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Oakley launches Oxygen Health

Published on 13/10/09 at 08:06am


Oxygen Health, an agency aiming to help pharma companies communicate more effectively with stakeholders, has launched.

It has been set up by Richard Oakley, a former director of Edelman, who has worked at a string of PR agencies including Munro & Forster, Chandler Chicco and Porter Novelli.

"My initial focus will be on UK pharma, on launch brands and pre-launch ones," Oakley says.

In a 12-year career in healthcare PR he has worked on accounts with companies including Roche, GSK, Bayer, AstraZeneca and Novartis.

Oakley has now developed a database-driven tool which seeks to analyse how different groups interact within the media and regulatory landscape.

He uses the software to collate information relating to healthcare communications in a given area - for example, the names of members of various groups and committees and content like relevant articles or guidelines.

"You see the same sort of names on advisory committees and speaking to the press," he explains.

"That's a good start: you can go from a position of no-knowledge to knowing who the movers and shakers are, seeing which individuals and groups can act as conduits to other groups."

He says this will allow him to visualise the networks of influence which exist in different therapy areas and assess which approaches - for instance, online, PR, advertising or public affairs - would be best to reach them.

"There are now more stakeholder groups than ever: patient, professional and government," he adds.

"There is also more information available: the online environment is a big factor in that."

In turn this leads to a greater amount of information sharing between these groups, all of which makes it more complicated for pharma firms to know what to say to whom.

"We're seeing patient groups interacting with pharma companies, healthcare professionals and government," he explains. "It's all very complex."

Oakley says he is about to do a series of credentials presentations, attempting to demonstrate proof that his concept can add value for clients.

He also plans to open a London office and hire "one or two" staff in his first year of business.

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