In the annual survey published yesterday, entitled: 'Race to the Bottom’ – Is Healthcare Communications Putting its own Future at Risk?, the HCA also rallied comms consultancies to ‘stand up for their own worth’ in a climate of cost-cutting.
‘The HCA warns that pharma companies must appreciate the value of the specialised skills, creative thinking and strategic challenge that specialist comms agency partners can bring, and that, equally, consultancies must stand up for their own worth and not allow their services to become commoditised,’ stated the report.
Among the key trends in the survey, the HCA also highlighted that ‘cash flow continues to be a significant problem’ in the industry and said that delays in purchase orders meant that agencies often have to start work in ‘good faith’.
The survey also identified that 12 per cent of unsuccessful pitches by the survey participants failed because no agency was appointed. ‘Surely a waste of valuable time for all involved?’ said the report.
The 2010-11 survey attracted participation from 27 HCA member companies, with broad representation across the spectrum of those providing PR and medical education services.
The HCA was founded in July 2001 as an independent, not-for-profit organisation with aim of promoting excellence and best practice in the field of healthcare comms.