Brandon Edwards: Founder & CEO of ReviveHealth

My NativeAdVice:

As founder and CEO of ReviveHealth, Brandon brings more than two decades of experience in healthcare and a track record that includes nearly 600 successful strategic communication engagements, C-level crisis and communications counsel, and other high-stakes issues facing health system leadership, profitability, and clinical excellence. Before starting ReviveHealth, Brandon served for eight years as president and COO of a large, national public relations/public affairs firm in California, where he led the growth and development of the agency’s national healthcare practice.

Prior to that, he oversaw crisis communication for Tenet Healthcare’s 116 hospitals in 19 states and served as part of Tenet’s Corporate Strategy and Venture Group, which managed the corporate venture fund and analyzed large strategy opportunities. Brandon earned his MBA from UCLA's Anderson School and is a featured speaker for PR and marketing trade groups, as well as healthcare industry organizations SHSMD, AHA, ACHE, Healthcare Roundtable, The Governance Institute, HASC, BAHCCA, VHA, HMFA and others.

How did you get into the PR industry?

I started my career in politics, working for a member of Congress and running several campaigns before going to work for a PR/PA agency.  After three years in agency, I went in-house at Tenet Healthcare for five years before going back into the agency world in 2002.

Tell us aboutt ReviveHealth. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

ReviveHealth was created to out of a spirit of challenge and optimism.  Our vision is articulated in thee ways – what drives us, what we’re wired for, and our 10 year vision.  In 2009, we saw an opportunity to create a high specialized healthcare firm with deep expertise and a strong culture that would attract the best talent in the industry.

What Drives Us:  We are intellectually curious people, always driven to challenge the status quo and “good enough.” We are optimistic because we see the opportunity to make a difference for every client, and for each other. We are motivated to solve our clients’ biggest challenges, combining our inside knowledge of healthcare and outside thinking to deliver next-level strategies and the very best results.

What We’re Wired For:  We are wired to translate complex business challenges into integrated marketing communication strategies that connect brands with how people experience, engage with, and make decisions about healthcare in the real world.

Our 10 Year Vision:  ReviveHealth is the most interesting agency in the country, the home to top talent with an incredibly strong and healthy culture.  We will do work that matters, solving the most difficult and complex challenges in healthcare marketing communication. We strive to be the best firm in healthcare - ranked among the top five specialist agencies - and big enough for any client we would want.  We are recognized by clients and peers for our expertise, capabilities, quality work, healthy annual growth above the industry average, profitability above 25%, and a culture that earns annual recognition as Best Agency to Work For.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to ReviveHealth's success?

The most unusual move we’ve made for an independent boutique agency is the investment in a dedicate marketing and practice development group when we were only 12 people.  Most smaller firms get stuck in a cycle of grow-and-shrink, pursuing new business when they’re slow and the stoping when they land new clients.  By making the investment in a dedicated group, and ensuring adequate annual budget of about 3% of revenue each year, we have directed the necessary and time and resources to ensure a steady growth rate over the last six and a half years.  In fact, we’ve experienced a 28% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) since opening our doors in 2009.

Recently, we struck the most important strategic partnership of all – we were acquired by Weber Shandwick on January 1, 2016.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

The healthcare industry has been changing so fast in recent years, and our clients’ needs continue to change, too. Consolidations in the hospital, health plan, and pharmaceutical sectors are driving massive change in the industry, and the convergence of healthcare financing and healthcare delivery has accelerated since the Affordable Care Act became law. Bigger and more sophisticated healthcare companies require more sophisticated marketing communication strategies, combined with the expertise to navigate the intersection of regulation, business, mission and social change. Joining the Weber Shandwick family accelerates our agency transformation and brings capabilities into the mix that increase our value to our clients. Branding, digital strategy, content marketing, public affairs and other deep capabilities that Weber Shandwick has invested in will be hugely important to our current and future clients.    

Life Motto?

Treat others the way you want to be treated, and have fun - don’t waste one single day.

Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of ReviveHealth? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

My greatest success so far is the award ReviveHealth won in early 2015 – Best Agency to Work For in America.  It’s a phenomenal recognition of our workplace culture and the strong values we have developed and live by.  My most difficult moment was running the company in 2014 – a year we grew 65% - while traveling back and forth to California to be with my mom, who was dealing with terminal cancer.  It was an extremely challenging time personally and professionally, and I dealt with it by really leaning on my leadership group and tackling every single day with complete focus.

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

I would encourage every entrepreneur to think about two things.  One, focus on enterprise value, not near term results.  Two, approach your business with an attitude of abundance, not scarcity.  If you constantly worry about how much you have compare to what others have, you will be miserable and stifle your own growth.

Describe the ideal experience using ReviveHealth.

The real client relationship for us is an agency of record (AOR) relationship – strategy, creative, digital, and PR – with a growth oriented healthcare company that needs help in the B2B and B2C arenas.

How do you motivate your employees?

Compensation is a big part of that – we benchmark base and incentive comp in the 75% percentile for the industry – but we really believe that people stay because of their peer relationships, their relationship with their manager, and a fun environment that supports their personal and professional growth.  That’s why we’ve been Best Agency to Work For in our size category every year since we started the agency, and Best Agency to Work For in America in 2014.

What's next for ReviveHealth?

Growth, accelerating our integration of digital and creative services, and integrating with Weber Shandwick to bring their capabilities and expertise to bear with our current and future clients.