Talking PR with Katy Brooks from Orion Health


Highland Marketing has worked with Orion Health since 2013. Initially, it helped the New Zealand-based company to raise awareness of its Rhapsody integration engine and Consult electronic medical record in the UK.

More recently it has helped the company to raise awareness of, and start securing sales for, its clinical and patient portals and population health management solution. Highland Marketing talked to Katy Brooks, senior marketing manager at Orion Health, about the value of PR – and why she uses a specialist health tech agency to deliver.

Can you tell us something about Orion Health?
We are a New Zealand-based company. When we entered the UK market, we had a lot of Rhapsody customers, and then we picked up portal customers, and now we are seeing interest in population health management.Traditionally, our customers have been NHS hospitals, but over the years, with the move towards accountable care systems, we have been educating people that we are not just for hospitals and that we have tools to help health and care systems to deliver the best possible outcomes for patients. That has been our journey, and our PR activity is in support of that.
Why do PR? Why has PR been such an important part of your marketing mix?
We can create our own email newsletters and publish case studies, but when information comes from a respected journalism brand it has more credibility. When we do PR with Highland Marketing, it is almost always picked up by one of the big healthcare IT news channels, and that can have a big impact.
Why work with Highland Marketing?
Lots of reasons. We have a small team, so by working with you we are able to do more than we would be able to do on our own. You have writing skills that we do not have in house, so we get better quality outputs. And you have good relationships with journalists, so we get a good pick-up for the pieces we put out.
Orion Health works with Highland Marketing on an account basis. How do things work day to day?
We have a monthly meeting to discuss ideas. When an opportunity for a press release or a case study comes up, we get a brief together, and have a discussion with one of Highland Marketing’s writers about the background and possible angles.Then we set-up a call with the right people at Orion Health or one of its customers, after which the piece is written, and cleared, and sent out. Sometimes we are all a bit optimistic about the timescale in which we can do things, but by working together we can make the most of any opportunities that come up.
You said PR can have a big impact. What kind of impact have you seen?
Last August, we sent out a press release about Orion Health winning an important integrated care record contract in Dorset. The sales team said the phones started ringing as soon as it ran on (a market leading healthcare IT website).So, when we think about the impact of PR, we really think about the impact on the sales team. If they say they have been in meetings where customers have mentioned a story and shown interest, we know our PR is working. Also, there has been an expansion in awareness of what we do. We still have Rhapsody and the portals, and we are still bringing customers on board with them, but we are also seeing interest in new ideas.
And are there other benefits to doing PR?
Yes. If we have a press release, its value goes on after it has gone out. It’s not just press-pick up. We can also use that content in other ways, at shows or in customer conversations. Also, our customers like doing PR. Sign-off can take time, but they benefit because they get recognition for their success, and that can bring other benefits such as increased funding.” 
Could you sum up your relationship with Highland Marketing?
Highland Marketing is a friendly team that is a pleasure to work with. It’s always flexible around projects and is successful in achieving good levels of coverage. We have a small team. Highland Marketing is an extension of our team.

Key points:

  • Orion Health is a New Zealand-based company with innovative integration, portal and population health management solutions.
  • Orion Health has worked with Highland Marketing since 2013, when it commissioned a 12-month PR campaign to build on its international reputation, demonstrate its understanding of the UK healthcare sector, and build awareness among potential customers in the UK.
  • Orion Health now works with Highland Marketing on a retainer basis, so account managers and content creators can advise it on how to make the most of potential PR opportunities, and generate timely and effective press releases and case studies.

Services and value:

  • The services that Orion Health uses are: strategic PR advice and proactive press office, tactical PR advice, content creation and media liaison.
  • Orion Health uses Highland Marketing for: its knowledge of the healthcare IT market, the quality of its writing and content skills, and its good relationship with key journalists.
  • Over 12 months, Orion Health issued six major press releases that were covered by more than 30 publications. It appeared in the media in 11 out of 12 months. 

Contact us:

Highland Marketing is an integrated communications, PR and marketing consultancy supporting UK and international health tech organisations. Over 23 years we have built a reputation for being the go-to agency for vendors and their customers. Talk to us about market strategy, research, branding, messaging, content marketing, PR, social media and sales acceleration.

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