Creating bespoke communications: Identifying the “something”

by Joshua Vine-Lott . December 2021

Earlier this year, Arvinas and Pfizer announced their new collaboration to develop and commercialise a proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) molecule.[i] Arvinas was the first company to ever get a PROTAC to a human clinical trial in March 2019, and this is the second PROTAC it has brought to clinics.

PROTACs initiate protein degradation by kicking the body’s cellular waste disposal system into action to dispose of harmful proteins. The potential therapeutic applications for PROTACs are numerous, and there are 15 PROTACs in various stages of clinical trials. Whilst all but one of these trials are in cancer, researchers are investigating the use of PROTACs in Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart conditions, diabetes, bacterial infections and much more.

However, as with any advanced therapy, they are more challenging to talk about than conventional therapies throughout the healthcare system, from pricing to prescription, which makes them difficult to reach patients.

We are constantly bombarded with adverts, emails, WhatsApp messages, notifications, social media posts. Audio-visual overload means it is crucial that we only communicate the essentials to our audiences. What is it? And more importantly, why should they care? As we move into a more complex healthcare environment, we must remember that everyone doesn’t need to know everything. Something needs to stand out for them to care, and that something needs to be communicated in a way that is easily understood.

What does this mean for communications?

As therapies become increasingly complex, we may be able to help ever-more specific patient populations. When communicating complex topics, the audience must be laser-focused at the front of our minds. What do they need to know? The levels of information required by patients will be vastly different to the public, and a “one-size fits all” approach often results in low engagement. Communicating to other audiences, such as healthcare professionals, often requires substantial nuance. They may not need to understand the intricacies of every new therapy, just what is relevant to their patients and practice.

If you ask a patient what they would like to know about a PROTAC treatment they were being offered as part of a clinical trial, they may want to understand how this treatment differs from others available and what makes it better? We would have to find a way to explain PROTAC’s unique mode of action, destroying harmful proteins, opposed to inhibiting the production of proteins. Of course, they may want to know something completely different, which is why it’s important to ask our audience what they want to know. That way, we can create truly bespoke communications solutions.

George Tannenbaum touches on this in an instalment of his Ad Aged blog, where he says it’s our job to turn every page,[ii] intimately understand our client’s brand and market, and then pick out that something that differentiates it from the rest of the crowd.

At Aurora, we use an insight-driven approach to communications. We have a wealth of experience distilling complex information about patient experience, treatments, markets, and disease landscapes to insights that can ultimately improve lives.

If you want to find out more about how we reach and activate audiences, then get in touch:


[i] Press release: Arvinas And Pfizer Announce Global Collaboration To Develop And Commercialize Protac® Protein Degrader Arv-471. July 2021. Available at:

[ii] George Tannenbaum. Ad Aged. Read every page.