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Smart Thinking blog

Insights and expert advice on the key issues facing today’s pharma marketer

Making new year resolutions that can also benefit others

Consider resolutions that could make 2023 a better year for many

2023 written on notepad

As another year begins, it often spurs us to make resolutions about what we aim to achieve, or hope to do differently, in 2023. How we feel when we look back at the end of the year on what we’ve achieved can depend on how adventurous and realistic our resolutions are.

Whatever your resolutions are in your personal life, which ones will you make for your working life? I have been considering the areas we have discussed over the last 12 months in this column and have come up with some possible ideas that are all achievable and can make a difference to you, those around you or the sector as a whole. The list is by no means exhaustive, but if everybody did just one, it could make 2023 a better year for many.

Think inclusivity
The ‘I’ in DE&I does not always seem to get the same profile, so why not consider an inclusive resolution? Are there some who are often on the periphery of social interactions in your workplace? Take a proactive step and engage with them in a sensitive and not overly intrusive way, try and understand them better and then consider how you can help them feel more included, if that is something they would like. Understanding people better often allows for better, or more appropriate, interactions.

Inclusivity can also be something to incorporate in your communications activity. Consider the different types of audiences your communications will reach and ensure they are appropriate and engaging for all.

Embrace innovation
Innovation often needs a mindset of being prepared to take a calculated risk. The safe option is probably not the most innovative. So a good new year resolution might be to be less risk-averse in your work, opening up to the possibilities that innovation can provide.

Enhance your client/agency relationship
Whether you’re the client or the agency, you have an important role in enhancing your relationship. It might be a resolution to better understand the day-to-day challenges of your commercial partner. It could be to engage more virtually, by phone or face-to-face, rather than by email. Or, perhaps to be more proactive in arranging regular feedback sessions, so what’s working well can be recognised and what needs improvement can be identified early and addressed.

Embed evaluation
Being able to demonstrate the impact of our work is essential to maintain the importance of communications within commercial strategies. Make a resolution to always consider how you are going to evaluate any activity at the very start of the planning process, as only then will you ensure the objectives you set are SMART and the real outcomes required are identified and measured.

Put yourself in their shoes
Everything we do as healthcare communicators should ultimately be focused on improving the lives of patients. But do we truly understand the day-to-day lives of patients in the therapy areas we work? A great resolution for 2023 would be to better understand those we aim to support, either by spending time with patients one-on-one or through patient groups, or by participating in one of the patient immersive simulation experiences that are now available.

Reduce your climate impact
We all need to do our bit to reduce our negative impact on the world. Consider some simple resolutions you could make to make a difference. If you are not already working in a paper-free environment, consider reducing the amount you print. Turn your heating or hot water down by a couple of degrees, reduce your use of plastics, turn off electric appliances rather than keeping them on standby, etc. There are many small things you can resolve to do, all of which will make a difference.

Maintain your well-being
Ensure that you maintain your own well-being. There is lots of good advice available, including on the HCA website, but what’s important is that you actually do it. Your resolution could also be to ensure that those you work with are equally conscious of their own well-being.

Continue your professional development
This time last year I heralded 2022 as the year of CPD. Indeed it was the year that, for the first time, Continued Professional Development Standards became available for healthcare communications professionals. One resolution I suggest you should therefore most certainly commit to, and achieve, is to ensure you meet these standards. And they are perfectly achievable. In fact you are very likely already achieving them in terms of the time spent on activity appropriate for CPD, but what turns that into a CPD credit is reflecting on, and documenting that learning. The HCA has provided a quick and easy to use free platform for members and non-members to help you do just that ( and once you have achieved this resolution, through the platform you also gain official certification to prove it.

Those are just a few thoughts, but whatever work resolutions you make for 2023, I wish you every success in achieving them.

Mike Dixon is CEO of the Healthcare Communications Association (HCA)
and a communications consultant

6th February 2023

From: Marketing


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