Rising star – Madano’s Tech practice moving up the Top 50 PRWeek consultancy rankings for 2021

Rising star – Madano’s Tech practice moving up the Top 50 PRWeek consultancy rankings for 2021

The Tech practice at Madano has climbed the PRWeek rankings to claim 42nd position, up four places from last year. Formed just three years ago, the team continues to grow and expand its expertise in strategic communications for game-changing technology clients 

Since its creation three years ago, we have built a practice focused on working with tech clients that are truly shaping the future with their innovations – from artificial intelligence to zero-emission travel,” said Dominic Weeks, Head of Technology at Madano. “It’s most important to us to build an identity for our tech work and grow in the right way long-term, but it’s an added bonus to see the practice grow short-term as well.” 

To find out more about how Madano can help with your strategic communications, stakeholder management or media and government relations, please get in touch to set up a chat. 

If you’re interested in a career in communications, find out about the latest opportunities to join the growing Madano team here.

Madano achieves Top 20 position in PRWeek’s Healthcare rankings

Madano achieves Top 20 position in PRWeek’s Healthcare rankings

Madano has again been awarded a top 20 position in the PRWeek Healthcare Rankings for 2021, published today. The consultancy’s dedicated Healthcare team currently holds 17th position in the UK.

“We’re incredibly proud of our position in the top 20 Healthcare PR consultancies, which is testament to the results delivered by our amazing team over the last 12 months,” said Katy Compton-Bishop, Head of Healthcare. “We work with great clients who are shaping the future of healthcare – providing them with disruptive thinking and creative solutions.”

The Madano Healthcare team specialises in communications for brands that want to make a difference and who challenge the status quo. We approach our clients’ problems and situations from every angle, striving for outcomes that improve the lives of patients and society as a whole. Right now, more than ever, the world needs clear and compelling healthcare communications.

Our Healthcare practice is growing. To join a dynamic and passionate team with real purpose, check out our current vacancies here.

Madano climbs eight places in PRWeek’s Top 150 UK PR Consultancies

Madano climbs eight places in PRWeek’s Top 150 UK PR Consultancies

Madano has risen to 57th place in PRWeek’s Top 150 UK PR Consultancies rankings for 2021, up eight places from its position last year.

“Staying on track towards our long-term goal of becoming a £10m consultancy, alongside moving up the PRWeek table, is testament to the great team at Madano and all the work they put in during what was a massively tough year for us all,” said Michael Evans, Madano’s managing partner.

Madano is committed to building a better world through intelligent and creative communications. Working with clients seeking to solve some of the world’s major challenges through science, technology and engineering, we help them tell their story, make the right connections, change attitudes and influence behaviours.

To find out how we can work with you to shape your organisation’s future, please get in touch for a chat. And if you’re interested in joining the growing Madano team, check out our current vacancies here.

Why communications will be crucial to the net-zero transition

Why communications will be crucial to the net-zero transition

Shifting our way of life and economy away from a dependence on fossil fuels and towards a sustainable path that will enable us to achieve net zero by 2050 is currently the most important challenge we face. We’re all aware of that, but sometimes we need a communications masterclass to make us appreciate the true nature of the problem.

Luckily, Sir David Attenborough has provided a shining example with his latest one-off special, A Life on our Planet, which makes for uncomfortable viewing. Available to stream on Netflix, it has a distinct feel of the final encore to his lifetime of works – indeed, he calls this programme his “witness statement” to the world.

It’s a statement that notes the rapid, sickening exploitation and destruction of our planet during his life, and feels almost like an obituary for planet Earth. Attenborough highlights the speed at which the planet’s ecosystems have changed, and the catastrophic consequences of these changes: rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and a fall in the truly ‘wild’ nature left on earth.

Some of the programme’s statistics are stark. Forty per cent of the world’s sea ice has melted in the last 40 years as our systematic overuse of fossil fuels quickens the rate of global warming. Thankfully, the show does not end with an apocalyptic vision for earth’s future, but one of hope and opportunity.

Transitioning to net zero – an investment opportunity

A recent Financial Times article began with the same sentiment: “Saving the planet from catastrophic climate change is humanity’s biggest challenge. It may also represent the most spectacular investment opportunity of our lifetimes.”

The article states that the transition to a green economy has presented a number of opportunities for venture capital investors to become involved in climate tech. A report from PwC confirms this, noting that funding for climate tech companies has outstripped other sectors, including artificial intelligence, increasing from $418 million in 2013 to $16.1 billion in 2019. The opportunity for venture capital investors to make money while also saving the planet has an undeniable pull, but despite this dramatic increase in investment, the FT states that “climate tech still only accounts for about 6 per cent of VC’s investment portfolios today,” a figure that needs to increase sooner rather than later.

In an effort to accelerate sustainable investment, the world’s largest fund manager, BlackRock, announced last year that it would remove from its actively managed portfolios any company receiving more than a quarter of its revenue from thermal coal. Larry Fink, the firm’s CEO, stated in a letter to clients: “The commitments we are making today reflect our conviction that all investors – and particularly the millions of our clients who are saving for long-term goals like retirement – must seriously consider sustainability in their investments.”

A few months later, the FT reported that shareholder support for climate change resolutions at annual meetings had increased from 16 per cent in 2019 to 23 per cent. The companies who “suffered big shareholder revolts over climate change” in 2020 included US bank JPMorgan, Australian energy companies Woodside Petroleum and Santos, mining group Rio Tinto, shipping company JB Hunt Transport Services and energy group Ovintiv.

Transitioning to net zero – a communications challenge

So, what does this all mean for communications? Well, in the same way that the transition to a low-carbon economy represents the biggest investment opportunity of our lifetime, it is also, arguably, the greatest communications opportunity for a generation. As a post on Attenborough’s Instagram page explains: “Saving our planet is now a communications challenge.”

The UK Government has legislated to transition to net zero by 2050, and a number of other countries have echoed this decision with similar signals of intent. Added to that, major corporations across the globe, including oil and gas producer BP and US tech giant Microsoft, have also made net-zero pledges.

But these examples are still in the minority. What’s needed now is for every organisation to take meaningful action to reduce and eliminate its carbon footprint on the road to net zero, while ensuring its communications highlight that action to key stakeholders in a transparent and targeted way.

By Lewis Popplewell, Account Executive in Madano’s Energy practice.

This blog post is the first in a three-part series discussing the communications challenges and opportunities provided by the net-zero transition. Forthcoming posts will examine the importance of communications in the context of reputation management, as well as potential ways to engage with government, the media and other stakeholders to positively influence the transition.

Only half the battle: how communication will be key to ensuring COVID-19 vaccine uptake

Only half the battle: how communication will be key to ensuring COVID-19 vaccine uptake

On 2nd December, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinefollowing review by the MHRA 

This announcement comes a ground-breaking seven months after the start of clinical trials and marks a major breakthrough, but it’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Recent criticism that the approval was “hasty” and the spread of misinformation about vaccines on social media has already resulted in vaccination hesitancy.  

Providing regular, clear and transparent communications about the new vaccine will be critical to increase public confidence and encourage vaccination uptake.  

Globally vaccine mistrust is growing 

Vaccination is the most effective public health intervention available, ranking second only to clean water for disease prevention. Yet in 2019, the World Health Organisation listed vaccination hesitancy as one of the top ten threats to global health; at the time they couldn’t have imagined how soon the potential impact of that threat would be realised 

recent study from UCL found that a fifth of people in the UK said they would be unlikely to get a vaccine for COVID-19. Worryingly, vaccination hesitancy appeared to be higher for the COVID19 vaccine than the flu vaccine, particularly in older adults. These findings clearly highlight the effect of the ongoing spread of misinformation around COVID-19 and the vaccines.  

This growing infodemic, a term used to describe the flood of information on the COVID-19 pandemic,  has made it difficult for people to make informed decisions about their health. It’s therefore crucial that communications around COVID-19 vaccines be clear, honest and openly address the public’s concerns.  

Compassion and clear communication will be key to increasing public confidence 

The unprecedented speed of the development of COVID-19 vaccines has led many to, perhaps fairly, question whether they have been rushed. These are legitimate concerns and they need to be treated with respect and compassion to avoid alienating a large group of people and risk them turning to non-trustworthy sources of information 

Professor Heidi Larson, Director of the Vaccine Confidence Projecthas emphasised thimportance of trying to understand these concerns and encourages open and balanced dialogue about both risks and benefits.  

Not only are the types of messages important, but the way they are communicated to the public must be considered. The public will inevitably be exposed to rumours and false information, and this must be countered by developing trusted spaces, via social and mainstream media, to share accurate information in an accessible way for the public.  

It is exciting to see that healthcare professionals are already starting to adapt, with live Q&As on social media becoming increasingly popular. Doctors are even starting to use TikTok to bust myths about vaccines 

These strategies, along with other innovative methods to share transparent and compassionate messages, will play critical role in countering the spread of vaccine hesitancy and ultimately ensuring we return to something close to normality in the future.  

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Why publish real world evidence? Maximising the reach and impact of journal articles

Why publish real world evidence? Maximising the reach and impact of journal articles

How can we know what kind of impact the communications outputs we publish are having on our target audiences? Are they cutting through the noise to affect beliefs and behaviours?

In previous blogs, our sister agency AXON have identified an upward trend in the volume of publications presenting real world evidence (RWE) in healthcare journals. This trend was observed irrespective of the impact factor of the journal, which calls into question our industry’s reliance on impact factor when evaluating the reach and impact of published data. So how can we better understand which articles are effective?

The team at Madano have been working closely with AXON and their clients to try and find a more satisfactory answer to the question of impact. While we’re little a way off a definitive answer, we are now able to provide a much more nuanced and client-specific assessment of the value of a publication plan – at brand and therapy area level.

Our starting point was to take a step back and ask: what are our publications for? Addressing this more fundamental question soon had us and our clients thinking differently and we were able to build ‘theories of change’ for individual publication plans – i.e. a framework that articulates the changes in beliefs and behaviours we want our publications to trigger in our target audiences, and the outcomes that need to be measured to detect these changes.

Based on this framework, we are able to build a bespoke model of impact for each client. First, we identified all of the outcomes clients hope that publications could influence; for example, raising awareness of particular biomarkers or improving front-line practice. We then identified data sources that could act as proxies for these outcomes; for example, volume and nature of social media engagement using specific terminology, or seeing publications referenced in treatment guidelines.

To really assess the impact of an individual publication or publication plan as a whole, we needed to situate outcomes associated with our clients’ publications within the broader competitive landscape. To do this, our data science team have built web harvesting scripts to capture the specified outcomes for all publications within a given disease area – a total of around 14,000 across the last five years for psoriasis, for example. We then visualised this landscape as a topic map, highlighting high-frequency and high-impact topics, and comparing average impact scores for groups of publications to benchmark client performance.

The insights this approach generates provide huge value to publications teams and should be the foundation for designing a RW publication strategy. It can help you:

  • Identify gaps in the landscape that, if filled, would create the most impact;
  • Maximise a publication’s impact with key audiences by making informed decisions about author, journal and topic selection;
  • Measure relative performance against your competitors and identify the most effective types of article or outputs for your different audiences;
  • Deliver consistent reporting showing the overall value of each of your publications and their contribution to broader medical objectives.

This bespoke approach delivers a more nuanced answer to the question of publication impact. It generates insights that drive future strategy and tactical decisions to improve reach, engagement and impact. If you would like to hear more about how our approach can support your RWE publication efforts, please get in touch here.

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