategic planning, creative services (digital, social and traditional media), crisis communications and reputation management, product and corporate branding, proprietary research, corporate communications, investor relations, internal engagement, business-to-business marketing, and so on.

This is true if your health business is preparing for the launch of an Rx drug or medical device, breathing life back into an old product, protecting a health system’s reputation through a crisis or engaging consumers about your product via social media. You also want a full-service team that knows how to reach hospital administrators, practicing physicians, nursing groups, long-term care, key health thought leaders and academic health centers.

In short, your health care business can juggle a band of specialty firms to support the brand. Or, you may want to consider speaking with a full-service agency. Learn more about how a partner—one who can offer it all—will help ensure strategic and message consistency.

About Fred Lake:

Fred is a senior vice president and leads the Health practice at Padilla. Based in the agency’s New York office, he is a seasoned public relations practitioner with more than 30 years of experience in health care public relations and communications experience for leading pharmaceutical companies and national third party health care organizations.

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