Small business success #38: Sean Moloney, CEO at Dramatic Health

Sean Moloney, CEO of Dramatic Health

By Mark G. Auerbach

Sean Moloney knows no boundaries. When he was a journalism major at the University of Massachusetts by day and drummer with a local band by night, he and a pal co-founded a regional newspaper, The Optimist. With the concept of “we take good news seriously,” The Optimist quickly became “the source” for arts, entertainment, and local innovation in Western Massachusetts, powered by a team of upstart journalists. It had a successful seven-year run.

I first met Sean Moloney at The Optimist. I had just started my public relations company and had been working part-time as an arts writer for The Jewish Weekly. I wanted to write about more cutting edge theatre. Sean took a chance on me; I took a chance on Sean. We clicked at The Optimist.

As my company ventured into special events promotions, Moloney founded a marketing company, Sean Moloney and Associates. We partnered on two projects, a live broadcast of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion for my client, WFCR, the local NPR member station; and the international Anne Frank Exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Holyoke. Those projects brought our companies new opportunities. I tended to be the traditionalist; Sean was the maverick. He led me into the digital age, and taught me how to harness the power of the internet. I reinforced the traditions of good public relations.

As the new millennium began, Moloney moved into a new digital venture,; and then fast-tracked with e-marketing jobs with global companies, Pharmacia and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, that brought him to New York City.

Launching a new company

Moloney co-founded Dramatic Health, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, with Michael Tierney. He serves as CEO for the company. The company produces health videos for health care and pharmaceutical firms, including some of the biggest in the business.

“I manage a P&L as the CEO and co-founder,” says Moloney, “but I also have a devotion to the creative innovation, which is at the core of each and every production. It’s a careful balance of the clinical facts and dramatic qualities. My business is telling stories that are inside people and only come out when they are treated, ideally, cared for compassionately and inspired to share how they feel.” Watch Sean Moloney’s first Dramatic Health video here.

His passion for healthcare was inspired by his grandfather, Dr. William C. Moloney, a leading hematologist, a professor emeritus of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and former director of hematology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was one of the first hematologists to use chemotherapy to treat leukemia and lymphoma.

Dramatic Health serves the world’s largest health organizations, including, Pfizer, Bayer, Merck, Novartis, Gilead Sciences, UCLA Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital System, and Weill Cornel Medical College NYC at a critical time in the evolution of direct-to-consumer communications and marketing. Dramatic Health, a Webby-award winning company, is principally guided by Moloney’s belief that behind every patient and physician is a “story” that when captured honestly and along a well-researched “dramatic arc” will educate and inspire audiences in ways that go well beyond words and pictures alone”

In recapping the first fifteen years of Dramatic Health, Sean says “We have grown from a single-six-figure revenue company to multiple seven figures with a projected growth in 2018 that continues this exponential growth while maintaining margins.” He says what sets Dramatic Health apart from its competitors is simply “Focus, passion, principles, and agility.” Dramatic Health chronicled its first 15 years with the video 15 Years of Health.

Stay focused

Moloney adds: “Make all your decisions based on a set of unwavering principles. For example, Dramatic Health is laser focused on the responsibility to create exceptional video content regardless of profitability and other opportunistic temptations.”

[amazon_link asins=’0131875108′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingin-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’66dfdf3b-0ce2-11e8-b5f8-e9dfb7b19d6d’]The Dramatic Health website and library of videos cover numerous topics, from pharmaceutical companies explaining how new drugs work to doctors explaining procedures and outcomes and from hospitals describing what patients will experience to patients themselves, speaking about their triumphs and challenges. The video subjects are real people, and not actors, and the drama is compelling, and often times inspiring.

While Moloney is spending a good deal of time as CEO running the company, he’s involved with the creative. And several years ago, he became the subject of a series of videos. Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, he underwent surgery at Mount Sinai, chemo at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and chronicled his journey along the way. “I wanted to educate people about the critical importance of regular colonoscopy exams through my own experiences. My father, who did not get colonoscopies, died of colon cancer at age 61.” You can watch The First Chapter in Sean Moloney’s Health Journey here.

“Sharing health experiences and the paths towards recovery and improved outcomes are best from the frontlines—honest and real experiences that are ‘open to the public’ to consider within their own decision paths,” says Moloney. This mission defines Dramatic Health and also Moloney, who is still the optimist.

If the Moloney of today could mentor the Moloney of 2000, his best advice would be: “Manage disappointment with confidence. Recognize the ability to create and own your success and losses, and juggle accordingly.”

And that’s succeeding in small business.

For details on Dramatic Health:

For Dramatic Health’s video: The People We Film:

Two of Sean Moloney’s favorite Dramatic Health videos:

Dyslexia Through the Eyes of a Child

Reid’s Breast Cancer Story


Mark G. Auerbach is principal at Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations, a Springfield, MA, based marketing, public relations, development and events consultancy. You can find more information about Mark at Facebook and LinkedIn.

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