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New Best Practice Checklist for Digital Projects

New Best Practice Checklist for Digital Projects

Embargoed Until 1pm, Wednesday 13th October 2021: The Healthcare Communications Association (HCA) has today launched a new best practice guide for digital project creation. Developed in consultation with those leading digital projects in agency and industry, as well as digital specialists, this new guide aims to help support all parties in their understanding of the stages, techniques, and terminology for best practice digital project creation.

Even before the pandemic, digital was becoming an increasing component of marketing and communication activity within healthcare. The last 18 months has seen that expand exponentially. But often those holding the budgets or leading the project as a whole, are not themselves digital specialists; yet they need to commission, manage and evaluate digital specialist teams. The HCA’s new guide: Digital project creation: A checklist of best practices and recommended capabilities can act as a template, explainer or prompt for collaborative working between those commissioning projects and the digital specialists tasked with delivering them.

The guide outlines three stages, Discover, Design and Deliver and identifies the key areas to consider in each. Supported with external links to further information and more detailed explanation where it may be required, the guide doubles as both a simple checklist and a comprehensive educator or reminder for best practice processes.

In launching the guide Mike Dixon, CEO of the HCA explains: “It’s now hard to imagine anybody delivering healthcare communications programmes not having to manage some element of digital. As a result, although healthcare communicators are not digital specialists, they need to be digitally astute. This guide helps support communicators whether new to digital projects, just wanting a reminder or by providing the foundation for a working process that all stakeholders can follow.”

Ben Finlay, Group Innovation Officer, Publicis Health, who led the finalisation of the guide, continues: “Digital, like many specialist professions, has its own language and processes for successful delivery. To deliver the best results, it is important that all stakeholders have a common understanding of process, roles, and responsibilities. This guide helps ensure that this understanding is achieved in collaborative working, supporting appropriate expectations, and ensuring the digital team receive the right information and input at the appropriate time.”

The guide is a further resource developed and published by the HCA’s Standards and Best Practice Committee. Committee chair Alister Sansum, Director, Scientific and Medical Communications at Publicis Health, comments: “With the increasing amount of digital in all communicators lives, establishing some best practice guidance is probably overdue. Taking on this challenge the committee has been grateful for the support of the volunteers from across healthcare communications who have inputted into its development and content. It is another great example of how working together as a sector we aim to establish and improve standards and best practice to the benefit of the work we all undertake.”

Other recent HCA best practice guides have included a Guide to Approaching Health Journalists With A Media Story, published in collaboration with the Medical Journalists’ Association, and Social Media Guidance (UK code) for Pharmaceutical Company Employees, Associated UK Agencies and their Staff produced in consultation with Compliance Hub. The HCA also has a long heritage of working with industry and agency on their Pitching Code of Conduct.

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Digital project creation: A checklist of best practices and recommended capabilities is available from the HCA website at:

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Last Updated: 13-Oct-2021