Ruder Finn’s New York management team is hopeful that the firm’s U.K. operations have turned a corner following the appointment two years ago of managing director Nick Leonard, former head of Lewis PR’s Octane subsidiary. Over the past 12 months, Leonard has focused his energy on building the agency’s leadership team. Judith Cranford joined from MS&L, where she was managing director, health and advocacy, to lead the firm’s healthcare team, while Maya Anaokar and Louise Collins joined the healthcare PR team as directors from Ketchum and Chandler Chicco respectively, and former Cohn & Wolfe managing director Jeremy Clark was recruited as a consultant. On the technology front, Emma Sinden joined as director from Golin Harris, where she worked on the Orange and EMC accounts.
Globally, Ruder Finn is one the world’s three largest independent public relations agencies, a family-owned and managed firm with full-service offices across the United States—it focuses on four broad categories of business: health and wellness; global connectivity; life and style; and corporate public trust—and an increasingly impressive Asia-Pacific network. In Europe, however, the firm has historically chosen to focus most of its energies on the healthcare sector, drawing on its close relationship with giant Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis and its unique strength in addressing the health needs of vulnerable and under-served populations, particularly children in the developing world.
In Europe, the key strength has always been the healthcare sector, but Leonard has been diversifying the client portfolio and the service officering, expanding the firm’s capabilities in the technology sector and the corporate and public affairs practice areas. Major clients include Novartis, Merck and Pfizer in healthcare, IVAC and Lundbeck in public affairs, and IEEE and IPC in technology. New additions over the past 12 months include two global NGOs and three major pharmaceutical companies in the healthcare arena; public affairs briefs for Lundbeck and recycling company Tomra; technology clients Allied Telesis and UC4; and assignments from Groupon and JD Power on the corporate front.
”The team at Ruder Finn were commis-sioned to provide insight and delivery of an array of PA and PR interventions to help promote better outcomes for people with dementia and their efforts in this regard were superb,” says Lance Boyd-Clark, Ebixa product manager at Lundbeck U.K.
As far as the work is concerned, one highlight was a campaign to drive global change in the awareness and treatment of pneumonia—which kills more than 1.5 million children under the age of five every year—for IVAC (International Vaccines Access Center). Ruder Finn has been working with senior clinicians and other partners on a programme that resulted in the passage of a World Health Assembly resolution on pneumonia that compels governments in 193 countries to prepare and implement policies to prevent and treat pneumonia. The firm also worked with an All Party Parliamentary Group and with 24 ambassadors and high commissioners to address pneumococcal disease in the developing world.