Welcome to the big, fat July issue, featuring our extensive annual coverage of healthcare agencies. And I'm proud to say that, at a gargantuan 212 pages, this book equals the record, set last July, for the largest-ever issue in the history of Medical Marketing & Media magazine (just so you know, we'll be 44 years old in October).
To put out record-setting editions of “The Agency Issue” in consecutive years (see also: difficult years) is no small achievement, and is a testament to the way that we try to go about our business here at MM&M, come rain or shine.
We strongly believe in building our brand through editorial credibility. That translates into achieving the highest quality editorial product possible, through journalism that is honest, reporting that is original, coverage that is relevant and opinion and analysis that is smart and thought-provoking—and wrapped in a format and design that is sharp and appealing.
This is certainly not the easiest path to take, especially during the type of brutal economic environment we have all experienced over the past couple of years. But we have refused to compromise our editorial values and now we believe we are coming out the other side of the recession in a very strong position, with our credibility intact, and then some.
Not only is this the right way to proceed, but for any editorial product worth its salt, it's the only way.
Nowhere are these core values better born out than in the The Agency Issue. Once again we have compiled in-depth profiles of the healthcare agencies we consider to be the Top 75; not because they are necessarily our favorites, nor because we are especially impressed with their achievements (although in a numerous cases we are), and certainly not on the basis of which ones might have promised us advertising revenue or treated us to lavish lunches and the like (do those even exist anymore?).
Simply, this group represents the 75 firms we determined to have the biggest revenues. Of course, in the majority of cases, we had to estimate these figures using a variety of factors—account rosters, employee levels, past performance and, of course, our extensive industry intelligence. It's not always a scientific methodology but I am confident we have made the right choices.
Each of the Top 75 profiles was written by an experienced journalist, based on a phone interview with the agency principal, or in some cases a face-to-face meeting, and compounded with additional research from a variety of sources.
These reports are not intended merely to provide a laundry list of facts and data (although a lot of this information is contained within them) or to communicate offerings and service in the tone of a business development director.
Rather, we wanted to use our strengths, our journalistic skills, to craft articles that convey something of the personality of each firm; to share the thoughts, insights and observations of each leader about where the industry is headed.
If you think this sounds like a lot of work, then you'd be right, it is. But, we think the fruits of our labors say more about any agency than a few columns of self-completed data fields. And we hope that it gives our client-side readers (around 60% of our audience, you might be surprised to learn) something more vibrant and memorable with which to differentiate standout agencies from the vuvuzela-style background noise.
We know that you keep this issue, but it's important to us that you enjoy it, too.