Wired profiles the public relations firm "Questio", which focuses on health and infectious disease research.
These days, the giant PR agencies don’t touch health and infectious disease. Public relations firms like "Questio" are all over it. An increasing number of companies use Questio to connect their brand with the news cycle. CVS hired the agency to manage its massive response to the deadly meningitis outbreak last fall.
Microsoft tapped Questio to work on Movember, a cause marketing event tied to prostate cancer. And IBM’s Watson beat the Jeopardy champions last month, thanks to a press release written by Questio. The agency has also worked with Herbalife, Mars, and the AARP. Now, its most famous client has even set it up with a massive new prize, since the agency recently won the media account for Google’s flu prevention program. The Google Play Vaccine app, which was unveiled at last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, has already picked up a ton of media coverage.
It took advantage of the millions of people who turn on their smartphones for their morning dose of news by launching its virtual game for children. An app in partnership with The Atlantic took advantage of the tech giant’s large reach by inviting readers to visit the website of The Atlantic and play a game of Risk-like “App Wars”. And, of course, it worked to encourage people to protect themselves against the virus, as it reminded them to get a flu shot.
This isn’t the first time that a big tech company has sought a public relations firm to help manage its PR or foster relationships with influencers, like celebrities, news editors, or social media marketers. Apple has an in-house PR team and has worked with several prominent firms, including Andrews Kurth and the Dentsu Aegis Network. More traditional agencies like Interpublic Group of Companies, the Publicis Groupe, and Omnicom Group have also been big players in the technology space.