avanir: employee communications strategy, messaging and implementation

In late 2015 Orange County-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Otsuka – a global pharmaceutical conglomerate based in Japan. With their support, Avanir is well on the way to becoming the world’s leading provider of specialty treatments for Central Nervous System disorders. Because competition for top talent in the pharmaceutical industry is so tough, Avanir realized the need to establish a comprehensive employee communications program to help build culture, educate employees, and improve retention.

our angle

We began our work with Avanir by participating in a number of interviews and conversations with Avanir employees that enabled us to understand the inner workings of Avanir and identify what set it apart from other pharmaceutical companies. This process also provided us with a working understanding of existing communications programs and initiatives.

Once we felt like we had a good understanding of Avanir’s culture, goals, and personality, we helped them re-articulate their company’s mission – in terms of purpose and values. Once Avanir’s leadership signed off on this missional work, we used what we had learned to develop a messaging and communications matrix that identified audiences and defined the goals for each. This allowed us to develop key messages and tactics that catered to the needs, wants, and personalities of each group.

After an overarching communications strategy was in place, we switched into implementation mode. Since the launch of their internal communications program, we’ve been intimately involved with all parts of Avanir’s employee communications – from managing a weekly editorial calendar to writing and designing employee-facing articles and infographics to creating compelling videos that give employees and leaders a chance to tell their own unique story. Each piece of content is designed to resonate with various audience groups and help tell the story of Avanir.