The Healthcare sector is predominantly focused on enhancing the patient experience. The need to provide high-quality care in a cordial and safe environment has led to the constant evolution of the healthcare sector. And with it rose the importance of Public Relations (PR) in the healthcare sector to help healthcare institutes to be the front runners.
However, in the competition of staying ahead, many PR Agencies often make the mistake of crafting a generic pitch and in turn, the brands fail to build trust in their patients. Intending to disrupt the existing healthcare PR sector Chris Whitehouse, Chairman, and Director, founded Whitehouse Communications in 1998.
For over two decades Whitehouse Communications has established itself as a prominent healthcare PR agency by consistently supporting businesses, trade associations, charities, and campaigning groups in the UK and the European Union (EU).
The company, with its expert strategic communications campaigns, has been helping its clients to achieve their policy, regulatory, and legislative goals.
During an interview for the latest edition of Insights Care, Chris Whitehouse explained how The Whitehouse Communications is bringing real change for its clients. “The Whitehouse Communications delivers real change for our clients, ensuring the political landscape supports the aims of both healthcare businesses and the public’s wellbeing. We further help achieve hard-hitting media coverage which gets the core messages out to an influential audience,” says Chris.
Read the following interview to know how, under the strong leadership of Chris Whitehouse, Whitehouse Communications is bringing real change in the healthcare space.
Brief us about how you have set yourself apart from the competition through your expertise in healthcare PR and communication?
Healthcare PR has boomed through huge leaps in technology, changes in the political complexion of governments, and demographic trends. What we do differently is take the time at the beginning of a new brief to understand the niche sub-section of the healthcare space in which our clients, as well as the current media, legislative, and regulatory landscape, operate. We identify the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead and ensure that our clients are engaging with the right people, in the right way at the right time.
What other services does your company offer, and how are you making an impact in the global healthcare industry?
At Whitehouse, we offer a full range of communications services for consumers, businesses, or political influencers. We are unrivalled experts in the healthcare policy space both in the UK and with the institutions and member states of the EU.
Using this expertise, we can help health and social care businesses raise their profile, positioning them as thought leaders and so delivering the policy decisions that impact them.
We’ve changed European food law, created an opportunity for premises providers profitably to invest £3 billion in National Health Service infrastructure, protected the benevolent regulatory arrangements for suppliers of urology products, moved obesity up the public policy agenda also championed the role of special wound products. The company also helped create a stem cell bank, defended the legislative position of food supplements and herbal remedies, and promoted awareness of the role of the children’s air ambulance service.
We have also played a major role in helping bring the Olympic Games to London and supported a wide range of medical charities dealing with issues such as AIDS, ovarian cancer, cerebral palsy, and paediatric incontinence.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on how the adoption of modern technologies and platforms in PR and communication has transformed the industry and what more could be expected in the near future?
The world of PR continues to change rapidly as it has over the last few decades. Long gone are the days of pitching every story over the phone or a leisurely lunch. With the PR and communications sector no strangers to digitisation, multiple pitches for stories fly into journalists’ inboxes every minute. For PR professionals, we’ve got to ensure that our stories are targeted, relevant, and genuinely newsworthy and of interest to journalists’ readers.
Social media presents a relatively new, and rapidly evolving landscape for PRs to navigate. It is dangerous for those in the industry to ignore or underestimate social media’s power. It’s a platform that must be considered when looking at reputation management and it’s an opportunity to connect with customers, prospects, and influencers to further the cause.
Taking into consideration, the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how are you driving your company to sustain operations and ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
During the pandemic, The Whitehouse Communications experienced rapid and substantial growth. We’ve made 10 new hires and won new clients. This expansion of our team has allowed us to pursue new business leads more proactively and increased our skills base to offer an enhanced range of services.
Many organisations have realised that they must invest in PR and public affairs to shape the future of their sector to safeguard their business. When they invest in PR, they work with professionals who truly understand the media landscape and how to stand out from the crowd.
We sustained our operations through flexibility and the ability to adapt. Within a week of the pandemic hitting, we had refreshed all our existing clients’ strategies to reflect the changing political and news agenda and ensure they could continue to contribute to the policy conversation. We moved all Whitehouse’s PR and event operations online, adapting to technology that has proved hugely successful for the business through webinars, online roundtables, video interviews, and even award ceremonies.
We’re incredibly lucky that our business can be operated from home relatively easily. However, just because our team can work from home doesn’t mean we haven’t invested in their well-being. We made sure that we offered staff a full range of home office equipment and hold regular virtual social events so that we can stay connected.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the healthcare PR sector?
Be bold, launch your own agency. You might fail, but at least you’ll have tried. Or find an agency whose client base chimes with your own interests, whether that lies in innovative tech solutions or STEM-focused pharmaceutical clients, soft care services, or built infrastructure; real interest is infectious and sells well.
Where do you envision your organization to be in the long run and what are your future goals?
We will grow and expand our team even further so that we can offer increasingly wide communications with more team members who are experts in their healthcare fields, incorporating an in-house digital and design team. We’ll continue to work with clients to deliver highly influential campaigns in the healthcare policy sector, working for the good of healthcare workers, suppliers, providers, and patients.
Words of Worth
“Whitehouse has helped us refine our messaging on the value and potential role of LighterLife’s programmes, whilst ensuring that we remain aware and fully briefed on the important regulatory developments that affect our sector.” – Dr. Kelly Johnston, Head of Nutrition and Research, LighterLife
“Whitehouse’s professional insight and practical support have enabled us to significantly raise the political profile of pancreatic cancer – in a way that is required to start to make a difference to those affected by this disease.” – Clara Mackay, Deputy Chief Executive, Pancreatic Cancer UK
If you are interested in learning more about Whitehouse’s healthcare PR expertise and services, you can visit their website whitehousecomms.com or email Chris on Chris.Whitehouse@whitehousecomms.com