Health tech company hires TogoRun, Imre as states implement exchanges

CALVERTON, MD: Healthcare software and IT company EngagePoint has selected TogoRun and Imre as agency partners as it positions itself as a resource for implementing state and private health insurance exchanges.

CALVERTON, MD: Healthcare software and IT company EngagePoint has selected TogoRun and Imre as agency partners as it positions itself as a resource for implementing state and private health insurance exchanges.

EngagePoint named TogoRun its PR AOR and Imre its marketing agency last month following a competitive review involving at least a dozen other firms, said Stuart Itkin, VP of marketing at the company. TogoRun and Imre are the company's first communications agencies.

The appointments follow EngagePoint's rebranding last year from Consumer Health Technologies. EngagePoint also needs PR and marketing support because it is growing rapidly, said Itkin, who joined the company last December. It ranked No. 34 on the 2012 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing US private companies and No. 2 in the healthcare sector.

“We're at a point where we need very clear, compelling messaging goals to describe what we do and what we bring to customers and prospects,” Itkin said. “It's important we establish our expertise and authority on healthcare IT integration for health insurance exchanges and the modernization of Medicaid systems.”

Exchanges are marketplaces where consumers can buy insurance and insurers sell plans. The Affordable Care Act mandated that states create exchanges by January 1, 2013, so individuals and small employers could purchase coverage from them by the start of the following year.

TogoRun, a subsidiary of Fleishman-Hillard, is focusing on raising awareness of EngagePoint through traditional media relations and third-party outreach, said TogoRun partner and MD Anne Woodbury.

“Our goal is to showcase EngagePoint and [CEO] Pradeep Goel as a resource to the states, federal government leadership, and anyone dealing with these health insurance exchange challenges,” she said. “There's a lot of change happening in the next few months. Now people are seeing the enormity of the task and asking questions about best practices and the right way to build them. That's the kind of stuff that's EngagePoint's sweet spot.”

TogoRun is running the account from its Washington DC office. The agency will partner with Fleishman as needed, particularly in Atlanta because of that team's experience working on insurance exchange issues, Woodbury added.

From its Baltimore headquarters, Imre is leading marketing efforts such as branding, online development, and presence at industry shows.

“The nature of our work is to help position and differentiate EngagePoint in a market that's becoming increasingly crowded,” said Jeff Smokler, SVP of healthcare at Imre. “The leadership has the vision and insider industry knowledge that will go a long way toward shaping the exchange environment.”

EngagePoint initially issued an RFP for a single agency but later decided to divide the PR and marketing duties between two firms, Itkin said. TogoRun and Imre will collaborate closely on integrated marcomms programs, he added.

“Many of the other pitches from agencies were about them, what they did, and others they did it for. [Imre's and TogoRun's] pitches were orientated toward us, and they clearly demonstrated to us that our business was important to them,” Itkin said.

He declined to disclose the account budget.

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