“What I like best about working with HealthStar is their understanding of what it takes to grow a pharmaceutical market in a responsible, effective way,” says Brian Mitchell, director of marketing for Solvay Pharmaceuticals. “It takes more than traditional physician education/promotion. It takes more than catchy tag lines and TV commercials. Today’s patient is more connected, informed and thus empowered than ever before in our history. Today’s patient seeks information proactively from multiple sources and through multiple media. HealthStar has been in lock step with us as we’ve worked to connect today’s patient with relevant branded and unbranded key messages for our product. HealthStar has treated the use of news media as a strategic marketing tool intended to raise awareness of an important and under-treated condition. I can say with confidence that the remarkable results we have generated in terms of raising new patient awareness of this condition would not have been as impressive had HSPR not embraced this philosophy as firmly as we do.”
HealthStar launched HealthStar Public Relations in 2003, and over the past six years the firm has worked on a wide variety of health-related assignments—from pre-launch communications to new product introductions to mature brand marketing to corporate reputation management—with particular expertise in integrated communications, aligning messaging strategies across both paid and earned media, and multidisciplinary advocacy, and a consistent emphasis on providing clients with return-on-investment measurement systems that evaluate paid media equivalency, message deliver, and awareness impact.
The firm is led by president and chief executive Helene Ellison, a 25-year veteran of leadership positions at Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, PR 21, and Stratis/KPR who has helped launch more than 40 brands and has expertise in corporate positioning, product lifecycle and regulatory communications, strategic alliance building, and crisis management; and executive vice president and general manager Erinn White, formerly of Ketchum, whose 16 years of experience include work for pharmaceutical products in all phases of development.
After a strong first half to the year, budget cuts and regulatory setbacks in the fourth quarter meant HealthStar ended the year flat, despite new business from clients including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech and Novo Nordisk, who joined a client list that includes Bayer Consumer Care, Duramed, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Health, Forest Laboratories/Almirall, and Solvay Pharmaceuticals.
The firm continued to gain recognition for its work, including three Silver Anvils and a SABRE Award, with high=-profile assignments including a men’s health campaign for Solvay and the American Diabetes Association; the Bayer One-A-Day breast health campaign with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Ellen Degeneres; and the Bayer One-A-Day Major League Baseball and prostate health campaign.
In June 2008, HealthStar PR entered into a partnership agreement with Globalcom PR-Network to extend the agency’s international presence via partner agencies in 40 countries throughout the European Union, Asia Pacific,