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A global first in healthcare social media: #ChatAFib TweetChat programme

by Ogilvy HealthPR for Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

Summary of work

A global first in healthcare social media: #ChatAFib TweetChat programme

In a world first, we held a pharma-led, education-focused disease discussion on social media in real-time. 

With consumers becoming more empowered and physicians more digitally-aware, it’s vital for pharma to embrace social media as a key channel for communicating effectively with its audience. However, pharma is limited in its opportunity to participate in a disease-focused dialogue on social media due to regulations that prohibit treatment discussion with the public. 

Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) wanted to break the mould of how pharma traditionally engages and be the first pharma to hold a disease (but non-treatment) focused dialogue on social media. The topic was atrial fibrillation (AF) – a common sustained heart rhythm condition. 

We launched a TweetChat programme, #ChatAFib, timed to coincide with key medial conferences. Independently moderated and led in partnership with opinion-leaders, the TweetChats engaged physicians, media and patient groups interested in AF. 

#ChatAFib smashed targets, reaching over 3 million timelines, and winning impressive feedback from attendees and observers. It forged a new era of communications, positioned BI as an innovator, drove engagement in the topic of AF that broke traditional geographic boundaries and proved that true engagement on social media can happen, even within the confines of a regulated industry.

Judges comments

It was innovative and daring to gain legal backing for this pharma-first initiative, whose approach continues to be in use at the company. It’s also a great example of a pharma company using social media to engage in conversations with appropriate audiences. Pharma’s use of social media has to and this is a good example of how it can be done effectively to build presence. Well done pharma for having the courage to do this and do it well - I wish I’d done that.

Highly commended

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The Donation Conversation - by The Red Consultancy for NHS Blood and Transplant

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Key dates

Entry deadline 5 March 2020
Extended entry deadline 12 March 2020
Judging day 1 7 May 2020
Judging day 2 21 May 2020
Awards Ceremony 2 July 2020

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