Subscribe to our newsletter

  • All actions taken by Onyx Health will be in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time by contacting Onyx Health directly on 0191 640 3638

Onyx Health

Andrew and Elle Focus on Media Relations and Health Policy

By Onyx Health | 25th February 2020

This month we’re getting to know Onyx Health media and policy team members Andrew and Elle to find more about their background, skills and industry know-how. 

How did you get involved in media and policy? 

Elle: It’s a cliché to say but I fell into media relations. I knew that I wanted to be in an industry that was dynamic, challenging and constantly changing, but at the same time I didn’t know which industry would fulfil this ambition. After the usual ‘what am I going to do with my life’ crisis post-school, I was offered work experience from a family friend who owned a PR agency and I instantly loved the diversity of the role. After the first week, I was offered an internship and I’ve never looked back.  

Andrew: Unlike most of my friends growing up in Jarrow, who wanted to play for Newcastle United, I wanted to be a politician. So, after finishing universityI started working for a Labour Shadow Minister, looking after her media coverage and policy activity. The cut and thrust of political life taught me a lot about how major political events influence the news cycle and their wider impact on the business community 

What was your background before Onyx Health? 

Elle: Prior to Onyx Health, I spent most of my working life freelancing for financial and corporate communications agencies in London. I was lucky enough to work on national and international accounts, honing my PR knowledge and expertise. One the proudest achievements in my career to date is launching an app into the UK market that increased the company’s user database by 203%. 

Andrew: I’m a political communicator by background. I’ve held an interesting variety of roles ranging from advising the Chief Executive of a large national housing association, to a Labour MP and elected members in local government. I have specific expertise in public affairs, policy and media campaigns and a passion for navigating complex decision-making frameworks on behalf of clients.  

How have you found the change in sector? 

Elle: Since day one, I have enjoyed the diversity of this sector. The healthcare communications field is split into different specialisms, we cover brand, corporate, policy, advocacy and education but they are essentially all working towards the same goal, to educate and inform stakeholders about the latest innovations and changes in healthcare.  

Andrew: It’s been a great move. What’s really impressed me is the real world impact the products, services and devices offered by our clients have. It’s about making a difference, not just about making money. From the sectors I have worked in healthcare and pharma often have a negative reputation, but in my experience, it’s not one they deserve. More should be done to educate policy makers about the positive impact the industry has on our overall healthcare 

What do you both think are the biggest media and policy challenges in the healthcare and pharma industry? How do you think it’s best to overcome them? 

We both agree that digital technology is reshaping the healthcare landscape and it is proving to be one of the most pressing issues affecting the sector todayThe current Health Secretary Matt Hancock has identified the digital tech agenda as one of the NHS’s top priorities both in terms of investment and service delivery. This means that pharma and healthcare companies will need to fully embrace the digital revolution to keep pace with changing times.  

What would you both say is the importance of having a media and policy team on hand? 

We feel that access to an industry savvy media and policy team is vital to give businesses a greater strategic focus on the healthcare and pharma sectors. The ability to influence decision makers in complex political and administrative frameworks is crucial for organisations to achieve their key business objectives. What’s more, having strong news sense is one of the greatest assets a business can have to get the great work they do seen and heard.   

What are your top tips/golden rules for communications?  

Elle: One size does not fit all. Communications strategies should be built with specific business goals in mind, identify these and then work backwards. A press release may not necessarily help to achieve your objectives. 

Andrew: Content is king, so got the extra mile to make yours stand out. Journalists get inundated with emails from PR agencies, so making yours stand out in their inbox will reap rewards.  

Back to Blog

Next Story