The Top 60: S&R Communications Group

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Asked about their top priorities for the remainder of 2008 and beyond, most agency prexies don't wait for the question to end before they start spewing the words “interactive” and “digital.” But when the same question is put to Paul Dreyer, president and COO of S&R Communications Group, his answer has a decidedly more old-school bent.

S&R remains committed to targeting primary care physicians first and foremost. “With all the changes in healthcare, obviously physicians aren't the key decision-makers anymore,” he says. “We get that. But if you get the communications and message right with physicians, that's the most important first step.”
Which isn't to say that S&R has let the interactive/ digital bandwagon pass it by. The company grew its capabilities during the last year by hiring new staffers and striving to educate existing ones.

Dreyer, like just about everybody else, bemoans the pressure that the industry has faced in recent months. Still, S&R has weathered the storm, remaining about the same size (50 staffers across S&R and spun-off CME-focused sister firm Scienta Healthcare Education) despite the loss of a key client, Sepracor.

S&R had worked with Sepracor for around seven years and Dreyer admits that the loss “put a lot of pressure on us, because we had to fill the revenue loss.” That said, the firm hasn't resorted to layoffs, thanks to big successes on the new-business front. Wins included Inspire Pharmaceuticals (for the AzaSite launch) and Prestwick Pharmaceuticals (for the Xenazine launch). Siemens Medical and Mattson Jack Group tapped S&R for a range of corporate work and communications, while Sciele Pharma hired the firm to tout Zovirax.

As for the future, Dreyer expects another challenging year for the business as a whole.
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