COVID-19: stakeholder strategy and crisis communication for a pharmaceutical company
During the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis in Belgium, Think BBDO supported a leading pharmaceutical company’s communications.
The company faced a number of challenges, including:
Communication with patients about changes to the course of clinical studies
Communication to stakeholders (government, medical world) about existing drugs’ potential to treat COVID-19, taking into account ongoing clinical trials
Alignment of this communication with the company’s international communication (both in other countries and globally from HQ)
Our starting point was a thorough analysis of all internal and external environmental factors. We took into account existing communication plans and fact sheets, stakeholder positions, regulations, the evolution of media attention for the subject (via real-time media monitoring), and potential future risks.
Think BBDO then developed a phased crisis communication plan with adapted messages, communication tools and Q and As for each phase. By doing so, we prepared our client for any scenario in the rapidly changing context of the pandemic. We regularly adjusted the plan in response to internal and external developments.
Additionally, Think BBDO organized camera training tailored to the company's spokespeople. They brushed up on their interview techniques and rehearsed the messages, in order to be prepared for potential media attention.