Essence gives a boost to its specialist communications team

After changing its brand identity in August, Auckland-based healthcare advertising and marketing agency, Essence, has now shifted focus to its medical content team. 

A key part of Essence’s overarching pillar of ‘capability’ lies in scientific and health-based content to support medical education and data rich sales tools for healthcare professionals and patient campaign materials. 

“The industry and healthcare consumers are calling for clear, informative and culturally-intelligent communication. We use insightful communication to close the gap between complex health information and relatable consumer content and creative,” says Essence Director Ben Hart. 

To grow its specialist communication offering, the agency recently appointed Dr Lucy Barry – formerly at TBWA/WorldHealth in London – to the role of Medical Writer, building on the agency’s expertise in medical content. 

Barry, who works across a suite of accounts, including Novartis, Merz Aesthetics, Astra Zeneca, and Janssen, holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Cork and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Neuropathology from Lincoln University. She says the role is a rewarding one. 

“I feel really privileged to be able to use my love for science to help educate professionals and consumers about their healthcare choices. It’s all about supporting our clients to take the most complex data and translate it into relatable, relevant and engaging communication,” says Barry. 

Barry joins Ryan Chandler, who assumed the role of Medical Content Manager at Essence in 2019, following an eight-year stint at Cure Kids. 

During his time at the non-profit, he worked in Research Grants, writing about paediatric research across a range of conditions, including child cancers, mental health, and respiratory conditions including Cystic Fibrosis. Now at Essence, he leads the agency’s largest client, MSD (NZ/AU), ensuring medical information is simplified and communicated effectively. 

“We are awash, more than ever, with health recommendations. What I love about working at Essence, is that we are at the coalface of health research, which enables us to play a pivotal role in democratising health information so that it is easier for different audiences to digest – be they a health care professional or patient, and everyone in between,” says Chandler. 

“I’m passionate about getting the right information to the right people and working as a medical writer for Essence helps me to achieve this.” 

Hart adds: “With the addition of Lucy, and Ryan, we are able to help healthcare professionals and consumers achieve better health outcomes, thanks to more coherent and well-researched messaging.”

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