Faith PR has worked with Thornton & Ross (T&R), part of the STADA group, since 2019 and was briefed to support and highlight a national educational webinar to an existing and new audience of healthcare professionals, and invite selected media.
Among the news of event cancellations and postponements, T&R responded to the coronavirus pandemic with the announcement that their event would be delivered virtually; connecting and strengthening relationships with their online communities.
The event was a collaborative campaign, with Faith PR working closely alongside the T&R brand team who extended the webinar invite to the sales force’s key contacts. Key internal executives also attended.
The theme of the digital webinar was to explore the protective role of vitamin D3 against COVID-19 and included a panel of four internationally recognised expert speakers who reviewed the emerging evidence.
T&R is one of the largest over the counter pharmaceutical manufacturers in the UK, and is headquartered in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Our PR programme was created to allow T&R to showcase and promote its business knowledge of vitamin D3 and bone health, and cement the company’s position as a leader in information exchange on a local, regional and national level.
The timing of the webinar also benchmarked a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Faith PR carried out research to identify regional and national media who had an existing interest in vitamin D, or had previously written about it. These titles were added to the media list, covering a broad spectrum of genres. Following discussions with the speakers prior to the event, a digital press kit was created and a press released drafted, to be issued immediately post event.
Alongside media relations activity, we implemented a paid for social media campaign through the corporate T&R LinkedIn page to drive awareness of the event and secure webinar registrations from healthcare professionals. We set up a number of A/B campaigns to test targeting and messaging while factoring in LinkedIn limitations on content that was seen to benefit from the coronavirus pandemic.
The webinar took place on July 9th when more than 400 industry professionals dialled in. For those journalists and key healthcare professionals unable to attend, the media outreach continued and was maintained with the regular distribution of media material.
Overall, the campaign approach generated over 13 positive articles in target media with key messaging relating to T&R’s vitamin D3 educational webinar and a combined total reach of 304,132. Exposure was across both print and online publications, with more coverage filtering through from the long lead media we approached and secured.
Coverage ranged from magazines Top Santé, Saga and The Carer, through to Business Mondays and pharmiweb.com – showing the success of our PR campaign.
The social media advertising campaign targeted healthcare professionals through three different criteria variables – this allowed us to test the targeting to ensure the ads were optimised for the right audience, and of those who were most likely to engage. The messaging variable was also tested throughout the campaign period and optimised towards what the audience engaged with the most.
The results from the ad campaign showed how different segments of the audience resonated with different messaging, and that it was not reliant on the mention of Covid-19. The content that focused on the subject of the webinar and the expert speakers were among the top performing adverts.
From a poll of responses following the webinar:
- 85% said that despite the limited current evidence, they felt using vitamin D could be beneficial in the fight against COVID-19.
- 84% said the event had increased their understanding of the role vitamin D could play in treating COVID-19.
- Almost two thirds (60%) said the discussions would impact on their daily practice.