What makes a global communications network work?

Having just come back from one of our regular global communications network catch-ups, we wanted to lift the lid on how we build relationships that really work across borders and time zones.


Co-written by Sophie Thompson and Rachel Terry

For anyone who doesn’t know GLOBALHealthPR, we are the largest independent health and science communications agency partnership worldwide. Most of our agency owners have been part of big network agencies and saw a better way. As a result, the network is packed full of smart and brilliant communications professionals who will always go the extra mile.

It’s vital for any communications agency today to have reach and experience across the world. So how do we as a network work together, truly collaborate and move well beyond being just dots on a map?

1. Meet regularly, face-to-face

It is important to all GLOBALHealthPR partners that team members at all levels throughout the agencies know each other, work together and have opportunities to learn from each other.

We have a well-established annual global meeting attended by the leaders of all partner agencies. Last month, four of the Aurora team had the pleasure of attending the first ever GLOBALHealthPR European regional meeting in Madrid, hosted by the team at our Spanish partner agency, Berbès.

This European meeting provides an additional opportunity as a regional team to discuss how to make our work together even better, consider current trends in healthcare and communications and continue our teams’ professional development. And, of course, we had the chance to catch up with old friends and make new connections.

Communications experts - The GLOBALHealthPR network team

GLOBALHealthPR Partners in Madrid

2. Build the next communications generation

A ‘Young Leaders’ programme was included in the agenda for the European regional meeting to help cement these ties throughout the network and provide an additional learning opportunity for tomorrow’s communications leaders.

In particular, during an adrenaline-filled two hours, which could be likened to ‘extreme pitching’, the Young Leaders were put into teams and asked to pull together a creative and strategic proposal based on a fictional scenario. Teams went from knowing nothing about the subject area to developing full plans and slide decks, presenting their plans to the agency owners within a very short time period. Not only was it an opportunity to learn from each other, but it was also great fun – especially for those of us who perhaps got a little too competitive!

3. Stay ahead of international trends

We recently launched ‘Efficacy’, GLOBALHealthPR’s training programme, which ensures we all keep up to date with the latest trends in healthcare and communications and share best practices with colleagues worldwide.

An important theme at the meeting was that the communications landscape is incredibly dynamic. Gone are the days of traditional media relations alone fulfilling our clients’ business objectives (although this often remains at the core), with more emphasis being placed on new stakeholders and tactics. Influencer marketing and social media are now mainstays of the communications industry, and something both the network and our clients have embraced.

But it is not enough to look at current trends – we also need to look forward.

One of the highlights of the meeting was a presentation by guest keynote speaker Ignacio Medrano about an emerging trend – clinical artificial intelligence (AI). A practising neurologist and researcher at Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Ignacio is also co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Savana, a company that specialises in medical natural language processing. He highlighted how this technique can transform the narrative of medical records into big data that can be interrogated to reveal predictive risk algorithms that can be incorporated into daily clinical practice.

We found this concept particularly interesting as it could have life-changing applications and because, as an evidence-based agency, we always build our communications campaigns around true insights that help us make a difference to people’s lives. We already have ideas about where we could use similar ideas in our work.


If you would like to work with a well-connected and forward-thinking communications team that loves to make a difference, please get in touch with Rachel Terry at Aurora ( We and our GLOBALHealthPR partners would love to discuss how we can improve lives and prove it for you.

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