Novartis Foundation

The Challenge

The Novartis Foundation is a philanthropic organisation that works with local and global partners to deliver scalable healthcare models in low- and middle-income countries. In 2015 they asked Portland to help raise their profile; both externally, with global health experts, and internally, with Novartis employees.

The Approach

We developed a communications strategy: identifying target audiences, refining corporate messages and analysing existing channels. We built relationships with key media contacts and arranged a press visit to a Novartis Foundation project in Ghana. We boosted the Foundation’s digital profile by launching a Twitter account and using it to engage with global experts. We created visual content – including videos, infographics, animations and GIFs – to help explain the Foundation and its work to multiple audiences. We provided training for Foundation staff, enhancing their ability to speak to the media, deliver presentations and use social channels effectively. And we ran a programme targeted at Novartis associates, including a quarterly e-newsletter, an online annual report and a series of communications toolkits at key moments, such as World Leprosy Day and World Hypertension Day.

The Outcome

We have helped the Novartis Foundation secure coverage in a range of global media outlets, including SciDev, Quartz and Global Daily. The foundation’s Twitter channel has more than 1,200 followers, providing a platform for engaging with global health influencers. Our digital content has generated more than 1 million impressions and our content curation won a 2016 Communique Award. The regular e-newsletter has more than 4,000 subscribers and the online annual report has received more than 6,000 views.

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