Med Comms Day: Five things 2020 has taught us about med comms

It’s almost exactly halfway through the year and, as luck would have it, it also happens to be Med Comms Day!

So what better time to take stock and have a think about the things this year has already taught us about our industry?

Here are the five biggest lessons we’ve learned (so far!)…

1.      Great ideas are great ideas anywhere

Lots has changed over the past few months – some things for the short term and some things forever –  but just as interesting are the things that haven’t changed.

While the ways we deliver work for our clients may currently be different (virtual meetings etc.), the most important thing remains the same– great ideas work however you put them across.

The content we produce still needs to be exciting, engaging and have clear goals, so let’s use this time as an opportunity to build on what we already know, rather than ripping it up and starting again.

Simple still beats complex, while short and sweet will always beat long and, well, not sweet! If we stick to the principles of engaging content, there’s no reason med comms can’t thrive in the coming months and years.

2.      Virtual events can be great – and are sometimes the better option

With that in mind, let’s have a look about something we’ve all had to learn about in more detail – virtual events.  

Even though people can’t travel as freely at the moment,meetings, symposia and advisory board meetings still need to happen, and they can be just as good – and sometimes even better – in a virtual space.

Our team has run several well-received virtual events in the past few months and there are some clear benefits, including:

·      Contingency planning: they provide available alternative when face-to-face meetings are cancelled or delayed

·      Maintains engagement: offers KOLs and HCPs an interactive and personalised experience and allows knowledge sharing to continue  

·      Time efficiency: content is structured across difference time points to meet KOL, speaker and attendee needs globally

·      Minimised logistics: organisation of speakers, attendees and meeting structure is managed and delivered digitally

·      Reduced costs: No travel, accommodation,venue costs and only minimal event management and technical costs

While there will always be a place for face-to-face events,virtual events will become a real staple of med comms from now on and we should be excited for the opportunities this presents.

3.      Flexible working is more important than ever

There has always been of talk about how flexible working can be beneficial to med comms agencies and their clients – but moving away from the traditional nine to five is something a lot of businesses talk about in hushed tones rather than seriously consider.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant we’ve all had to move a lot quicker to accommodate interruptions to our working day. Things such as the need for home schooling mean that, for many people, it’s just not practical to work traditional hours.

Synergy Vision have always had a flexible approach to working and it’s something that more of our team have taken advantage of over the past few months, including medical writer, Kenny, who said: “Flexible working has allowed me to be in Sweden with my partner (who lives there) during this pandemic.

“I’m very grateful to be spending summer in a beautiful country and being able to take advantage of flexible working practices.”

Flexible working looks like it’s here to stay and we think that’s a great thing.

4.      The 4-day working week is getting some serious traction!

We made a 4-day working week a permanent part of our company policy last year and we’ll bend anyone’s ear about how great it is – and now more people seem to be warming to the idea.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a 4-day workweek… I’d really encourage people to think about that if you’re an employer and in a position to do so.”

While Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Things like a 4-day week are no longer things that we should just be talking about,these are things we should be encouraging employers to look at embracing.”

2020 has presented a real opportunity for med comms agencies to think about how they can improve the ways they work – and with the idea of a 4-day working week being discussed seriously by senior politicians, we hope it’s something more business leaders will think about implementing.

5.      Med comms is a great industry to work in

We already knew this, but the way the industry has reacted to recent difficulties and pulled together has been amazing to see.

It will continue to be challenging – certainly for the next 6 months – but we’re proud to work in this industry and are excited to see how we can adapt and continue to deliver amazing work for our clients.

Happy Med Comms Day, everyone!  

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