Written by: Sophie Jones

Sophie is Director of Strategic Development at Alpharmaxim Healthcare Communications

When we look back on 2020, it’s easy to forget that the year began with much positivity and excitement. Three months later and the United Kingdom was under strict lockdown guidelines, while the rest of the world changed in ways that no one could have predicted: businesses closed, human contact was scarce, and socialising became a thing of the past.

When the New Year was finally on the horizon, people everywhere clung to the hope that surrounded a new vaccine for COVID-19 – optimism was, once again, on the rise.

Anyone could be forgiven for feeling somewhat dejected by recent events, with 2021 bringing with it another national lockdown in the UK. The good news is, we’re already accustomed to working remotely: most of us are by now a dab hand at Zoom (and other virtual platforms) and many more businesses can continue to operate within the boundaries of our ‘new normal’.

Lockdown 2021 will not have the same impact on our way of working as it did the first (or indeed the second!) time around. Now that we’re set up to conduct our business in a remote fashion, with streamlined processes, we’re ready to embrace the challenges our clients face when communicating with their audiences.

Throughout 2020, the Alpharmaxim team remained active, attending virtual congresses, supporting remote satellite symposia, and facilitating a number of virtual advisory boards. All the while, we’ve been working closely with our clients to optimise and adapt their story and content for an online audience.

On the whole, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries have adjusted well to this challenging situation, finding innovative ways of engaging with their patients, conducting remote clinical trials, and ultimately, demonstrating that an industry traditionally seen as slow to adjust can emerge from this crisis nimbler and more open to change.

The world may feel significantly bigger due to the lack of travel and physical contact, however, we could perceive it to be smaller when we consider the new ways in which we now connect with our audiences, and access new ones. Given the choice, would we want to go back to the way things were before? Or could it be that the pandemic has perhaps opened up a new way of life – a new way of communicating – that better suits our purpose?

Pre-COVID-19, many of us were familiar with regular business travel, and visiting both existing and prospective clients face to face – this was great for relationship building, but sometimes to the detriment of ‘working time’ in the office. After almost a year with no business travel, how have your relationships changed?

Have you noticed a significant decrease in the number of relationships
you are able to build?

Perhaps, like us, you are finding that, rather than a negative impact, the number and value of touchpoints with your clients (new, potential, and existing) has increased dramatically.

With virtual meetings now a normal part of our working life, the negative mental and emotional impact of the pandemic has driven (for the most part) stronger connections with colleagues, clients and loved ones alike. Granted, moving forward we all hope to return to some level of face-to-face interaction, but by maintaining balance with meaningful and appropriate virtual communications, we can continue to initiate and maintain robust connections with new prospects.

The very presence of any lockdown brings about more meaningful conversations organically, allowing us to build relationships that go beyond simple business transactions – strengthening our awareness, and developing our understanding of the situation we each find ourselves in.

It’s these relationships and human connections that we rely on now more than ever before.

At Alpharmaxim, we have extensive experience in helping speciality healthcare companies across the world communicate with HCPs and patients, particularly in rare diseases. We are passionate about helping our clients tell their stories and fulfil their promises, and we aim to make a real difference to patients, families and healthcare professionals.

If you would like to know more, please visit our website www.alpharmaxim.com, or contact Sophie Jones on +44 (0)161 929 0400.