Written by on . Pegasus.

How a genuine advocate can truly help change behaviour

Shirley Parker, Senior Account Manager in the Pharma & Life Sciences Team, explains how using an authentic voice for a campaign carries a more powerful message.

I’m not usually free to watch television show Loose Women, but on 28 November 2018 TV personality Christopher Biggins was appearing and I wasn’t going to miss it!

It’s not that I’m a die-hard panto fan. Christopher Biggins was set to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease. It’s the biggest killer of people living with type 2 diabetes, like him, and this was a significant moment which could help the lives of people living with this condition.

This activity was to promote our new campaign with Novo Nordisk UK to the masses. The Don’t miss a beat in type 2 diabetes,  project highlights the often unknown link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease comprises complications that result from narrow or blocked blood vessels, which includes heart attacks and strokes. People living with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to those without the condition.  This is significant for the NHS where over £7 billion is spent each year managing complications caused by type 2 diabetes –cardiovascular disease comprising the largest expense.

The campaign needed to go beyond simply raising awareness. We needed people living with type 2 diabetes to take action by speaking to their healthcare professional (HCP) about their cardiovascular risk. Their HCP would then provide them with essential, easy to understand information about the condition. We developed an online tool focused around cardiovascular risk factors to help people living with type 2 diabetes discuss the topic with their healthcare professional.

First, we had to explain what cardiovascular disease actually means and the harm it can do to the body. We used animation to communicate this message, voiced by Biggins himself.

It was only when he read the voiceover script that he truly appreciated how serious type 2 diabetes can be if factors such as blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure are left unchecked. His first-hand exposure to the campaign and his vested health interest meant that when he spoke about the campaign (securing a slot on Sky News and posting to his 90,000 followers on Twitter, following his Loose Women appearance) he spoke passionately. This amplified the exposure of the campaign which ended up reaching 48 million people.

On a personal note, it was incredibly rewarding for the Pegasus and Novo Nordisk UK team to see months of work propelled so visibly into the public domain, and not just in broadcast channel, it led to 11 articles in the national press too.

I’m often asked by family and friends what my work entails and, while there were a few surprised faces when I mentioned I was working with Christopher Biggins, this level of coverage certainly helped explain one of the many ways in which we at Pegasus ‘inspire healthy decisions’.

is a Senior Account Manager in our Pharma & Life Sciences team.