From Angst to Access: Turning the Tide in Neuroblastoma

by akt health communications for EUSA Pharma

Summary of work

Children’s cancer is a high-profile, emotive topic that offers strong opportunity for media coverage – but it is also fraught with potential pitfalls for pharma. Getting the balance right can be a challenge, and when access to an important new medicine is at stake, getting this wrong can have a massive impact.

In May 2018, the agency was brought in to help manage a spiralling media story; confusion and concern over access to a new medicine in neuroblastoma saw parents turning to the media. The team took quick action to identify and manage the media flow of this issue, working with the client, journalists and the neuroblastoma community to ease tensions. But that was only the beginning; the challenge was then to turn this momentum into significant positive coverage that would unite the community and reinforce the value of this innovation.

By the end of this short, but impactful, campaign, the team had driven coverage in every national newspaper across the UK, generating over 100m opportunities to see our messages, including over two hours of in-depth national and regional broadcast. While the scale of media coverage was significant, the real success here was balancing this alongside the critical need to maintain strong relationships across the community that would continue into the future.

Judges’ comments

It’s clear what akt and EUSA Pharma wanted to achieve, their KPIs were brilliant and there’s a good issue crisis communications element to it. It’s also a brilliantly written entry. The entry had clear objectives and good planning and they’re a strong testament to the quality of implementation. The project was also thorough and diligent.