EDITORIAL: Healthcare group is a real advance

The launch of the Healthcare Communications Association marks a

breakthrough in client-consultant relations. Red Door MD Catherine

Warne, who defected from the PRCA's healthcare group to instigate and

chair the organisation, is to be praised for her attempt to drive best

practice and to boost the attention given to training and


Operating in a regulated space and requiring detailed technical

knowledge, healthcare could be seen to stand apart from other parts of

the PR industry.

Issues such as training and evaluation apply across the board, but the

creation of the HCA is recognition that healthcare poses problems that

require specific solutions.

The major boost for the industry is the presence on the HCA executive of

most of the key players in in-house pharmaceutical PR. This appears to

mean that the association has been set up for the joint benefit of

consultancy and the industry - not to promote growth or market share but

to advance best practice.

The PRCA, whose now defunct healthcare group bears a striking

resemblance to the founding committee of the HCA, is inevitably

generalist. The danger for the association is that other sectors -

financial PR, public affairs, internal communications - may start to

feel strongly enough that the PRCA is too generalist for their

sector-specific needs.

While a proliferation of trade bodies may be seen as a sign of strength

for the industry, it may equally be seen as a sign of weakness from its

representative organ.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in