Helping a Global Pharma Company Implement a Successful Return To Work Strategy Through Media Intelligence

The Client

The client is a global pharmaceutical company, founded in 1953, with several product lines across immunology, infectious diseases and vaccines, oncology, and other therapeutic areas.

As office environments began opening back up in 2021 and early 2022, the company realized it needed to monitor and analyze social media content to understand the steps other organizations had taken or planned to take. It also wanted to gauge employee preferences and concerns around any potential RTW strategy.

Armed with deep insights driven by Fullintel’s human-curated social media monitoring and measurement, the company implemented a successful RTW program while continually informing and course correcting its approach in real-time through social media data.

At a glance:

While one of the most profound pandemic-related issues for companies was the requirement to quickly implement remote work on a massive scale, a close second was the nagging question of when – and how – to bring staff back to the office once it was safe to do so.

As the white-collar world began returning to in-person work, however, many companies were on understandably uncertain ground. To fill this gap for a global pharmaceutical client, Fullintel performed a deep traditional and social media analysis around various return-to-work (RTW) issues – helping the company understand the facts on the ground and implement a successful RTW strategy.

The Challenge

Many other companies – including some of the client’s competitors – had already begun their RTW programs, but these had been met with varying degrees of success. The client was determined to take a more deliberate, informed approach than many of its peers and use media intelligence to avoid any negative impact to company morale or its brand.

The company needed to get a handle on how other big firms planned to carry out their transitions, while gauging employee sentiment toward these plans. It would then use these insights to inform and implement its own RTW plan, with a specific goal of returning the majority of its workforce to the office within six months of the end of the monitoring period.

The Solution

Fullintel’s analysts instantly understood the client’s challenge and soon proposed the best ways of informing its approach of executing a RTW strategy across a global office footprint with minimal disruption and maximum employee satisfaction.

Our team proposed a weekly human-curated analysis report populated by a wide cross-section of sources including online news from traditional media outlets, social media posts, and content from industry-related online forums such as CafePharma. Fullintel’s approach combines supervised automation for specific processes overseen by full human curation and analysis by expert media analysts to ensure relevance and accuracy.

Fullintel also recommended the inclusion of public comment analysis, including sentiment analysis of social media posts, online forums, and even online news article comments, with the following objectives:

  • Provide the clearest possible picture of public and employee sentiment around RTW strategies
  • Help the client understand the overall landscape of coverage by segregating content into various categories, including social distancing plans, workplace health and safety protocols, communications plans, and visitors in the workplace
  • Analyze sentiment around each company’s strategy, including the reaction of employees, media, and the public

Because of the volatility of public sentiment around Covid-19 and RTW policies, and to ensure we captured the evolving conversation, Fullintel recommended that ongoing monitoring take place over nearly one full year. To keep the client informed and up to date but not overwhelmed, a weekly reporting schedule – combined with human curation, to avoid the inclusion of irrelevant content – was implemented, along with a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Specific attention was paid to content discussing competitors’ experiences and employee reactions.

The Deliverables

Because the company was already a Fulliintel media monitoring and analysis client – and because we serve several global pharmaceutical companies – our team was able to jump on the issue quickly and knowledgeably without needing much clarification or direction. Our familiarity with the industry and its inherent issues allowed us to quickly configure the monitoring and analysis parameters.

Specific aspects of Fullintel’s human-driven curation and analysis for this project included:

  • Competitive analysis: Fullintel analyzed public and employee sentiment around RTW strategies implemented by competitors and other top Fortune 500 companies to gauge employee and public reaction.
  • Volume and trend: Weekly insights were provided as to the main drivers of overall coverage, specific topics, and sentiment around those topics.
  • Reach: Fullintel measured the overall reach generated by coverage across all channels, including social media and online forums.
  • Sentiment analysis: Reporting included an in-depth sentiment breakdown to help the client understand shifts and nuances in tone during the monitoring period.
  • Social and forum analysis: Both Twitter and Cafepharma were tracked to better understand employee opinion and sentiment.
  • Comments analysis: Fullintel tracked public comments made by social media and forum users to provide in-depth insights on employee sentiment towards tracked topics.
  • Net sentiment analysis: Alongside an in-depth breakdown of tone by source and other parameters, the net sentiment was evaluated on a week-over-week basis using the following rationale:
  • Net sentiment = % of positive posts + % of neutral posts – % of negative posts.
  • Tracking reach and engagements of each article/post: The reach and engagement of each social media post and public comment were tracked to gauge the impact of other companies’ RTW policies on the public and employees.
  • Employee sentiment share of voice: Data was evaluated to show the percentage of employees who either accepted or were critical of employers’ RTW policies.
  • Sentiment over time: All sentiment was tracked on a week-over-week basis and connected to coverage drivers to highlight any changes in sentiment regarding certain policies or events.

The Result

Fullintel’s familiarity with the client and its industry, combined with the flexibility of our team, allowed us to quickly and confidently provide the right media intelligence in the proper context during what was an extremely uneasy period. Detailed reporting powered by rich data and innovative metrics allowed the client to fully understand the impact of RTW initiatives across its many competitors and operational regions before implementing its own initiatives.

Ultimately, Fullintel’s ongoing media intelligence helped the client achieve its overarching goal of returning the majority of its workforce to the office within six months of the end of the monitoring period.

This data provided weekly insights on widely adopted RTW strategies, giving executives a clear view of the best ways to plan the company’s strategy – along with any potential pitfalls, strategies, or actions to avoid. Initiatives by other companies were meticulously compared and contrasted to find the most effective approaches, and week-over-week sentiment drill-downs allowed the visualization of these changes in an easily understandable format.

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