SAN FRANCISCO: Ditto PR’s Blain Rethmeier has joined Hims & Hers as VP of public affairs as the company builds out its marketing, communications and public affairs functions.
Based in San Francisco, Rethmeier will report to Chris Massey, who recently joined the company as SVP of public affairs and government relations. Rethmeier also reports to CMO Melissa Waters on a dotted-line basis.
"A big part of my focus will be on educating and bringing awareness to a relatively new industry," Rethmeier said. "I think a good analogy [is] what Uber and Lyft did 10 years ago for riders; we’re doing the same thing for patients. We’re a tech platform that connects them to licensed physicians."
Hims & Hers is also hiring a VP of comms, a head of content, a head of creative and filling other prominent roles, Rethmeier said. Its public affairs team will number between 15 and 20, while marketing will be a function of at least 50 staffers, he added.
Hims & Hers’ creative agency is Gin Lane Media, which works with direct-to-consumer brands such as Warby Parker and Harry’s Shave Club. For PR, it works with New York-based Derris, which also has well-known DTC accounts. Both firms have worked with Hims & Hers since its 2017 launch.
Hims & Hers is a DTC telehealth company geared toward people who avoid brick-and-mortar locations and want to receive "care in a convenient and accessible way." In its male-oriented business, Hims, it sells treatments for erectile dysfunction and hair loss, as well as over-the-counter beauty products. The female-oriented business, which was launched last November, sells hair-loss treatments and birth control. The company operates in 25 states.
Hims & Hers raised $100 million this year, bringing its total funding to $200 million and giving it a valuation of $1 billion.
"The company is relatively new," Rethmeier said. "We broke through a lot of stigmas about health and wellness and have made that conversation about those issues that men and women shy away from with the doctor [easier] through our tech and platform."
Previously, Rethmeier was MD for the West Coast at Ditto PR, MD of corporate and crisis at Edelman, managing partner at Strategic Action Public Affairs and SVP of public affairs and government relations at the U.S. Travel Association.
He has also served as an aide in the administration of President George W. Bush, with roles supporting the National Economic and Homeland Security councils. More recently, he served as an adviser for the Senate confirmations of former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and his successor, Kristjen Nielsen.