OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications: one brand fit for the future

Written by Matt de Gruchy on Tuesday 19th March 2019

Matt de Gruchy, CEO OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications, takes 10 minutes out to discuss the recent rebranding of OPEN Health’s patient engagement, brand and communications businesses.

1. Why have The Earthworks, Reynolds-Mackenzie and LEC rebranded as OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications (PBC)?

OPEN Health was created in 2011 with a mission of becoming the most respected healthcare agency in the world. This mission coupled with entrepreneurial spirit saw the business grow from four people to 500+ in eight years with eight discrete specialisms, all operating under different brands. As a business we saw the natural synergies among select parts of the group and this rebranding initiative allows us to align our services to better meet the needs of our clients.

The Earthworks, LEC and Reynolds-Mackenzie will now operate within the OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications practice. These services share a similar client-focus and client-base, so rather than going in to talk to customers about our individual offers, this new approach allows us to talk to them about their more complex brand challenges in a more joined-up way. We feel it is a more compelling proposition. However, we remain nimble and clients will have the flexibility to work with individual services within the practice as well as with a bespoke team with integrated skillsets to reflect the unique business challenges they face.

The vision for this new practice is to expand our global client relationships. Bringing the agencies together under single leadership will allow us to realise this vision in a more efficient way. We will streamline our resources within insights, strategy, patient engagement and creative services to ensure client teams can tap into talent as and when needed. Lastly, we believe our centralised digital capability will allow us to deliver better tech-enabled solutions.

2. What has happened to The EarthWorks, Reynolds-MacKenzie and LEC?

The specialisms and people within these teams obviously still exist; they are just being renamed under one joined-up, collaborative entity called OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications.  There will still be a PR team, a brand communications team, and an insights and research team.  And each of these will now benefit from the centralised expertise of creativity, strategy and patient engagement.  The digital and development team (originally part of The Earthworks) will move into our central OPEN Health Digital team.  

While the individual brands don’t exist, the expertise within each company is still very much there.

3. What are the core services that OPEN Health Patient and Brand Communications now offers?

We’ve broken these down into four major strands, all underpinned by creative, digital and health tech:

  1. Research and insight – patient journey mapping, patient research, HCP research, online and social listening, competitor landscape, horizon scanning, communications effectiveness
  2. Brand Comms – brand strategy & development, creative campaigns, closed-loop marketing & sales aids, multi-channel marketing, brand and disease awareness, corporate and internal motivation
  3. Patient Engagement – patient support programmes and apps, clinical trial recruitment & retention, advocacy & PAG relations, certified medical device apps, disease awareness & education
  4. Public Relations – media relations, access & value communications, corporate & internal communications, advocacy, global strategic comms planning, online content marketing and social media

By combining the insights and thinking of this wide breadth of specialisms and experts, we can deliver ‘multi-disciplinary thinking’ for our clients; something that we believe makes us better able to think more broadly about their challenges and provide more robust solutions.

4. What benefits does this bring to your clients?

We can offer them a simpler, more integrated, multi-channel communications solution. We will have strategy and insights at the core of everything we do. Creativity will also be used across the board and we will be using a patient centric approach when considering the majority of our clients’ challenges.  Finally, we will have a more consistent approach with how we engage digital solutions across all of our solutions.

From the very early conversations we have had with clients about the new OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications offer, they too see the benefits that this more integrated, holistic approach will bring.  We have to keep bringing this to life for all our clients – existing and new.

5. What benefits does this bring to your people?

The new structure will provide opportunities for involvement in a greater variety of work; therefore it will bring wider opportunities for our people’s own personal growth and experience. For those that want to grow their career in a more integrated full-service way, this is a very positive change. There will also be additional development and training on offer in the wider communications space and they will be able to mix with a broader range of peers, enabling them to learn more about other aspects of the industry. I believe this modern, integrated company approach is also more attractive to people outside of the company currently, and so should enable us to attract more great talent.

6. What else does the future hold?

Great excitement! We are right at the beginning of the journey and our vision is to create the most sought after brand and patient communications agency on the planet. The first six months will be learning how to work together as a new practice. Beyond that, I envisage us growing globally and being able to go after larger, more complex briefs than we have in the past. Following the merger with Peloton Advantage we also have a fantastic opportunity to help support some of their clients in the patient engagement and brand comms space, as we aim to grow our footprint internationally. We’d hope to grow quite rapidly as the integrated approach will allow us to go after a wider scope of business.

Get in touch

For more information contact:

Matt de Gruchy, CEO, OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications

+44 (0) 1628 481112