The Top 75: MedThink Communications
Among the achievements that marked the past year for Raleigh, NC-based MedThink Communications are the fact that the firm lost no accounts in 2010, and reported revenue of $16.25
million, versus $13.4 million reported in 2009 (about 21% growth). “We're really proud of the fact that we've been open for seven years [this August],” says partner Walt Clarke, “and we've had significant growth every single year.”
The agency has also been busy expanding its client offering via new divisions and a new firm, all under the MedThink brand name. Last year, making good on its aim to expand a digital offering, the shop rolled out a new online collaboration portal called MedThink Connect, which connects companies with key opinion leaders (KOLs) in their field.
“It's really a nice way to connect with thought leaders in between meetings, if you just need some quick feedback,” explains partner Scott Goudy. “We've rolled it out with a couple different clients already—we're using it with Teva [Pharmaceuticals] and United Therapeutics. We have several other clients interested in it, and we hope to initiate it with them fairly soon.”
MedThink SciCom was founded in 2010 – in response to the changing regulatory environment – as a standalone agency dedicated to client publications, according to Goudy. “A lot of clients will really want that separation between scientific communications and promotion, so we've gone ahead and proactively created this organization so that we have that unique entity to service those types of clients,” he says. “MedThink Inc. is our parent company, and MedThink Communications is our promotional advertising, full-service agency, and then, MedThink SciCom is our publications agency.”
The business's expansion also included a new office, with an additional 6,500 square feet of space, and the hiring of Brian Peters to MedThink's management team, as VP of promotional services. In addition to Clarke, Goudy and Peters, the agency's senior leadership team includes: Michael Szumera, VP, public relations; Ed Leon, account director, medical communications; and Todd Parker, PhD, scientific director.
Highlights for MedThink's past year in business center around an account with Salix Pharmaceuticals, including the building and launching of a new corporate website. “We also kind of led their first steps into social media with a Facebook page and a Twitter account,” Clarke admits. “The highest visibility of those programs was probably the launch of a consumer education campaign around colon cancer prevention. It was based around the idea of Colonoscopy for Dummies.…So far, the feedback has been very positive on that.”
On account wins last year, Clarke says MedThink won five pieces of “significant” business: promotional business for Cornerstone Therapeutics' asthma product, Zyflo CR; another promotional win for Victory Pharma's Rybix ODT pain medication; a product and digital programming account with medical device company Teleflex; and an AOR win for BioDelivery Sciences International's public relations business.
“We also won an AOR across all disciplines that we can't talk about right now,” Clarke discloses. “It's related to the NDA filing, so you know how that is.”
Touching upon MedThink's focus for growth, Clarke notes three areas the agency plans to invest in: “We've touched on the digital media services, and then obviously public relations. Therapeutically, we really see an opportunity in infectious disease and oncology, and that's where we are focusing a lot of our new business.”