NEW YORK: Publicis Healthcare Communications Group has launched Publicis Health Media, which will integrate media talent across its firms.
As part of the initiative, the communications network will place staffers from its media offering at each of its agencies, including Digitas Health, Saatchi & Saatchi Health, and Publicis Life Brands.
The goal of the offering is to allow staffers to work effectively across a holistic media ecosystem that includes earned, owned, digital, and paid media.
The model is new for the healthcare communications group. Matt McNally will serve as president of the new offering. McNally has launched and led the media divisions of Digitas Health and Razorfish Health since 2004.
The earned media focus will include seeking out key bloggers on a particular illness and reaching out to them on behalf of clients.
In the digital space, the group will create branded and unbranded programs on Facebook and Twitter.
Social media is still a relatively new area for many pharmaceutical companies. Tight Food and Drug Administration regulations on listing risk information on the same page as benefits, as well as tight deadlines to investigate and report adverse events, have kept some from embracing the channels for outreach.
“There can be drastic legal ramifications,” McNally said.
The firm is currently working with some pharmaceutical companies on Facebook pages that will be more interactive should consumers raise concerns about a product.
“For a lot of the conversations that are happening in these places, people just want someone to respond,” he said.
Part of the firm's work on social media may also involve recommending clients not use the channels because there are some ailments that consumers may not be comfortable discussing on social networks.
“We ask ‘what does social mean for the consumers in that disease sate?'” McNally said.
In 2010, Publicis Healthcare acquired healthcare PR agency, Resolute Communications in an effort to offer European clients an integrated multichannel communication model.