Conversations at the Intersection of PR, Traditional & New Media

Genesis Burson-Marsteller and Medulla Communications strengthen pharma and healthcare offering through an exclusive partnership to boost collective strength in Health and Wellness communication

Genesis Burson-Marsteller recently announced its strategic partnership with Medulla Communications, a specialized healthcare communications agency, aiming to provide integrated strategic, creative and medical communication solutions for the Health and Wellness sector. Headquartered in Mumbai, Medulla will now exclusively partner with Genesis Burson-Marsteller to service health and wellness communication requirements.

Uniquely positioned to navigate the complex healthcare landscape, this alliance enables Genesis Burson-Marsteller and Medulla to leverage opportunities jointly to establish deep relationships with decision makers in pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare and nutrition, medical devices, healthcare delivery, diagnostic centres and importantly, with healthcare policymakers.

Healthcare has emerged as one of the most progressive and largest service sectors in India, with an expected GDP spend of 8% in 2012, up from 5.5% in 2009. The Indian healthcare sector is expected to become a US $280 billion industry by 2020, with spending on health estimated to grow 14% annually. While sustained expansion of healthcare delivery facilities is expected; allied sectors like pharma, wellness, medical technology, medical tourism, medical education, and health insurance, will witness unprecedented growth in the coming decade.

With these changing dynamics of the healthcare landscape, it has become increasingly complex for companies to navigate the regulatory, technology, media, competition, consumer, retail and influencers (healthcare professional) communication requirements. Healthcare companies now need a single window service to address their strategic, marketing and communication concerns across all media and target audiences. To provide this vast array of services and expertise it is necessary for agencies in the healthcare space to collaborate with each other and as leaders in our respective segments, Genesis Burson-Marsteller and Medulla felt that we should lead the formation of strategic alliances in the healthcare domain as well.

The two consultancies now have the combined ability to offer a unique blend of service lines that provide an evidence-based idea driven approach across all communication platforms – traditional, social media, broadcast, etc. with reach extending from major Metro cities to Tier II and III markets. The comprehensive suite of offerings includes Brand Strategy and Communication, Medical Strategy and Advisory, Key Opinion Leader (KOL) Relationships, Physician and Influencer Engagement, Consumer and Patient Education and Support, Corporate Reputation Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Affairs and Digital Marketing – all designed to support the clients’ business objectives.

Speaking on the partnership, Prema Sagar, Principal & Founder of Genesis Burson-Marsteller said, “Given the immense potential in the health and wellness market, we are excited to be working with such an innovative team of healthcare communication experts. Our combined experience allows us to understand the ever evolving and specialized needs of this sector and help clients adapt and innovate. Together, we will be a force multiplier for our existing and potential clients.” 

She added, “As the trend towards preventive healthcare continues, our collaboration with Medulla will help both healthcare and other marketers connect health and wellness benefits to their products to capitalize on this trend and win consumer awareness, sales, and loyalty. We believe that an organized approach to communication measurably improves healthcare delivery.” 

Commenting on the development, Praful Akali, Founder and Managing Director, Medulla Communications said “Corporate reputation, corporate social responsibility and public policy influence are  nowhere of more significance than in the health and wellness segments – the immense experience that Genesis Burson-Marsteller brings in these areas will certainly help our clients. Moreover, this partnership allows us to bring in an integrated communications offering and scale that clients in this sector may not have experienced before.” Adding on, Praful spoke about the 5-year vision for the alliance, stating, “We would like to partner with healthcare industry leaders to play a role in consumer, patient, retailer and HCP education in categories like diabetes, cancer, heartcare, nutrition, cough and cold, pain management and many others. 

Both firms have their own areas of expertise – while Genesis Burson-Marsteller brings global best practices and integrated strategic thinking in communications, Medulla brings deep knowledge of the healthcare sector and the skillsets specific to the health and wellness ecosystem. Given that health care is among the most vulnerable sectors, Genesis Burson-Marsteller’s experience and understanding to help clients prepare and respond effectively to crises situations through risk management audits, message development and issue reference documentation, simulations, issue response and crises recovery and training, will certainly prove beneficial for clients.

This alliance will bring to clients the ability to leverage an in-house team of doctors, certified medical writers, medical strategists and medico-marketing experts. Medulla’s unique tie-ups with International associations like American Association of Continuing Medical Education (AACME) and American Gastroenterology Association (AGA), where they helped develop customized content for India, will also open up new avenues for clients.

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Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed by me in this blog are my personal views and do not represent the views of my employer or the organizations I have been associated with. I believe in the principle of sharing information. Feel free to link to any of the posts in this blog.
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