Medilink EM is the membership and networking organisation for the healthcare and bioscience sector in the East Midlands, encompassing medical technologies, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Membership benefits include sector specific support in marketing, regulatory affairs, clinical evaluation and procurement, access to training and networking events, international conference and exhibition support, and use of sophisticated research tools.
Medilink EM’s diverse membership base includes large healthcare companies such as 3M Health Care in Loughborough, medium size companies including Pennine Healthcare in Derby and smaller companies such as Hospital Aids in Northampton and XenoGesis in Nottingham. Members are also drawn from the region’s broader healthcare community including service companies, the universities, and the NHS.
MedilinkEM is part of a national network of similar organisations, Medilink UK, which is driving national healthcare strategy through its links with central government.
The organisation has also been contract-holder for delivering the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet, a region-wide support project part-funded under the European Regional Development Fund and managed by emda.
As a membership organisation, Medilink EM perceived a need to raise its profile with members and potential members as well as the wider healthcare and bioscience sector. Activity would alert non-members to the benefits of membership and ensure that members took fullest advantage of these benefits as well as being reaffirmed of the value of membership.
The Healthcare and Bioscience iNet also required specific PR campaign activity to record business successes, to recognise the support of the funding bodies and to generate more interest from companies in need of advice and finance.
The brief is to liaise with the senior management team to gather news stories, to seek commentary opportunities and to attract media coverage across the East Midlands. The aim is to raise Medilink’s profile on a regional and, where appropriate, on a national level with both members and the general healthcare and bioscience sector.
Integra Communications has acted as public relations and public affairs agent for both Medilink and the iNet since 2010. In addition to monthly news management, Integra provides event planning advice and is involved in the execution of the annual Innovation Day and Awards celebration. Integra Communications provides pre-event press activity, including case studies on potential award winners, media and photography management on the day itself, as well as post-event press release handling of the Awards’ winners in local and national media.
A public affairs campaign for the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet required Integra to oversee the production of two videos; ‘Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience’ and ‘Collaboration in Healthcare and Bioscience’ involving appropriate Medilink and iNet clients. The videos form part of ongoing activity to ensure the Government is aware of the work in the East Midlands.
In December 2011, Medilink EM established a podcast recording studio in BioCity Nottingham to be managed by Integra Communications. A contract to deliver 24 audio pieces is near completion, creating a library of recordings on topics ranging from understanding clinical trials, to working with the Wellcome Foundation. Interviews with up to four expert guests are planned and edited by Integra Communications.
Company Director Louise Third runs free PR clinics for Medilink members who want to understand how they can manage their own PR. She has delivered 5 such clinics to members, and has also run a breakfast seminar for 70 delegates on working with the media.
In the period June 2010 – April 2012 a total of 383 items of media coverage have been recorded.
Coverage ranges from local press such as the Nottingham Post, Derby Telegraph, Leicester Mercury, Nottinghamshire Today, Midlands Business Insider,
National coverage in the Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times and Financial Times;
Trade press titles such as MedTech Business, Life Sciences magazine, Director magazine, Science in Parliament, and Occupational Health.
Broadcast coverage on the BBC TV, Radio Leicester, Radio Derbyshire, and Radio Nottingham
“Medilink was looking to appoint an agency with proven experience in the enterprise and bioscience sectors and with good experience of working with major funders and partners. Integra Communications showed proven expertise in placing news across the East Midlands business and news media and was able to demonstrate contacts within the national business and bioscience media.
The results of their work have been evident in the coverage achieved and also in the step-change development of our Innovation Day Conference and Awards Dinner in the past two years. The team’s obvious enjoyment in their work makes them a pleasure to work with.”
Dr. Darren Clark, Chief Executive, Medilink East Midlands