Written by: Robyn Trudgill

Robyn is an Account Executive at Alpharmaxim Healthcare Communications

Remote engagement has become an increasingly predominant form of interaction in medical communications due to advances such as virtual detailing. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency to adapt to this new way of communicating as it is now more difficult to interact face to face.

The materials we use for meetings with healthcare professionals (HCPs) also need to change with the times because using your existing assets designed for face-to-face meetings may not encourage optimal audience engagement or convey the intended impact of the document when used in a digital setting.

We must, therefore, transform the existing materials used in the field into tools that will support online HCP engagement during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Now that HCPs are busier in the clinical setting, it is even more important to ensure that meetings – however long or short – are as engaging and impactful as possible to maintain momentum and support your brand story.

Our recommendations

Design: Consider the platform

One of the main practical points to consider is the orientation and dimensions of the material in relation to the online platform of choice. Many clients have found that simply using an existing print material and sharing it virtually is not suitable for a lot of digital services. Areas of the document can be obscured due to the size of the virtual viewing area, and readability is reduced on a small screen.

Resizing and re-orientating the material to suit its new online environment is, therefore, an important consideration for digitalisation. This will ensure that all content is visible when it is presented, which guarantees compliance and the legibility of your key messages.

Navigation: Consider the presenter

Once the material has been adapted to suit the online landscape, it is important to consider usability for the presenter.

Although many online platforms offer native navigation, we recommend expanding on this to ensure that content navigation is optimised, which allows the presenter to focus on leading an engaging and informative conversation.

The addition of interactive tabs linking to different topics throughout the material allows for quick access to specific content, which enables the presenter to move through the topics fluidly and with the flow of the conversation. As HCPs have less and less time available for these meetings, it is important that:

  • no time is wasted trying to find material
  • conversation is not disrupted
  • content is tailored to the specific interests of the audience.
Content: Consider the audience

Now that the material is suitably formatted and navigable for use on a digital screen, it is important to ensure that the messages retain the same impact as they did in the original material. Content is key, and it is important to assess how we can utilise this new online format to increase the impact of your messaging.

For example, changing the layout of a material to suit an iPad can result in overcrowded content and important messages can get lost on the screen. Therefore, we must critically assess the content and consider whether all of the information is relevant or if there are specific key messages to highlight. Physical distance from the audience is inevitable with remote engagement, so it is vital that your messaging still resonates with the HCP.

Veeva CRM Engage Meeting, one of the major platforms for virtual detailing, has advised that including only one key message per page is the most efficient way of presenting content on a virtual platform as it ensures the message is emphasised and also allows for useful tracking. It is possible to capture how long a page was viewed on screen by the audience, therefore providing insight on what content was focused on during the meeting. This data can then be used to tailor content in a more effective way than with a face-to-face meeting, which helps to further elevate key message resonance for your brand.

At Alpharmaxim, we focus on adapting language and terminology to ensure that these key messages are impactful and formatted in a way that will deliver key information and guarantee a successful meeting.

Tracking: Consider the follow-up

Is it possible that virtual detailing could hold benefits over face-to-face meetings?

The opportunity to capture metrics during presentations can provide valuable insights that allow for personalisation and tailoring of follow-up encounters. For example, some digital platforms can track the flow of conversation and provide data on how the audience engages with content, including an analysis of time spent on each key message or topic.

These metrics can inform which follow-up materials will be most useful and can highlight areas that require additional education or focus for future meetings, which helps to tailor further discussions and guide your wider strategy.

Outcome

Converting to remote engagement ensures that your materials are easily adaptable, allowing alteration for different markets or audiences while also being visually engaging for the end user.

Digital materials, with the added benefit of tracking, can provide more information to both the HCP and presenter, and give everyone the tools to consistently improve the way they communicate.

Alpharmaxim provide expert guidance for clients looking to transform their materials from physical to digital, not only ensuring that the content fits the new platform and remains compliant but also maximising impact, incorporating interactivity and ultimately improving the likelihood of successful engagement with your key stakeholders.

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.