Marketing General

The A-List Agencies of the Year

What makes an A-List Agency? Is it their work, the impact they have on the industry or their clients or the talent they employ?

In this article, we are excited to highlight some of the Honorees who are up for Agency of the Year (Health IT focus) and Agency of the Year (Provider focus) at the 2020 Medigy HITMC Award Ceremony on June 30th.

The following agencies are nominated because of their outstanding achievement this past year.  They have demonstrated industry leadership, produced amazing results for clients, grown their business/portfolio and contributed back to the healthcare marketing community.

We asked each of them 4 questions. Here is what they said.

FINN Partners – Gil Bashe, Managing Partner

What project or work is FINN Partners most proud of this past year?
When people’s lives are improved – relief from pain or offered the belief that there is a clinical alternative to a deadly disease – the response is greater than pride. As the Agency Championing Health Innovation, there are many touchpoints of achievement. Among these are the announcement and creation of a communication platform – print and digital – that clinical science may have slowed the progression of deadly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). FINN, working in tandem with Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Boston-based pharmaceutical company focused on developing new treatments for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, and the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General announced a significant treatment benefit for people with ALS. In the study comparing the experimental therapy to placebo (p<0.05), showed that primary outcome of the trial had been met. Our work with Amylyx is the ultimate award – the achievement of science and the possibility of hope. FINN is working side-by-side with client leaders to ensure patient groups, media and the clinical community have accurate access to information – to create fair balance between hype and hope.

Overall, what impact do you feel your team’s work has had on your clients and/or healthcare in general?
The FINN Health Practice has been cited by the independent publications PROvoke and O’Dwyer’s as “Most Admired Agency,” “Top Five Global Health Agency” and “Top Five Largest Health Independent Agency.” Dedicated clients who embrace our mission to improve the human condition through our work, strong year-to-year retention standards and being a “Top Three Best PR Agency to Work,” has resulted in consistent double-digit growth. Our clients have been cited as “Most Innovative Health Technologies” in Fast Company and Time magazine. They are featured in major national newspapers such as The New York Times, and invited to share how their innovation improve people’s lives on national morning news shows. Ultimately, in improving access to care and reducing disease, FINN impacts families, communities and national health. By impacting people’s lives, our clients advance their business goals.

What’s next for FINN Partners?
FINN sees its mission to serve humanity as consistent with its focus to serve its clients globally. Our values drive our culture and client performance. We have been honored as the PR industry’s most diverse agency. Recognized for our ground breaking pro bono work around underrepresented health communities that need voice – people with pancreatic cancer an Marfan Syndrome. FINN has stepped forward to support the next wave of medical innovation through our pro bono support of mHealth Israel, Galien Foundation and Hoopers Meet Heroes. We plan to use our success to address societal needs and be a beacon of support for ideas and insights that can save and sustain human life. As for our business focus, we have recognized that our strengths in integrated marketing have made us the go-to source for helping clients navigate the complex health ecosystem successfully so that innovation can be accessible.

What would winning Agency of the Year mean to your team?
When we posted on Twitter and LinkedIn that FINN is a HITMC honoree, more than 100 people liked and shared the news! This award is bigger than our being a winner. It symbolizes that great – award winning agencies – have a responsibility to their communities to share knowledge and advance everyone’s interests. This award is important and will send a powerful message to our people and those that support our vision that being Agency of the Year represents a commitment to helping people succeed on their journeys – to improve their mental and physical health and ability to face tomorrow’s challenges.

Aria Marketing – Scott Collins, President 

What project/work is Aria most proud of this past year?
One of the projects from the past year we are most proud of is our work with AVIA, especially the PR strategies we executed to support its Medicaid Transformation Project (MTP), a national effort to transform healthcare and related social needs for the nearly 75 million Americans who rely on Medicaid. Led by AVIA and Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of CMS, MTP strives to enable better health and outcomes for vulnerable populations, while also reducing costs, by leveraging scalable, replicable innovations and digitally-enabled solutions.

AVIA engaged Aria and tasked us with highlighting MTP’s Challenge Areas (which to date have included focuses on Behavioral Health, Maternal and Infant Health, and Substance Use Disorder) while encouraging industry stakeholders to join the Project. To do this, Aria launched an issues-oriented public relations campaign, extracting timely thought leadership pillars from each challenge area and highlighting those via various PR channels, including press releases, bylines and interviews. In under a year, Aria secured 30 media placements about MTP in top-tier business, regional, and healthcare publications as well as podcasts and videos. Highlights include coverage in Politico, Crain’s Chicago Business, FierceHealthcare, The #HCBiz Show, and Healthcare IT News. In addition to the great coverage we garnered for this initiative, we are proud to be representing a project that is truly transformative. MTP’s mission is democratizing healthcare for all Americans via digital transformation, and Aria supports this effort 100%.

Overall, what impact do you feel your team’s work has had on your clients and/or healthcare in general?
It may sound cliché, but our work at Aria is all about storytelling. We are in the business of listening to our clients, digging in to what they and their customers are doing, and then helping them communicate the value and nuances of that work to the community as a whole. We like to think that that is important work in a world where healthcare is so complex and has so many moving parts. The average person, and even many healthcare professionals, can struggle to understand the details and the impacts of the innumerable niche issues in this industry and we help to bridge that gap.

What’s next for Aria?
What is next for anything? We feel as an agency and an industry we are really in some uncharted waters right now and doing our best to take challenges as they come while staying focused on delivering excellent work for our clients. We are experimenting with new business models, new work schedules, new kinds of clients, pretty much new everything as we try to prepare ourselves for the new normal of agency life. We are also doing some very exciting work with clients whose businesses have really come to the forefront in the current crisis – from new diagnostics to remote medicine and beyond – and are looking forward to continuing to do more of that work as well.

What would winning Agency of the Year mean to your team?
Well, firstly, winning this award would certainly go a long way in boosting team morale, which we could all use at this particular moment in time. Secondly, a win would help validate all the time and effort the team consistently puts in for our clients and for Aria itself. 2019 was a banner year for our company: Our 20-year anniversary; record revenue growth and employee retention; impressive wins for our clients; etc. However, all of that success pales in comparison to how I’ve seen the team come together over the last few months; overcoming obstacles put in our way by the pandemic to continue to support our clients and each other in ways I didn’t think were possible before. This award would be a testament to all of that.

Anderson Interactive – Dave Anderson, President 

What project/work is Anderson Interactive most proud of this past year?
I’m most proud for the success our clients have experienced across 2019. Several have seen double-digit growth over the past few years but InstaMed in particular jumps out in 2019 when the company was bought by JP Morgan Chase (JPMC). It was reported as JPMC’s largest acquisition since the financial crisis and it spoke volumes about how other sectors see the promise of healthcare’s growth and the opportunities within this market. The InstaMed team is committed to crystal-clear messaging, advocacy for social causes, and IT innovation, so I’m proud that my team played even a small part in extending the visibility of their brand over the past several years.

Overall, what impact do you feel your team’s work has had on your clients and/or healthcare in general?
We’ve been blessed to partner with some truly amazing clients. We’re inspired by the impact that they have on improving the efficiency of healthcare and how they’ve been able to impact patient lives. It’s our clients who are doing all the hard work – we’re just the narrators here. Our job is really to just absorb their passion for innovation, find the best way to tell their stories, and bring visibility for their success.

What’s next for Anderson Interactive?
We’re always looking to explore new sectors in healthcare and one in particular that we’re focused on reaching is the provider market. When we launched our new radio program in January, Overrated & Underused, we made sure to expand our focus of marketing guidance to not only the healthcare vendors, but the clinicians themselves. Many providers, including small medical practices, don’t have the finances for hiring an agency or a full-time marketing expert, so in each episode, we devote time to walk clinicians through best practices that they themselves or their staff can implement for marketing their organizations. We plan to continue expansion into this sector through consultative support.

What would winning Agency of the Year mean to your team?
It would be an honor to win Agency of the Year award, and would shine a light on some of the great talent that can be found in virtual agencies. Anderson Interactive decided early on to grow as a 100% virtual agency – both for the life-work balance and so we could hire the best health IT minds in the business – not just those within commuting distance. And with team members ranging from Arizona and Georgia to Florida and Massachusetts, Anderson Interactive consists of a great blend of talented marketers who have earned their stripes in different markets across the country. If 2020 has taught our country anything, it’s how with the right people, virtual offices can be just as effective and efficient as brick and mortar.

But as for the award itself, while I can reiterate to this amazing team how proud I am of them, earning peer-reviewed recognition like the 2020 Medigy HITMC Award is something that I know they’ll always remember long into their careers.

Also, because you have 2 individuals on your team who are Honorees, can you provide a quote about what each person is like around the office and any behavior that exemplifies why they are so special.
Lacy Herman
– Lacy’s one of the most positive people I know, working to affect change both within healthcare and more broadly. She’s taken on so much responsibility in her very short time in this business, but she does so with a level of grace and confidence rarely seen at this stage of a career. She is the perfect Agency Rising Star for 2020.

Jennifer Jennings – Jennifer and I have partnered together at agencies for a dozen years and it’s funny how in sync our client and staff instincts are. But beyond instincts, Jennifer is the most intelligent person I’ve ever worked with in terms of understanding the health IT space and impact that promotional strategies can have on different market sectors. In my eyes, she’s the most deserving of the Agency Marketing Person of 2020.

Agency Ten22 – Erin Wabol, Chief Marketing Officer

What project/work is Agency Ten22 most proud of this past year?
Redesigning a long time PR client’s new website. It’s been a fun, collaborative effort between both teams. The process has shown Ten22’s flexibility to work together across multiple projects – from thought leadership to web design.

Overall, what impact do you feel your team’s work has had on your clients and/or healthcare in general?
We work with small to midsize companies. Elevating their brand among the “big players” is rewarding for everyone involved—our team, our client and their subject matter experts. Bringing a small company’s stories into the limelight is fun and makes us proud—even after 15 years and thousands of earned media placements.

Our greatest contributions to the healthcare in general occur during editorial meetings and media tours. During these events we have the honor and privilege of sitting down with some of the industry’s brightest minds to discuss current trends and how our clients are advancing healthcare. We are all members of a small, connected healthcare community. Active participation is the first step to supporting the greater good.

What’s next for Agency Ten22?
Three of our clients asked Agency Ten22 to secure national media coverage during the COVID-19 crisis. We quickly partnered with a national PR agency to achieve important TV placements for these clients. As we grow, we’ll continue to partner with other agencies and firms when our clients require a unique service or additional support. “We’re all in this together” keeps popping up as a common theme in the healthcare industry, with editors and across our client roster.

What would winning Agency of the Year mean to your team?
Beyond a feather in our cap, it would mean validation among our peers within a community of people we respect and admire. We’ve won several PR awards and feel quite proud of them, but to win an award within our specific industry, healthcare IT and services, is a special honor

*Note there are two other Agency Honorees: Geonetric and Revive Health

Photo by Shridhar Gupta on Unsplash

About the author

Brittany Quemby

Brittany Quemby

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The Healthcare and IT Marketing Community (HITMC) is an extension of the HITMC conference that is the first of its kind event that brings together marketing and PR professionals from throughout the health care community. We strive to provide amazing marketing and PR related content that helps HealthIT companies and healthcare organizations  stand out amidst all the noise of the industry. If you’re looking to market to hospital executives, doctors, practice managers, patients, or other healthcare professionals, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the HITMC community!