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Focusing on patient centricity to build trust in pharma

By Peter Impey

As I write this we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this is not just a pandemic we are fighting, it is also an infodemic, as the World Health Organization (WHO) called it. Fake information about the virus can be as dangerous as the virus itself, so as an industry that prides itself on its ethical standards, we find ourselves in a privileged situation where we can be at the forefront of this misinformation fight.

But we need to think beyond the ways that we have traditionally used to communicate our message. The public find it hard to relate to the cold facts from experts. People are searching for other sources of information that speak their language and talk to them on their level. They are looking for sources that they respect and this is why we have seen the exponential rise of the social influencer.

What does this look like in reality? Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO is partnering with TikTok influencers to tackle the spread of fake stories and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials enlisted faith-based networks to disseminate accurate health information to prevent the spread of Ebola.

This valuable lesson of partnering with people who have already established themselves as credible sources of information is paralleled in advocacy groups and community influencers. While healthcare was a little late to influencer marketing, successful campaigns now depend on building relationships with the right social media influencers as well as the right journalists.

What underpins the success of influencerled campaigns is a commitment to listen to and co-create with credible community members to ensure activities are patient-owned. Demonstrating you understand patient needs will build trust and open the door to mutually beneficial collaborations with trusted influencers who are connected to your audience.

In order to build the public’s trust, we need to demonstrate our industry’s value as a reliable source of health information, connecting pharma’s purpose to meaningful outcomes for patients. Now more than ever during a global health crisis, we must seize every opportunity to develop collaborations that ultimately improve people’s lives.

In association with

Peter Impey is Managing Director at 90TEN Communications

19th May 2020

From: Marketing

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