NEW YORK — Mayo Clinic, widely considered one of the healthcare industry’s premiere marketing machines, has tapped MSL to handle its international marketing efforts.

Sharad Rathnam,  the medical center’s marketing director of consumer-driven healthcare, confirmed the deal, adding that MSL was selected through a competitive pitch process.

Neither Mayo nor MSL, however, would elaborate on the scope of the work. That, however, is in keeping with the Rochester, Minn.-based clinic’s reputation among communicators for keeping its agency relationships largely under wraps.

According to sector specialists, the 154-year-old healthcare practice and research center’s partnerships with PR firms over the years have largely centered around specific projects.

Yet the facility's robust marketing efforts have very much been in the public eye, frequently lauded as models of success among healthcare providers.

Early in embracing the scope of digital media, Mayo has garnered enormous reach via social platforms, which it uses to motivate consumers take charge of their health. On Twitter alone the clinic has drawn 1.89m followers by providing content such as Q&As with experts on topics from cancer to insomnia.

The facility also has successfully built virtual communities; The Sharing Mayo Clinic page on its website features stories from patients, as well as their friends, family and healthcare providers.