Working with a renewed sense of purpose as clients and their campaigns have become multi-dimensional, agencies are in demand to produce meaningful work and communications.
HAVAS Just:: is an integrated healthcare communications agency. Its ethos to provide strategic partnerships with brands sits alongside the support they offer to not-for-profit organisations, such as its Campaign to End Loneliness project in 2019.
Speaking to PRWeek, HAVAS Just::’s Nicole Yost (CEO) and Jo Hewitt (head of integrated communications and agency culture) revealed how the last year has impacted the world of healthcare comms.
The pandemic has been tough. Like any creative agency, we thrive on being together. We have our best ideas when we are running workshops and we are natural collaborators. The team has been fantastic and rapidly adapted. We learned new techniques to inspire our creativity and to remain connected with each other and our clients. In 2020, we had more work than ever, so it was important to listen and not over commit. Our clients have been wonderful and the agency/client dynamic has felt supportive and respectful.
2021 is beginning to feel different. We’ve had a lot of new joiners so we can’t wait to meet them in person and have some fun. We are currently working on a plan for Connective Working which helps our team take their learnings from the last year and find a balance between remote working and time in the office together. This will be our boilerplate for how we will ‘be’ as a team, including expectations and behaviours that we all sign up to. And we’ve hired people from Wales, Scotland and even Utrecht, so ensuring that everyone feels connected regardless of location.
We did some of our best work last year. It felt that there was a renewed sense of purpose. Clients wanted to remodel their campaigns to make them relevant to challenges we all faced. For example, we delivered a multi-channel campaign addressing lockdown loneliness, working with a client and a charity partner.
Just:: has a great reputation and I love that, post-acquisition by Havas, the agency has retained its culture and entrepreneurial spirit – that’s why I took the CEO job. Key to me was that Just:: puts its people first. As a trained coach, I was impressed to learn that every Justee is given access to their own professional coach, no matter what level or function. I also love the client mix and that there is so much variety in our work.
The team has seen a lot of organic client growth over the past year, during the pandemic. People are working extremely hard and we are all tired of lockdown. We are bringing in more talent across the board including specialists to boost the team and add depth to our integrated communications offer. So far this year, we’ve hired a scientific lead and a digital lead and a new talent partner joins us in May.
The scientific and pharma community have demonstrated their real value during the pandemic but it feels like there is still a reluctance to take their spot on the podium. I am hopeful that as we emerge from the current status quo, society and the media will reflect on what’s happened and give credit where it’s due. As communicators we are responsible for getting this story out there in different and creative ways and for pushing our clients to be bold.
The pandemic has changed people’s perspective on work and we are listening to what our team wants moving forwards. People need to enjoy their time at work so employers need to allow space for them to form friendships and support networks as well as continue to learn and grow. If we are happy and feel confident then great work is possible.
We have recently introduced ‘Compassion’ as our fourth agency value – the others are ‘Curiosity’, ‘Confidence’ and ‘Collaboration’. Compassion speaks not only to the work that we do but also the relationships we build with our clients and teams.
HAVAS Just:: is an integrated healthcare communications agency delivering global, regional and UK campaigns that blends skills in advocacy, public relations, medical and scientific communications. To find out more, see here