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Tracking comms trends: Applying a global brief to a local market

From multi-disciplinary teamwork to pharma’s reputation, value and access to global briefs, our contributors tackle some of the key topics in communications today

HCA Tracy WillmottIt's that time of year when teams working in local affiliate pharmaceutical companies and their partner agencies will be receiving next year's briefs. Building in the four critical steps outlined below can support those teams through a smooth, effective process – resulting in a high quality, localised affiliate plan that's on brief and on time. Attention to each of these points can enhance planning and delivery, and may avoid a cross-functional tug-of-war about priorities and resources.

Clarify the global brief
It's important to get out of the starting blocks with absolute clarity on the position and context of the global brief. This includes understanding of the imperatives and localisable elements of the brief. The degree of adaptability of course depends on the life cycle stage of the brand(s), and on the company structure and culture.

Consolidate local insights
The second vital component of the successful conversion of a global brief to a local market is consolidation of global and local cross-functional insights. In most cases, consideration is given to this vital need throughout the year, so at planning stages, insights are readily available. They range from the outputs of global/local market research and advisory boards to local market environment monitoring. But additional rich sources of information include formal and informal feedback from your target audiences on interactions and activities recently conducted. Knowledge from these sources can potentially provide competitive advantage. Consideration should be given as to who 'owns' these insights and how they will be invited to bring them to the table. Building in opportunities for input and collaboration in the gathering of insights, as well as the planning itself, will help to foster a sense of shared ownership for the overall process among the broader team.

Plan internal comms and engagement
A third and no less important part of the approach involves up-front planning of cross-functional team communication and engagement. This is vital to maintain team alignment and commitment. A timeline for important email communication and internal meetings as well as deadlines is beneficial. Meetings should have clear objectives and structured agendas sent out in advance, together with any expectations for pre-reading or pre-work.

Involve external partners
This is the stage you will be factoring in when you are going to involve external partners in creative/branding, medical communications, PR and policy/market access. Quality consultation and dedicated, high-level service from your agencies can be enhanced by involving them early to maintain a deep understanding of your business. Agencies are crammed full of strategic, creative thinkers. Why not utilise them in strategic planning to help your internal team to continually innovate and challenge thinking? If that feels a step too far, then get them involved in tactical planning and use their broad experience and knowledge to help you to come up with more possibilities. For agencies, tell your clients you want to be involved and ask about opportunities. The benefits of investing a little in this process may be well worth your while.

Article by
Tracy Willmott

is owner and director of TW1 Healthcare Consulting and sits on the executive committee of the HCA (Healthcare Communications Association)

28th June 2016

From: Marketing

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