ATLANTA-North East Medical Center in Concord, N.C., has awarded its $1 million account to nearby Steedman Communications.
“We were told it was down to us and Noble Steed in Baltimore,” said Barry Wilson, a partner at Steedman in Charlotte, N.C. “We each made two rounds of presentations.”
Other shops vying for the business were The Adams Group in Columbia, S.C.; Thurston in Richmond, Va.; and Elberson Senger Shuler and Bryant & Clark Communications, both in Charlotte. Incumbent Newman Saylor & Gregory in Columbia, S.C., resigned the account when it was hired by regional competitor Presbyterian Healthcare Hospital.
“We unanimously believed that Steedman has the best [qualities] for us,” said Carol Lovin, vice president of strategic planning and marketing development at North East Medical. “Their strategic direction, creative work and the fact that they had no current affiliation with any healthcare providers in our market” were the reasons for the selection.
Lovin said there were still details to be worked out between the agency and client, though she added that Steedman will start work immediately “on general market research in preparation for where we want to go.” Whether the shop will handle media buying has not been determined.
Wilson said his agency’s roster of employees with healthcare experience was key to the win and noted that Steedman would use its “working relationship” with Robin Konieczny of Charlotte’s Clear Blue, a onetime medical researcher who has worked with a number of healthcare clients, to best handle the account.
Steedman’s location apparently also played a part in the win. Though Lovin denied that she would “prefer” to hire a local shop [Adweek, April 5], Thurston official Judi Harrison said that when her agency was called, “Carol Lovin told us [the choice of Steedman] was partly convenience.” ƒ
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