Skip Navigation Accessibility Statement

The 2024 Cision and PRWeek Global Comms Report

Find out how 400+ PR and comms leaders worldwide are approaching the way they work in today’s media landscape.

By the Numbers


increase in media pickups compared to a previous press release for one client


pickups and placements for one major client and national recognition in AP, CBS and more


percentile for press release engagement in healthcare news overall

Quick Facts

  • Industry: Consulting Services
  • Company size: 11-50 employees
  • Headquarters: Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Products used: PR Newswire distribution, Communications Cloud Media Relationship Management
  • Customer since: 2013


Sage Growth Partners is a Baltimore-based healthcare advisory firm that advises growth-minded organizations through market research, strategy development and communications initiatives to maximize expansion and achieve commercial success.

Sage Growth Partners leveraged Cision’s Communications Cloud Media Relationship Management platform to identify and target healthcare-related influencers and publications, resulting in better and more personalized connections. In addition, they collaborated with PR Newswire distribution to share their clients’ news with targeted audiences, leading to a significant increase in media coverage.

Client Perspective

John Gonda Headshot“Working with PR Newswire has been a game-changer for us. Their reputation and ability to micro-target influencers has been crucial to our success.”

—John Gonda, Vice President, PR & Media Relations at Sage Growth Partners


The Challenge

Enhancing Audience Targeting and Increase Engagement

Because many of the clients the company works with are healthcare-related start-ups with limited internal resources for marketing and communications, Sage Growth Partners often functions as an extension of their clients’ services. Sage Growth Partners wanted to improve their ability to identify specific audiences on their clients’ behalf, develop better relationships with editors, journalists and influencers, and boost the reach and impact of their press releases to increase engagement.

They also were seeking a better method to track the metrics of campaign efficacy and audience involvement and action; they found one of the platforms they’d relied on previously was difficult to use. Sage Growth Partners additionally faced a need to educate their clients about the variety and effectiveness of alternative publications with powerful reach beyond the most well-known and familiar industry titles.

The Approach

Combining Media Relationship Management and Newswire Distribution to Generate Measurable Results

Cision’s Media Relationship Management platform enabled Sage Growth Partners to identify relevant journalists and influencers from mainstream health-related outlets and trade publications. This allowed them to create customized lists targeting specific topics and maximize visibility and engagement for their clients’ news.

The software’s tracking feature provided reports and metrics regarding who opened and clicked on their pitches, improving follow-ups and response rates. “The power of PR really lies in the relationships with the editors and journalists,” said John Gonda, Sage Growth Partner’s Vice President of PR and Media Relations. “With the help of this platform, we are able to personalize our communication with them and track their responses, which is extremely valuable.”

Through collaboration with PR Newswire as their distribution partner, Sage Growth Partners received recommendations for expanding their release recipients, including using the US1 National Newsline, to optimize media outreach and elevate their campaign distribution strategies. The company found value in having extra sets of eyes in the proofing process and in evolving their clients’ releases to match industry standard practices. “Cision has helped us see what times are best to send emails to editors,” said Gonda. “It’s as simple as not sending the ‘good afternoon’ message to somebody on the west coast where it’s 8 o’clock in the morning. Those little things matter.”

The Result

Dramatic Increase in Influencer Contacts and Quantifiable Engagement

Press ReleaseSage Growth Partners’ efforts resulted in a marked gain in pickups and placements in the media as clients gained a better understanding of the importance of personalized communication with editors and journalists. For example, one client experienced an 82% rise in pickups compared to a previous release, while another received national recognition through AP syndication and pick up by CBS News.

Sage Growth Partners was also able to expand the impact of releases by using Cision’s US1 National Newsline for broad reach and by targeting multiple relevant microlists of influencers, from healthcare providers to financial planners. This approach led to a new average of 800 click-throughs per release, putting it in the 93rd percentile for engagement in healthcare news.

The achievements of this approach demonstrated the efficacy of combining PR distribution with Media Relationship Management. “The success of that showcases what Cision offers,” said Gonda. “We were able to sub-target, and the earned media equivalency we received from that, along with the national recognition, was phenomenal.”

John Gonda Headshot“As we work with many clients in their startup phase who need PR but lack internal marketing staff, Cision serves as an extension of our agency, which in turn, becomes an extension of our clients. This powerful aspect allows us to provide top-notch service and counsel to our clients, and we couldn't be happier with the results.”

—John Gonda, Vice President, PR & Media Relations at Sage Growth Partners

Sage Growth Partner's Logo

About the Client

Sage Growth Partners is a healthcare advisory firm that works with growth-minded medical organizations to increase their clients’ brand reach and accelerate commercial success in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Founded in 2005, the Company uses its extensive domain familiarity and an integrated application of research, strategy and communications to partner with physicians, hospitals, health systems, health tech and life sciences organizations in order to prioritize the most lucrative services and markets. With such clients as CVS Health, Quest Diagnostics, GE Healthcare and many others, Sage Growth works diligently to solve complex programs and optimize operations for new levels of efficiency.

Through brand awareness studies, competitor analysis, opportunity assessment and other techniques, the Company delivers key data-driven insights for clients facing mounting regulatory and economic pressures to help them create actionable plans to increase growth. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Sage Growth Partners was recognized in 2023 by PR Daily as a Top Small Agency of the Year. Visit to learn more.