Agency moves to city, hopes talent will follow

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Interlink Healthcare Communications relocated from Princeton to the heart of Manhattan, to make it easier for the shop to recruit top talent, said the agency's president. She now hopes the move will also help her build on recent new business wins.

The new office is five blocks from Grand Central Station. "It will be much easier for us to find top-notch talent now because of New York's larger talent pool," said Susan Flinn, who runs the agency, part of Interpublic Group's Lowe Healthcare Worldwide, along with Dave Renner, EVP, creative director.

“When [Interlink] was founded in 1996, it made sense to be in Princeton, because the biggest client was Bristol-Myers Squibb,” she said. Bristol-Myers Squibb maintains corporate headquarters in New York City but has sites in Princeton and four other New Jersey towns.

A few of NYC's healthcare goliaths maintain smaller satellites in Princeton to service NJ's “pharma row.” Omnicom's Cline Davis & Mann has CDM Princeton. Havas' Euro network has Euro RSCG Life Catapult. InVentiv's GSW Worldwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, has an office just over the Delaware River, in Newtown, PA.

Some Interlink employees decided not to make the move from Jersey, but just as many did, Flinn said, and since the relocation, new recruits have brought head count to 37, including eight in the last two months. A new director of client services, Katie Brunner, came on board from LLNS. Interlink, long considered a high-science agency because of its medical staff, also just hired a new medical director, Charlotte Singh, MD. While always looking for good copywriters, art directors and editors, Flinn said she considers the agency “fairly well staffed” at this point, although a couple of positions have opened up on the account side because of new business.

In September the agency won two accounts from a large Midwestern pharma company, as well as pre-launch work for a small Texas biotech with a promising cancer agent.

With more than half of its clients located outside the New York/New Jersey area, Flinn said Interlink's new location makes it easier for out-of-town clients to “fly into LaGuardia, hop on a train and be in our offices in half an hour.” She's also hoping that Pfizer, located close by, takes notice. The agency has been on Pfizer's preferred vendor list for at least two years but hasn't picked up any new assignments.
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