Marketing strategy and campaigns

When you’re marketing the complex and controversial you need to pitch them sensitively, without alienating your audience. I can develop the right messages and find the right communications channels to bring contentious issues into the mainstream – like I did for the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

UKCRC is a coalition of key decision makers in the world of Clinical Research including the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries, the Wellcome Trust, the Departments of Health for the four nations, and the Association of Medical Research Charities.

In 2009 the partners commissioned Straight talking communications to market the controversial issue of using our health records to unlock the causes of disease, find solutions and improve healthcare services. UKCRC needed a marketing strategy to position the routine use of anonymous data, and communications to counter bad press about ‘the database state’ and recent misuse and loss of confidential data.

I got to the heart of the issue through extensive desk and stakeholder research, using the findings to develop key messages and FAQS. From there I was able to create a strategy for bringing research using patient records into the mainstream.

I provided UKCRC with a marketing communications plan which would inform and involve GPs and researchers and educate the public about health record research.

I talked to journalists about how the issue resonates in the media, and experts and patients alike about what we really need to know. I made sure that all the key communications routes were part of the plan, from the care environment, to NHS Direct, to

I steered UKCRC towards information-based communications campaigns and commissioned patient and GP focus groups to explore attitudes to and awareness of the issue, and road test our approach.

I wrote and managed design of patient information which will hit doctors surgeries in England, Scotland and Wales in the autumn of 2011 and Northern Ireland in 2012.


About Philippa

Philippa Cowley-Thwaites is a no-nonsense South Londoner with a passion for communications. Since graduating in English from London University in 1983 she has established herself as an expert communicator for a variety of brands in the private, public and voluntary sector with great success – she’s one of the best business writers in the business.