Tag Archives: Community

The GENERAL Election 2015

Building Brands, by David Hunt

Our politicians should be expert at the governance and stewardship of the United Kingdom. I’d prefer that they excel at economic strategy rather than twitter, that they can protect the long-term future of the NHS rather than operate periscope, that they drive education standards before using Instagram. I entirely understand their use of agencies to build their brand and develop meaningful relationships across society. I don’t want marketeers in government, I want politicians.

But my God, their agencies should be sacked.

I’m not frustrated by a lack of innovation, but by the lack of appreciation for relevance and authenticity in the social world. This election has been marketed from the 1990s, but without the passion. Society today demands real interaction, authenticity and empathy. Inevitably there will be countless communication experts advising our politicians, but rather than helping them to build relationships, they’re dismissing them.

The so-called TV debates, have been nothing of the sort. A debate; a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting. The country has simply been subjected to a series of sound bites that have little or no reference to the points or questions made either side. When Tony Blair was campaigning in 1997, society was largely restricted to traditional media. Budget ensured exposure and the message manufactured the image. Voters were limited by physical proximity, their discussions taking place in their location. Today we can be nationally dismayed, frustrated and lost. If politicians won’t participate in a debate, then today we can conduct one without them. The fact that they have remained oblivious to the need to be relevant and genuine demonstrates either ignorance or arrogance, but is most certainly costly. Like many others, I don’t need perfection, I don’t even need to agree with all of the policies, but I would like to participate in a democracy. In 2015, true engagement beats stone slabs every day.

“The Community is King” should be more pertinent than ever in an election. Our horizons are broader when searching for answers, our community is larger when arguing our case. Technology has ensured we no longer have to tolerate a “politician’s answer”, and that an irrelevant leader can become an irrelevance. Stage management is understandable as there is a lot at stake, but not to the point that the show should be cancelled. For the Prime Minister to ask for the country’s endorsement to tackle world leaders on critical affairs, but be unwilling to debate local opposition in a public setting, is a critical oxymoron. As a business leader, I believe David Cameron has done a good job leading the economic recovery, however his decisions to build a relationship with the majority is fundamentally flawed.

More than ever before, the United Kingdom has the opportunity to be a community, debate national politics and shape our future together. It’s just a crying shame that no one told the politicians.

Election

Public or private, healthcare should focus more on happiness than holding on

‘Everywhere I see the mistake of ignoring that people have priorities in their lives besides merely surviving another day.’
– Dr. Atul Gawande

In Britain, the current strain on the NHS is a key topic as we head towards the general election in May. In the closing moments of a live debate on Channel 4 News last night, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt commented that, ‘for the public, it’s not about public vs. private; it’s about good care vs. bad care’. But do we know what good care is?

The healthcare industry has been built upon treatments. Progress to date has been based on innovating around the molecular, on tackling problems in the minutiae of the atomic arena. It has brought some incredible advances and delivered great success in changing lives.

However, it’s a focus that ignores the bigger picture of the patients these treatments are created for. Patients whose conditions may infiltrate every aspect of their lives, and have consequences that they live with until their dying day. For these people, treatment is just one aspect of their journey, and the care they require extends far beyond this. They need help in communicating with professionals, understanding and accepting the implications of their condition, taking control of their health and the other aspects of their life it affects (work, finances, family). Unsupported in any of these instances, patients can feel isolated, confused, and deeply unhappy.

In his BBC Radio 4 Reith Lectures in December, Dr. Atul Gawande exclaimed that, ‘we’ve been rather limited about what we [in healthcare] think our job is, building systems of care for human existence. We think our job is to ensure health and survival, but really it is larger than that. It is to enable wellbeing, and wellbeing is ultimately about sustaining the reasons one wishes to be alive.’

We need to pay greater respect to wellbeing and happiness. It might sound trite to say that happier patients are healthier, but improved wellbeing has been shown to improve cancer outcomes, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, encourage adoption of healthy behaviours, and even lengthen lifespans (amongst other health benefits).

In an era in which healthcare moves to outcomes based performance models, ensuring patient wellbeing could be a catalyst for improved treatment-brand success. It’s time to look far beyond the pill, from the beginning of a patient journey to the very end, and provide support at every moment in between. Support that instils patients with the happiness, confidence and encouragement to stride on toward a positive outcome.

For more on the power of subjective wellbeing and holistic support, read our latest white paper,  Smiles That Save Lives

Watch our introduction of our interview with Lucy May Middleton, holistic support advocate and educator here

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Good Cause

Doing Good, While Making Money

Social Success, by David Hunt

I talk about this a lot, but make no apologies for the frequency. I’m proud to work in Pharma, and see it as an opportunity to use insight, imagination & innovation to make a difference. I didn’t choose to work in healthcare, I simply liked ideas. In all honesty, as a bullish graduate I would have preferred Nike over Pfizer, but the world changes, and so do we. Today I choose to have a significant impact on society, over a cool one.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, says: The business benefits from ethical practices are not soft ones about reputation or image. They are hard measures of growth and margin improvement. Wherever you look, it’s a no-brainer.

I agree 100%. Havas Lynx aims to help patients, their families and HCPs to improve outcomes, whilst also driving the commercial success of our clients. We call it #HelpfulChange, and whilst it sounds improbable and unrealistic, it has been the central strategy behind our success. It aligns with the increasing trend for Pharma companies to out behave the competition & benefit through their enhanced brand equity. Unfortunately the more conservative in our industry wait for others to fail & win by default. Doing nothing, but doing nothing wrong, they would argue. These people fear their brand, and lack the courage their power affords them to improve society. Those that embrace this power, those that choose to make a difference, and show courage in their actions, will succeed in today & tomorrow’s social world – they’ll have a brand with meaning.

Johnson & Johnson have invested in Care4Today, through Janssen Healthcare Innovations. Like many others, they believe innovation can improve outcomes. However, unlike the majority, they have invested significant time & resource to bring forward that day. They will both make a difference, and secure a competitive advantage.

AstraZeneca invested in a critical testing infrastructure for non-small cell lung cancer. Monthly tests increased from 18 to 452 over the course of the campaign. Patients were more accurately diagnosed, treatments more accurately prescribed.

Novartis support Skin To Live In and, despite the regulatory challenges, aspire for it to be the most progressive campaign in healthcare communications, supporting the community & building brand equity – a fair trade.

These are just a few examples from our portfolio, beyond Havas Lynx there are numerous other superb cases of brands doing good and making money. It is the future of our industry, one that will be shaped by passion & courage.

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#LXAcademy Awards

At the heart of an agencies success are the people. Heritage, structure and framework are simply the platform. As a business we are committed to attracting, developing, engaging and retaining the very best talent. The #LXAcademy was conceived to build core expertise, and inspire imagination, curiosity & courage, across science, creativity & technology. The #LXAcademy Awards was a celebration of everything we have all achieved in 2014 – it was our finest night.

The submissions were exceptional & really quite humbling. The team behind Care4Today combined insight & innovation, with passion & belief. Their presentation belied their engineering background & claimed the Grand Prix award. The team driving Novartis Dermatology deservedly won Creative use of Technology, as we continued our track record of being digital pioneers at EADV. Combining consumer technology with pharma insight, they quickly & efficiently created a unique point of difference in a competitive environment. Having clocked up 320,000 miles for AstraZeneca and revolutionised their Japanese market, the team of the year was entirely deserved. Not everyone can travel the world & consistently bring energy, ideas & value. One of my personal highlights for 2014 is our partnership with Lundbeck, we share vales & ambition, and I was delighted that our team recorded best online campaign, it demonstrated superb alignment of insight & innovation. It also demonstrated a client-agency relationship working in tandem, towards a shared goal, delivering results. #SKINTOLIVEIN rightly won campaign of the year, described by a Big Pharma CEO as the most progressive digital campaign in their portfolio, there was little more for the judges to add. However it was also impossible to ignore the effort, expertise & collaboration required to make something so unique and of so much value to patients & pharma.

There’s a buzz in the agency & the awards epitomised this. It has also set expectations for 2015, with regards to #LXAcademy, the awards and #LYNXLife, which is scheduled to be launched in January. Our number one priority is our talent, we believe that the rest follow. Our staff retention is at 90%, we receive 120 applicants a week and 50 people have celebrated 5 years with the business. HAVAS LYNX is a great agency with great clients, and the #LXAcademy Awards were a fitting celebration.

None of this would be possible without @carlwalker & Lisa Jones, driving the #LXAcademy, supported by the amazing internal experts and our external thought leaders. And a special thanks for organising the awards to Sam Luk & the LX  Ambassadors.

You can watch some of our inspiring LX Academy thought leadership sessions on our Youtube channel and see photos from the night on facebook and twitter10356266_785876774803420_9066949141867259432_n

Build it & they will come

Social Media, by David Hunt

Of course they will come. We’ve sweated blood, sweat & tears to establish our social media governance. We’ve aligned all our internal stakeholders, agreed our polices & opened the doors!! We’re big pharma & they’ll be delighted to talk to us!!

To launch a social campaign requires effort, ambition & conviction. Ironically, the internal campaign required to launch a social media initiative can consume the energy necessary to drive external engagement. In essence, the internal customers can take precedent over external. The product of this dilemma is often, “Where are the interactions? Where is the engagement? Where is the community?” It’s not enough to simply open your doors, you need to build an engaging presence.

Content is King, or so we are told. However, without context & relevance we are simply pushing messages via a new platform. We all see & publish countless updates that are neither liked, retweeted, repinned or shared. And they should, they’re good. However, they’re most likely not relevant to the viewer, or the viewer is not relevant to us. To overcome this, content strategy has to be more agile. It should respond to search & community trends and the evolving interests of peers – to be relevant we must be current. Beyond this, distribution should use expert community management & intuition vs. a pre-determined timeline – to be relevant timing is critical.

There are those in society who talk solely about themselves, their agenda, their opinions. They are typically tiresome & isolated, with a hint of arrogance & belief in their own self-importance. I have a community of family, friends & peers. I’m happy to respond, engage & participate in their stories – we have genuine, balanced relationships. Pharma HAS to work harder in being a member of the community. A social endeavour must have a framework to participate & build an engaging presence – to be interesting we must be interested.trapeze

Sadly not everyone likes me. Like everyone there are those whose company I enjoy, those I don’t. Online is no different. In pharma communications we need to work harder to find peers with whom we can form mutually beneficial relationships. With limited time & effort we could identify 100 new & valuable online acquaintances. We can see their bio, online footprint, sentiment & areas of interest. As we build our presence we can, we can build these relationships. Taking time to listen, engage & discuss – to deliver ROI we need to be social. 

The Pharma Obligation to Social Media

Social media debate, by David Hunt

The patient population is at our finger tips. Technology has provided a broader platform to witness their frustrations, build lasting relationships and work collaboratively to improve outcomes. The pharma industry invests billions in the development of new treatments; they are bold, courageous and imaginative in the pursuit of scientific excellence. Yet, with a few exceptions, remain anxious, nervous and paralysed in social media. The changing environment demands industry innovation and outcome based funding. If science will be at the heart of that drive, social must be the catalyst.

Fear of a brand name?
We invest millions in building a brand, yet remain terrified of its mention in public. Of course, we cannot publicly announce our treatment and associated scientific benefits, and yes we have an obligation to ensure it is not miss-represented either positively or negatively. But are we really at fault if a member of public chooses to discusses our brand in a fair, valid and experienced manner? We live in a free world, and an increasingly global community, we must engage if we have valuable information & insight. Do we not have a moral obligation to respond with valuable insight? Why would we leave Wikipedia with data we know to be inaccurate, when it’s widely considered to be the first point of reference? The vast majority of the general public are wholly unqualified to comment on disease, symptoms, side effects or treatments, but do so with the vigor of a grand-parent championing chicken soup. We have the knowledge, rigor and expertise to harness valuable patient experiences, real-life events and dialogue to support broader society.

But what if we came across an adverse event?
What if we don’t? We all have an obligation to report adverse events. Beyond the rules there is a moral obligation. Many months ago I witnessed a psychiatric nurse discussing how, with appropriate permissions, they monitored patients on twitter – AMAZING! If the NHS can find the time & resource to use social media in such a smart fashion, then big pharma must follow suit.

We’ll be accused of #badpharma and dishonesty!
That is true whether you participate or not. I’d advocate participating and whilst you would never directly challenge an individual, voicing your position to a broadly smart community can only be more positive.

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The approval process takes too long.
Social media is not just publishing content. It’s about listening. It’s an opportunity to hear from patients. It’s about understanding challenges & frustrations and working to address them. That alone is worth embracing the social world. It isn’t a fad, it’s been around since society – the playing field just got bigger.

 

As I often discuss, I’m proud to work in pharma. We make a difference, and we improve outcomes. Scientists & their amazing work will be at the heart of that success, but with the necessary courage communications experts can be the key.

 

The death of traditional consumerism: what does it mean for pharma?

HAVAS Worldwide’s latest paper, The New Consumer & The Sharing Economy, outlines a growing sentiment against over consumption. Seven in ten of us believe it to be putting our society and the planet at risk, and the majority feel that current models of consumerism are not sustainable. More than this, we feel weighed down by the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ we own.

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Put simply, we’re tired of consumerism and bored of adverts that try to manipulate us by pushing products at us like they’re the answer to life’s problems. We want to be in control, we want to be able to make informed decisions about how we spend our time and money and we don’t want others telling us what to do.

This goes for healthcare as much as consumer markets. Patients no longer expect to merely be prescribed a pill that they unwittingly swallow down once a day and hope for the best. Facilitated by an abundance of information technologies, they are knowledgeable about treatments and want to be actively involved in managing their own health care.

The wealth of monitoring apps across treatment areas (AsthmaCheck, MoodPanda and Diabetes In Check are but a few) is a fair indicator of a general desire for information and authority regarding personal treatment regimens. For financially hamstrung public health providers such as the NHS, this is a welcome trend. Empowering patients with greater control of their treatment reduces the burden of care placed on public providers, and has the potential to garner much better results by actively engaging patients.

So where does pharma fit into all this? The patent model and subsequent relationship with healthcare providers has always followed traditional models of consumerism; ‘we are a drug company and we’ve produced this drug which you can buy from us’. So how can we who work in pharma support and facilitate patients’ desires for greater inclusion and authority in their care and still turn a profit?

Firstly, we need to reshape our relationship with the people we serve. Pharmaceutical companies can no longer act as vendors and must become partners to professionals and patients alike. In doing so, we need to provide solutions, not pills, and increasingly this will mean delivering holistic services and systems of care. ‘Beyond the pill’ solutions are an arena in which there is massive potential for pharmaceutical companies to add real value.  At HAVAS LYNX we’ve worked on a series of patient care programmes that have been shown to half the number of days patients spend in hospital.

When pharma partners its expertise with other parties, it opens up a world of new revenue streams. Start-up accelerator organisations such as Healthbox are stimulating the sort of innovation and collaboration that pharma should be looking to more and more. Even amidst the context of Pfizer’s efforts to secure the acquisition of AstraZeneca, pharma companies need to look beyond traditional development pipelines when seeking to expand their offering.

We need to innovate past the sector mainstream and recognise outsider trends, much in the same way that Facebook is making moves to expand beyond social by purchasing of ProtoGeo. There are so many exciting and disruptive technologies being developed that have the potential to transform the lives of patients. Far more than offering supplementary revenue, these areas that currently lie on the fringes of the market are likely to be the mainstay of pharmaceuticals in the future.