28.11.2019 | Health Strategy

Transforming your pharma brand strategy: Congress tactics

By Luke Wilson

Transforming your pharma brand strategy: Congress tactics

If you could learn about the needs, views and behaviours of online HCPs it could shape the way you take part in congress meetings and transform the effectiveness of your congress tactics.

Learn from the online conversations of healthcare professionals

It can be valuable to follow the online conversations of HCPs prior to, during and after congress to understand who or what is really influencing their views. When we studied the online conversation around the 2019 International AIDS Society conference, we saw that HCPs were the most significant influencers of their peers online after the conference itself.

The chart below shows an analysis of the online conversation to identify the authors who were mentioned most by HCPs during IAS2019. The pink bars are the conference itself, @IAS_conference and @IASociety. Outside of these two, the pale blue bars reflect HCPs, in this case the Twitter handles of specific HCPs that were most mentioned by their peers.

Carlos del Rio was the most mentioned HCP by his peers and he shared practical lessons from the field. In one tweet he talks about DTG (dolutegravir), national policy decision making and also highlights an unmet need for integration of contraceptive and HIV services.


Through isolating the voice of HCPs mentioning dolutegravir during the month of July 2019, we saw a significant spike in conversation during the congress meeting. This reflects the power of congress at driving conversation about products.

Congress is a great time to engage with HCPs

During congress meetings is a great time to engage with your HCP customers online. As well as HCPs discussing what they are seeing and hearing, you as a manufacturer may ask yourself “what can I do to add value to this conversation?”.

There are plenty of examples of pharmaceutical companies engaging online around congress events. In preparation for ENCP19, Janssen created a campaign sharing the stories of patients suffering with depression alongside an image of kintsugi art, where pottery is repaired using gold. In the lead up to, during and following the congress meeting these patient stories were shared along with the #BreakingDepression hashtag.

Pfizer took a different approach when, on their congress dedicated Twitter handle, they raised awareness among HCPs of the education opportunity via their upcoming presentations at ASCO19 and with Lilly at EFIC2019.


Another innovative tactic was when Boehringer Ingelheim used live streaming on LinkedIn while they were at the congress meeting. People joined the broadcast as it was happening, giving thumbs up whilst Eric Lium was interviewed. This is an effective way to promote the company’s involvement with the conference.

Read the next article in the series:

Transforming your pharma brand strategy: Building partnerships

Transforming your pharma brand strategy: Building partnerships

Read article

To understand how HCP insights could support your brand, download the complete white paper or get in touch.


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Meet the Author

Luke Wilson

Luke brings a design thinking perspective to our Marketing & Communications, working to keep CREATION’s brand presence and message front of mind to all key stakeholders.

When he isn’t learning about fatherhood, Luke enjoys watching and playing football, being an over enthusiastic fan of Liverpool FC.

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