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Health Investor awards – let’s hear it for communications!

Having been shortlisted for HealthInvestor’s Strategic Consultants of the Year, we find out this week if we are the winners of this coveted accolade.

This is a first for us – and also for Health Investor. Health Investor and its community promote the importance of private sector firms and their contribution to improving patient care and delivering NHS services (and beyond) – a mission which we also believe in at ZPB. But it has traditionally been the domain of financial advisors, management consultants, banks, investors and legal houses.

This year, however, we see ourselves, ZPB Associates, and our colleagues at PLMR nominated. This suggests that even in traditionally corporate areas, communications is being recognised as a strategic business function – a key pillar to any business strategy.

Back in 2016, Accenture acquired creative communications agency Kamarama in a move that raised some eyebrows. They were ‘building a new breed of agency’ (or was it in fact, a new breed of consultancy?) Last year they acquired digital creative powerhouse Droga5. So why are consultancies looking to communicators to bolster their strategic functions?

A good consultancy does flawless analysis, impeccable planning, seamless deals. But business transformation and strategic growth need more than a solid plan.

The plans need to pull through into brands, customer insights and stories that engage audiences and create change. A great consultancy does all that. It takes those plans and pulls it into how an organisation or brand communicates and engages.

Great consultancy communicates insights and plans in ways that engage, inspire and changes organisations or markets for the better. It moves plans beyond paper and PowerPoint into meaningful, sustained customer experiences.

We couldn’t be more delighted to see this being recognised in such esteemed company. This award recognises the firms that have consulted on strategic matters for a range of clients. We’ve demonstrated that plenty over the last 12 months. Here are a few highlights:

  • We advised a digital primary care provider on their business strategy as they entered the NHS market, including assisting them with contracts with GP consortia, clinical commissioning groups and primary care networks. At the end of the assignment, they had over five million patients on service and are now in a new investment round leveraging this rapid NHS growth.
  • We created a business strategy and stakeholder relationship programme to prepare a digital mental health company for a new investment round. This included analysis of how they could leverage NHS funding opportunities to enable more scale in NHS patients having access to their online solution.
  • We delivered a successful brand awareness and lead generation campaign for an organisation that provides patient flow and pathway solutions which included a lead article in The Telegraph and created a number of new leads and business conversations and sales growth.
  • ZPB conceived and launched the Digital Healthcare Council (DHC) as the go-to voice for digital health, working to inform the development of policy and regulation. The design principles that underpin its strategy are people first, fair system rules, free and open information, evidence-based practice. Notable successes include working with NHS England to achieve positive changes to their digital-first proposals; working with NHS Digital to make changes that reduced the inequity in ID verification between off-line and on-line consultations.
  • Launched the health programme for a new think tank, launching it in the House of Commons and supporting its move into the wider policy area of inclusive growth
  • Created a new socio-economic model for a trade body which, using a newly developed mixed methodology approach, modelled the effects of prescription changes mooted by the regulator

So Kudos to Health Investor for nominating us and Kudos to us for meriting a nomination. Keep your fingers crossed – we’ll let you know how we get on….