When Marybeth Belsito, a veteran of senior healthcare communications roles at Edelman and Manning Selvage & Lee, unveiled her new public relations firm two years ago it was clear that she was trying to create a different kind of agency, one that adopted a values-driven approach to the business. Innovations included a culture that puts people first, an emphasis on ethics, a refusal to charge any agency mark-up, and a commitment to risk sharing. It was an approach that immediately identified Belsito & Company as an intriguing newcomer in the crowded healthcare space.
One result is that the firm has been able to attract a team of seasoned healthcare communications veterans such as Tara DiMilia (media relations director) and Christie Anbar (healthcare director), and to keep employee turnover to a minimum. The payoff from that is that organic growth has been very healthy, with the firm’s major clients (Aventis Behring, Gilead Sciences in HIV/AIDS, Pfizer in pediatric health) steadily increasing their spending. Revenues will top $2 million in 2000, a 55 percent increase, thanks to organic growth and new work from Pharmacia (crisis management for the growth hormone Genotropin).
A new addition to the leadership team is Gil Shepard, who joined as media director from the Gay Men’s Heath Crisis, where he edited the publication Treatment Issues.