Excellence in Corporate Communications – Internal Stakeholders

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Transferring Equity through Collaboration and Storytelling: Actelion Transitions to Janssen PH

by Langland for Janssen

Summary of work

Q4 2019: It was decided that the 20-year-old, well-respected Actelion brand would be retired the following year, to become Janssen Pulmonary Hypertension (PH). This decision was not made lightly: changing a brand’s name can suggest the loss of all the values the old name signified and can damage years of built-up equity, so a sensitive, nuanced approach was vital.
The internal communications challenge was to avoid alienating employees, encourage them to transfer Actelion equity to the new branding, and build on positive Janssen associations. Actelion was not “dying” but evolving into something better, with advantages that would ultimately benefit colleagues, customers and, most importantly, patients.
What followed was a lesson in global collaboration and storytelling. A year-long planning and implementation phase, requiring the input of dozens of senior stakeholders, over 300 employees, 100s of rebranded materials, dozens of communication assets and much more, resulted in unequivocable success.
Thoughtful partnership and cadenced roll-out allowed Janssen to convince over 80% of their employees that moving forward as Janssen PH was the right thing to do. With Langland’s guidance, Janssen gave employees time to understand the new value proposition, shifted internal brand perceptions and inspired champions for change.

To date, the program has successfully generated and leveraged data through newly established channels and partnerships with engaged stakeholders. The program has already successfully influenced clinical practice and policy at global, country and clinic levels via novel insights and targeted, patient-focused solutions. Adherence is gaining the attention it has long needed, and real-world outcomes will improve as a result.

Judges’ comments

This team set out a clear challenge within their entry. The objectives were also clear and focused and we saw a professionally and sensitively executed plan for this essential campaign with impressive outcomes. Retention of staff was clearly a big focus for Janssen and Langland and it worked – kept 100%!