Written by: Matthew Eland

Matthew is an Editorial Assistant at Alpharmaxim Healthcare Communications

Sales representatives are looking for new ways to contact and engage with healthcare professionals (HCPs). Even prior to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which left many countries with travel restrictions, there was an urgent need to introduce new, time-efficient ways of holding and conducting meetings. We’ve previously written about using virtual engagement to support your strong and compelling stories, but how does this work in practice?

Nine out of ten of the top pharma companies use Veeva CRM Engage Meeting for real-time, remote HCP engagement. As official Veeva Multichannel Content Partners, Alpharmaxim understand that there are many things to consider when creating content for virtual engagement. Here, we discuss the key elements required to ensure that you are getting the most out of your virtual meeting platforms.

Before

Before you go ahead with a virtual meeting, it is vital that you consider the following questions:

  • What are you trying to communicate?
  • What do you want to measure?
  • How do you want to utilise the information you have gathered after the meeting has ended?

Once you have this fundamental information in place, you can begin to think about story flow. Our writers are skilled in producing content that flows logically and guides HCPs to understand and engage with your core messages, enabling you to better explain how your products fit into the treatment landscape.

At Alpharmaxim, we focus on rare diseases, niche areas and novel approaches, so we’re experienced in telling difficult stories.

With HCPs often being presented with a range of treatment options and finding themselves unfamiliar with speciality healthcare therapy areas, it is important that you present the strengths of your products and the ways in which they can help patients in a narrative that’s compelling and easy to understand.

These narratives are more effective when they are established early – before the meeting has even started, if possible.

Build up interest and excitement by engaging with attendees to share key topics.

For example, holding a poll or a survey can allow you to gain insights into the current beliefs and behaviours of HCPs. From there, you can set goals for the shifts you would like to see after the meeting has ended; the same poll sent after the event will tell you what has changed.

This is the ideal stage to think about which metrics you wish to gather because with this comes practical considerations. Which format will give you the information you want? HTML5 is recommended as it allows for more extensive tracking, allowing you to see which key messages resonated well with HCPs, while call reports can demonstrate to regulatory reviewers that certain information (such as prescribing information and regulatory statements) was shared, which helps with compliance.

However, you may have PDF and/or PowerPoint assets already in development that you wish to adapt for use with Veeva Engage. These can also be adapted for use outside the digital meeting platform, which isn’t as straightforward as it is with HTML5. The adaptability of what you’re producing is also important from a technical point of view. You may wish to use the asset in different markets, and different markets may have different requirements.

The most fundamental consideration is language; very often, assets will need to be translated into the HCP’s native language. At Alpharmaxim, we always bear in mind the adaptability for future use of the materials we create. Very often, the word count can increase after translation, for example, and ensuring in advance that there is space to accommodate this can avoid problems later. Some languages require diacritics and special characters, which need to be added to the HTML5 coding at the outset.

During

Once you’ve decided what you want to communicate and measure, you can begin to think about how the meeting will work in practice. The first consideration is size: will it be a one-to-one meeting with a single HCP, or will it be a large-scale virtual event?

If you know your audience, you can define your objectives more clearly.

At Alpharmaxim, our writers work to ensure that copy is concise, readable and scientifically accurate, and we take both audience and speaker into consideration.

We’ve all experienced presentations where a speaker reads out slide after slide of bullet points. This is not only dull but also confusing; the audience has to decide whether to concentrate on the speaker or the text, and it is very easy, in the case of the latter, to find yourself skipping to the end. However, it is very often essential to have key details present on screen. Striking this balance can be difficult.

It is also important that the language is paired with eye-catching visuals to make the presentation aesthetically pleasing and easier to engage with.

Untold hours of effort go into the research and development of new treatments, and the same amount of care should go into the creation of materials for HCPs.

Our design studio ensures that your product branding is incorporated seamlessly into the assets we produce. They review the finer details, to allow for a smooth user experience. They can also add functionality to show when something has been clicked or hovered over. These small touches can compensate for the absence of hand gestures and body language, while also bolstering audience engagement.

The overall user experience is crucial. It may be tempting to resort to using old assets for upload to Veeva Engage, but this does not take into account the specifics and practicalities of the platform, or the different ways of interacting during a virtual meeting. Our design studio adds safe areas to ensure that navigation and other icons are hidden behind Veeva Engage’s built-in functionality. They also ensure that the asset is comprehensively hyperlinked and easy to navigate, allowing quick access to the relevant information. This is essential, especially as HCPs may not only view content on their desktop, they may also use their phone or tablet and in different orientations; your messages will need to be clear and readable however they are viewed.

Ensuring that your content is robust enough to guarantee a satisfactory user experience is fundamental. Before the assets are finalised, our quality control team checks that all complex images, GIFs and hyperlinks are correct. This weeds out any glitches, lags or mistakes that could negatively impact your brand.

After

With so much time and effort going into the planning and preparation of these meetings, it is imperative that momentum doesn’t drop after the event. Think about how you can capitalise on what was discussed. Think about ways of sustaining your attendees’ interest. Posting follow-up answers to Q&A sessions is one way of sustaining and building ongoing engagement. Holding follow-up surveys and polls, to compare the current views of your audience with those taken before they attended the virtual meeting, is another. You could provide access to other materials already on Veeva Engage for HCPs to go through in their own time. With connections now being developed and sustained virtually, it is even more important to diversify your touchpoints and adapt your content to build ongoing relationships.

See your Veeva Engage meeting as part of an overall strategy, rather than an end in itself. As Veeva Multichannel Content Partners, Alpharmaxim understands that Veeva Engage goes beyond just a call: it is a crucial part of building a story. It allows you to have a discussion then follow up via Approved Emails so that HCPs can continue their experience in their own time. It allows you to measure the HCP’s engagement in order to shift beliefs and behaviours.

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.