Say Health

Say Comms delivered eye-catching healthcare fee income growth of 64 per cent in 2008, thanks to a growing reputation as a specialist provider of consultancy to NGS organisations. Led by joint MD and director of healthcare Stefi Rucci, key wins included Janssen-Cilag, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Name of agency: Say Health - a division of Say Communications

Address: 5th Floor, The Courtyard, 7 Francis Grove. Wimbledon. LONDON SW19 4DW

Telephone: 020 8971 6400



Ranking in Healthcare Top 25:

% growth in healthcare fee income:   

Ranking in Top 150:

Healthcare fee income 2008: £777,721

Total fee income 2008: £1,500,000

Total staff 2008: 19

Who is in the hotseat? Stefi Rucci, Joint MD, Director of Healthcare, Say Communications

Sum up your agency's 2008 in three words: ‘Keep exceeding expectations’

Three best healthcare client or campaign wins:
Janssen-Cilag (pharma) - NHS relationship building and professional education in mental health; Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – strategic marcomms consultancy and implementation programme; Boehringer Ingelheim (pharma) – professional and media relations campaign for thrombolysis in stroke.

Healthcare highlights of 2008:
A combination of new and organic business growth contributed to a 28% growth in annual fee income in 2008. Our growing reputation as a specialist provider of marcomms and stakeholder engagement consultancy to NHS organisations has been a big feature of the past year, creating opportunities for some really pioneering work. Organic growth in our large therapeutic nutrition portfolio maintains our position as one of the foremost agencies in this sector.  Last but not least, winning the Best Professional Education Project in the prestigious Communiqué Awards for our work in repositioning a thrombolytic therapy in cardiac care was a rewarding highpoint of the year.

Significant hires in the healthcare team in 2008: We had two new additions to the team in 2008, including the recruitment of a specialist nurse to strengthen our contingent of medical staff.

Staffing overall 2008:
The healthcare team has continued to grow, meeting the needs of the business. Recruitment, however, remains a priority for 2009.

Plans and predictions for healthcare PR in 2009/10:
Overall, healthcare PR will weather the economic storms blowing across the wider marketing and communications sectors, provided organisations can adapt swiftly to changing needs. We won’t see the kind of growth experienced in 2008, however, as budgets are contained and a stronger emphasis on ROI and cost effectiveness dictates the direction of travel. There are however several areas of high opportunity. These opportunities are driven by the far-reaching changes we are witnessing in the pharma marketplace, by the special needs of those NHS organisations edging into a more business-driven environment and the new alignment of clinical imperative and political will on the need to curb the impact of lifestyle-related diseases.

Healthcare business or brand to watch in 2009 and why:
No apologies for trumpet blowing on this occasion. I’m putting my money on my own agency as a brand to watch. Okay, so how can I justify? Full of confidence from a boom 2008 which saw us win business across the NHS and pharma, we’ve successfully established ourselves as a full spectrum health agency with a 360 degree view of the healthcare world. Our deep expertise in some of the big growth areas of healthcare PR including stakeholder engagement, marcomms strategy and collaborative education ventures between the NHS and pharma will drive our brand forward in 2009/10. 

How were you affected by the swine flu issue in 2OO9? In terms of staff and clients’ health, so far so good. The swine flu issue however has dominated the health agenda in the mainstream media, at the expense of other issues.

How is the recession affecting the healthcare market, in your eyes?
Despite long standing gloom about the pharma industry’s pipeline prospects, the sector is seen as one of the comparatively safer places to shelter from the recession and for investors to deposit their sovereigns in stocks and shares.  The NHS’s financial shortfall will inevitably have a serious impact on service provision and its ability to innovate for years to come.  For healthcare comms agencies, despite initial fears of marketing budgets being axed across the board, things seem in general to be pretty resilient. In some instances, the impact of the recession on the mental and physical health of the population has triggered greater investment in some health areas that were previously ignored. What’s changed, though, is a focus on driving efficiencies, value for money and the importance of providing ever more specialist and niche quality services.  Organisations’ ability to adapt will determine winners and losers. We expect this environment to continue in 2010. 

One thing you won't know about the agency: More than half of Say's clients - across our healthcare, technology, energy, management consultancy and economic development practices - have been with us for over five years. Some of our healthcare clients have been with us for over 10!


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