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Staying in the loop – six principles for impactful integrated communications

by James Hadfield

In a digitalised world, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical companies must work smarter to engage busy external stakeholders with endless content at their fingertips.

Six principles for impactful integrated communications may help cut through the noise:

1. Build movements: integrated communications is about inspiring and mobilising audiences behind a clear shared goal. In his 2008 book Tribes, Seth Godin describes the power of a group of people connected both to one another and to an idea.

An increasingly connected world creates a fertile breeding ground for movements driven by people united behind a common cause. By connecting innovation in medicines with scientific collaboration and exchange, the pharmaceutical industry has a unique opportunity to unite all stakeholders, creating movements that transform outcomes.

2. Be participant-centric: those participating in a movement need to be convinced it is worth their time, motivation and collaboration (given all the other priorities they are juggling).

An insights- driven approach to aligning a cause to reflect the needs, interests and preferences of all stakeholders is essential to both inspire and enable change.

3. Create a content catalyst: once inspired, all those behind a movement need to speak with one voice to amplify the cause. Integrated communications involve many (global and local) internal colleagues, agencies and external stakeholders.

Audience belief/behaviour maps, communication objectives laddering up to the movement’s goals, narratives and content calendars all help with alignment.

4. Design seamless multichannel experiences: too often tactics are commissioned and delivered within silos, with little consideration for creating connected and familiar audience experiences.

Robust engagement planning creates personalised experiences and ensures channels, both digital and traditional, are integrated with the audience journey with desired objectives in mind.

5. Analyse and ask why: as well as having clear objectives behind movements, there needs to be access to data, a curiosity to ask why, and applied expertise to identify whether or not they are achieving the desired change and, if not, a problem- solving approach to overcome specific barriers.

6. Phase and evolve deployment: it is important not to be paralysed by planning. Pilot, measure, evolve, repeat!

James Hadfield is Strategy Director at Lucid Group

In association with

28th June 2021

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