Most Rated 2012: Red Door Communications

Red Door Communications is one of the journalists' favourite PR agencies. Catherine Oliver, managing director, and Simon Warne, media director, explain their philosophy of media relations.

Most Rated: Simon Warne, media director

Age and ownership: Established in 2000 by Catherine Warne, Julia Harries and Simon Warne

Size: 42 staff

Location: Richmond-upon-Thames

Specialism: Healthcare

Key accounts:  ViiV Healthcare, AstraZeneca, Astellas, McNeil, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme

Most Rated Agencies snapshot: The best-known PR agency among the healthcare media, Red Door Communications is also clearly the most respected. Journalists appreciate being able to easily reach their contacts and get relevant background info on stories


How I see it - by md Catherine Oliver


What the journalists say


About the agency

"Very good health agency. Experienced staff who don’t pitch rubbish and know their stuff, and are candid over what they are promoting."

About Simon Warne, media director

"Longstanding supporter of the Medical Journalists Association"


We feel hugely proud and humbled to be voted the most-rated PR agency by health journalists. 

Whilst communications is broader than media relations alone, media relations lies at the heart of what we do, and is a key differentiator from our competitors.

We have a fantastic team at RDC with exceptional media relations skills who work hard to present compelling stories to the media in a collaborative and meaningful way, while staying within the pharmaceutical industry’s code

Media-handling tips - by media director Simon Warne

Since its inception in 2000 Red Door Communications has put excellence in media relations at the top of its agenda. 

As a former medical journalist, I work with RDCs’ account handling team to make sure that contacts with journalists are appropriate, fruitful and of benefit to both parties. The key to success in this area is media knowledge. 

At RDC we pride ourselves with knowing the journalists we speak to – they are not random names on lists, they are people we know, understand and respect. 

Beyond knowing the journalists, we also know their publications and programmes. Because of the volume of clients we represent we speak to our journalist contacts on a regular basis and have a clear idea of what makes a good story for them. 

If a media element to a PR programme is suggested or requested we analyse `the story’ closely. Our media team will advise on the story’s strength; who will find it interesting (and who will not); which media should therefore be targeted; and what needs to be done to make the story as strong as possible.

Underpinning all of this is what the client expects the media audience to do as a result of seeing or hearing any coverage. 

Finally, we have strong writing skills ourselves.  So we can advise on clarity of messages; how to tell a story succinctly; style of press releases - and basic good English!

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