Healthcare public relations and public affairs specialist
When Louisiana Senator John Breaux sought to bring together health opinion leaders from across the political spectrum to explore ideas for reforming the nation’s healthcare system and addressing problems such as the increasing number of uninsured Americans, rising costs in treatment, and health disparities, he called on the public affairs team at Spectrum Science Communications to help him communicate the bipartisan nature of the event—which brought together longtime adversaries Hillary Clinton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—and made headlines in the National Journal and other opinion leader media.
Spectrum’s involvement underscored its own leadership position in the healthcare policy arena. Agency founder and CEO John Seng is a veteran of Hill & Knowlton, Interscience, and Shandwick—and has surrounded himself with a team of seasoned counselors, including executive vice president Jerry Franz, who joined in 2005 from Porter Novelli, senior VPs Kara McCollum and Susannah Budington, and newcomers Lisa Marinelli, who joined as vice president, and Jess Ferko, director of the growing interactive services group.
With such deep expertise in the healthcare environment, Spectrum differentiates itself on the basis of sturdy relationships with healthcare opinion leaders, including producers and reports in the trade and consumer media, activist groups, and others. Its product public relations capabilities include medical research support, alliance building, online outreach, public education and public affairs, and the firm also counsels clients on corporate and institutional image.
Major clients include Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Genentech while new additions in 2005 included Myriad Genetics, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Institute of Medicine and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and revenues were up by 24 percent, topping the $8 million mark. Highlights included the introduction of NitroMed’s BiDil, the first drug approved to treat a specific ethnic group: African- Americans with heart failure. And for the third consecutive year, Spectrum conducted communications activities around the Tour of Hope, a cross-country bike ride featuring Lance Armstrong that raises awareness of the importance clinical trial research.