Global Issues & Crisis Management

Featured on-air and online, a focus of this year’s global campaign will be to encourage youth to donate blood and inspire others to do the same.

NEW YORK and MILAN, June 10, 2021 – GLOBALHealthPR, the largest independent health and science communications agency partnership worldwide, is thrilled to announce today that its Italy partner office, Connexia, has been named the official global creative agency for World Blood Donor Day 2021 (WBDD), working on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) and key Italian public health stakeholders including the Ministry of Health.

World Blood Donor Day was established in 2005 to raise awareness of the importance of regular blood donations. In particular, this year’s WBDD targets young people (ages 18-25 years) and focuses on the essential contribution this generation can make by saving and improving lives with their donations.

The WHO selected Italy to host this year’s World Blood Donor Day Global Event in Rome from June 14-15. The two-day event will feature a series of special initiatives promoted by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the National Blood Center (CNS) and donor associations. The inauguration of the Virtual Donors’ Village, a digital space for meetings, scientific symposia and information, aims to raise awareness and provide information on the importance of voluntary donation. A virtual concert will also be held on June 14, featuring Indonesian singer-songwriter Anggun and other special guests. 

Connexia created the concepts for the integrated campaign, developed a communication strategy and deployed all assets on a global level. The slogan for this year, Give Blood and Keep the World Beating, plays on the word “beating,” linking heartbeats and sound rhythms while speaking to the international and intergenerational language of music.

The campaign also features a 30-second film that uses animation to depict the extraordinary journey of a bag of blood — from the donor to the patient receiving it. The act of donating triggers a rhythm and a visual narrative that comes to life through the drawings of international illustrator Margherita Premuroso.

This digital short, available on-air in a 30-second format on all Italian television programming RAI channels, will also be available in a 40-second version that will be released on the official channels of the WHO, Ministry of Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità and Italian donor associations.

“For me, donating blood is an extraordinary act that helps the health service to function effectively every day, ensuring that it is fit for its purpose,” explains Minister of Health Roberto Speranza in a video-message focused on health. “Italy is striving to invest [in this cause] with all its energy, but we need more and more people to do their part: we need women and men who are prepared to devote a little of their time and give a little of their blood to a cause that is just and important. We will work hard to organize our networks as best we can, but we clearly need the consent and support of many other people. I would like to thank everyone who has decided to donate blood, because it is a compassionate and wonderful act that really helps our National Health Service to function. And I also want to express my gratitude to all those who will be working hard over the next two days and weeks to ensure that this event will once again send out a positive message of revival and strength to our National Health Service.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health, the National Blood Center and donor associations for World Blood Donor Day 2021,” remarked Paolo d’Ammassa, CEO & Founding Partner of Connexia. “The campaign that we have created for the occasion, which will be featured on television networks and social media, aims to reach a worldwide audience made up primarily of young people, whose donations are increasingly crucial but experiencing a steady decline. In order to convey such an essential and vital message in a language that speaks to young people, we chose a direct creative approach, combining the simplicity of drawings with the rhythm of music.”

“Never before has the importance of communication in promoting basic health practices — from proper hand washing to the usefulness of vaccinations — been more apparent than during the pandemic. Effective communication can make a difference and save lives, as it has continued to do during the COVID-19 emergency. The video made for World Blood Donor Day is a perfect example of how to make difficult messages — which can struggle to “hit home” and raise awareness among certain categories of people — more engaging,” explains Vincenzo De Angelis, CNS Director. “The campaign is truly global: it is aimed at citizens of all countries and all ages. The video, like the other materials produced, has managed to strike a universal key that we hope will bring the world of donation closer to those who are not normally interested in this type of message, such as young people.”

“I am delighted to see young people at the center of World Blood Donor Day this year,” noted Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Our young people have suffered in particular during this pandemic, but they have also shown extraordinary resilience and adaptability. Many of the world’s blood donors are young and it is time for their vital contribution to health and to the community at large to be recognized: by donating blood, young people can save lives. So, we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the young blood donors of today and tomorrow. Give Blood and Keep the World Beating!”


About Connexia
Communicate, Connect, Engage: Connexia is a fully integrated, data-driven, marketing and communications agency based in Milan. For more than 20 years Connexia has been considered the leading PR, digital, social and mobile agency in Italy, thanks to a strategy-first approach that allows us to activate across media types. Through a combination of passion, strong expertise and creative strategic thinking, Connexia partners with top companies across the globe to strengthen their positioning and to bolster their visibility. For more information, visit or follow @connexia on Twitter.

About GLOBALHealthPR®
GLOBALHealthPR is a partnership of independently owned and operated health and science communications agencies that choose to work together based on common values. With more than 700 health-specialist communications professionals, researchers and medical advisors on staff serving more than 200 organizations globally, the agencies that make up the partnership share a belief in insights-driven strategies and a commitment to collaboration in order to provide clients the best possible counsel and execution. GLOBALHealthPR’s presence spans more than 60 countries, covering Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit or follow @GLOBALHealthPR on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Vaccines are widely considered among the most significant medical achievements in global health, saving an estimated 2-3 million lives annually. As the world continues to grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine education and uptake is crucial. To show their support for WHO’s 2021 World Immunization Week, many of our GLOBALHealthPR partners have created an array of communications initiatives, campaigns and expert analyses to drive broad adoption in their countries and around the world.

This page will be updated on an ongoing basis

Argentina, Paradigma PEL Comunicación – Semana de Vacunación de las Américas (Vaccination Week in the Americas)

In support of the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) annual Vaccination Week in the Americas, Paradigma has launched a social media campaign providing facts and figures in support of vaccine uptake. Check out their Twitter and Instagram feeds for daily posts.

Australia, VIVA!- Lack of access to COVID-19 vaccine threatening global immunity

Last week, VIVA! partnered with the Immunisation Coalition and UNICEF Australia in a bid to unite developing nations through vaccinations. Many of us in high income countries can now access free COVID-19 vaccinations, however, lower income countries are yet to receive a single dose. A global pandemic requires a global response, so in the interest of promoting community immunity, we need to ensure all countries have COVID-19 vaccine access.

Canada, energi PR- Oh Canada. Our Vaccination Response May be Too Little, but Hopefully Not Too Late

When it comes to the best places to live in the world, many Canadian cities rank high on the livability index. Canada’s healthcare system is also praised around the world. Why, then, are citizens struggling to get vaccinated to protect them against COVID-19? PR Co-Founder & CEO Carol Levine provides expert insight into the state of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, diving into the reasoning behind why only 21.84% of Canadians have received one of the two dose vaccines currently approved in the country- Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca and COVESHEILD.

Mexico, PRP- Vacunación contra COVID-19 en México: Análisis de la Conversación Digital (COVID-19 vaccination in Mexico: Digital Analysis) [in Spanish]

Mexican health authorities have encouraged vaccine uptake since the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out plan was announced in Mexico in December 2020. PRP conducted an analysis of approximately 500,000 social posts which revealed that nearly 50% of these users displayed concerns about which biological product was the most effective and transparency surrounding the vaccination process, while 30% felt that the government was not meeting vaccination deadlines and was using the plan as a front for political purposes. However, an estimated 20% of these posts become more positive once a user had received the vaccine or had a close family member who had been vaccinated.

Singapore, Spurwing Communications- Vaccines and Preventable Diseases

For the last two centuries, vaccines have protected us against diseases that threaten lives and limit human potential. Currently, 17 dangerous and deadly diseases are preventable through the help of vaccines, saving the lives of millions globally. While it will be some time before the whole world is immunized against COVID-19, we can support vaccine efforts by building solidarity and trust in vaccinations as a public good that saves lives and protects health – working towards a world where we can be together again.

Spain, Berbés- Las vacunas nos acercan (Vaccines bring us closer) [in Spanish]

Google trends have revealed that vaccines have dominated the public’s interest. In fact, since March 2020, searches for the term “vaccines” has increased by approximately 1000%.

United Kingdom, Aurora- Science makes vaccines possible. We make their use real

There is a lack of trust in vaccines by the public, in part due to myth and misinformation spread in all forms of media. This makes vaccine education more important than ever. Inspired by Pfizer and BioNTech’s recent campaign, #becauseofthis, Aurora asked their colleagues who have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to share what they are most looking forward to being able to do once they are fully vaccinated.

EuropeThe Importance of Vaccines: Perspectives From Our Partners in Europe

Our partners in Europe share their insights and perspectives on why vaccines are critical to fighting diseases and why vaccine education can help limit the spread of misinformation.

United States, Spectrum Science- Voyage of a Vaccine

As an agency hyper-focused on science, Spectrum uses their expertise and science-telling capabilities to chronicle the voyage of a vaccine, driving awareness and education around the more nuanced components of the story.

Additional Expert Analysis:

Achieving Global ImmUNITY,” by Tim Goddard, GLOBALHealthPR at Spectrum

Vaccination in Latin America: The Delicate Balance Between Informing and Alarming,” by Ma. Eugenia De la Fuente, Paradigma PEL Comunicación

GLOBALHealthPR partner Aurora hosts webinar with leading industry experts 

 As one of the countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the United Kingdom has seen its challenges related to health system response. With this as the backdrop, GLOBALHealthPR’s UK partner and European Hub, Aurora, recently convened a ground-breaking panel discussion to explore the strategic and ethical challenges of rebuilding a health service that is innovative, affordable, effective and, crucially, prepared for the healthcare challenges of tomorrow.

Aurora joined forces with ‘slow news’ website Tortoise in the first partnership of its kind: Tortoise’s journalists focus on exploring bigger issues in real depth, rather than competing for attention in the 24-hour news cycle. The webinar featured a stellar line-up of health experts: Dame Donna Kinnair, General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing; Sir David Nicholson, former Chief Executive of NHS England; and Dr. Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

The perspectives and opportunities discussed share broad applicability beyond Britain’s borders. Amid ever-increasing pressure on the health system, there was consensus on the benefits of an integrated healthcare model that is patient-centric, appropriately staffed, embraces collaboration, and is adaptable to new innovations and digital solutions.

Below, we summarise key takeaways from the webinar:

  • Pharma is stepping up to the challenge. Dr. Richard Torbett emphasized that roughly three quarters of the 120 different COVID-19 vaccines investigated around the world are being led by the pharma industry. Further, every vaccine candidate will require pharma support to manufacture at scale and distribute globally.
  • Necessity forces long-overdue changes. In light of the pandemic, innovative care delivery models are being adopted in the UK and beyond. Countries around the world are trying to create health systems that support patients who take responsibility for their health, while reducing unnecessary face-to-face contact and appointments where appropriate – primarily enabled through digital channels.
  • Investing in healthcare can drive economic growth and better health outcomes. Sir David Nicholson noted that health expenditure can have a significant impact on the economy and population health outcomes. Healthier individuals can be more productive in the labour market, and there is a growing literature establishing the relationship between health system spending and health outcomes. For example, study data revealed that increases in health care expenditure decreased amendable mortality in 17 European countries between 1980 and 2010.
  • Healthcare systems must evolve to become patient-centric. To create a sustainable healthcare system, a patient’s specific health needs should be the driving force behind all healthcare decisions. Providers should treat patients not only from a clinical perspective, but also from an emotional, social, and financial perspective. Clear communication, understanding patients’ needs, and empathy are especially critical during COVID-19.

You can view the full discussion on Aurora’s campaign page.

Follow @GLOBALHealthPR on Twitter for additional perspectives on this and other timely global health issues. For more insights or communications support from our local experts, please contact

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt worldwide. In response, many of our global partners—dedicated to improving and protecting health—have created initiatives and communications campaigns to curb the spread of misinformation, combat COVID-19 and help companies navigate challenges of the current environment.

This page will be updated on an ongoing basis. 

Australia, VIVA! Communications – COVID Comms Cast

VIVA!’s COVID Comms Cast is a strategic communications solution aiming to support the pharma and healthcare industry members and stakeholders during this unprecedented time. The initiative is comprised of senior, health-literate communicators well-versed in navigating issues and crisis-rich environments and offers support for identifying effective, authentic and accurate health-oriented messages, communication campaigns and collateral throughout COVID-19.

Brazil, Tino Comunicação – Por Dentro Do Coronavirus

Tino’s initiative features Brazilian doctor and journalist Luís Fernando Correia. In this partnership, Tino and Luís Fernando developed a channel geared towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and limiting the spread of misinformation in the country. The initiative’s website is integrated with the most popular and factual news sites in Brazil, including the Ministry of Health.

Germany, fischerAppelt – #Allefüralle

FischerAppelt helped launch a “Germany Against Corona” initiative at the beginning of the crisis to raise awareness of the security measures the country put in place to flatten the curve. Although the pandemic brings many challenges for the world to face, everyone can actively contribute to overcoming them. The campaign encourages individuals to use the hashtag #allforall on social media, hopefully motivating others to keep the necessary safety distance in public spaces.

Italy, Connexia – Communication Compass

Connexia confirmed its concrete commitment during the pandemic by launching a Communication Compass dashboard. The dashboard can be used to monitor solidarity between companies during the emergency—it integrates an international map of all communication initiatives implemented in response to the pandemic, collecting global campaigns with a COVID-19 lens.

Mexico, PRP Mexico – #YoEnCasa

In partnership with the Communication and Advertising association in Mexico, PRP worked to develop a campaign encouraging people to stay at home. The campaign began before official lockdown orders were in place in the region and continues to spread positive messaging around social distancing.

Portugal, Guess What PR – #AMARCADOSHERÓIS

To bring awareness to the unseen struggles that many doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are enduring during this pandemic, Guess What created a campaign that focuses on making those challenges visible. On healthcare workers faces you can see the exhaustion and creases of the masks that serve as their armor after long shifts. With a marker, pencil or ink pen, Guess What wants people to write #AMARCADOSHERÓIS on their faces and share the images on their social channels, so that those who are sacrificing their lives to help are not forgotten.

South Africa, F/NE Group – F/NE For Good

Earlier this year, the F/NE Group launched an initiative geared towards using communications to help nonprofits. When the COVID-19 pandemic reached their country, they decided to use their platform and develop additional resources for NGOs in need of COVID-19 communication.

United States, Spectrum Science – #BeatTheSit

As an agency focused on connecting humankind to its best healthlife, Spectrum Science wanted to develop a call to action that communicates the urgency around staying home and the criticality of “out-sitting” of events. “Beat the Sit Out of COVID-19” encourages people to share how they’re sitting out on social media, using the #BeatTheSit hashtag.

Additional Expert Analysis:

We Work. Together. Our slogan is a constant reminder on how we can collaborate for the greater good of global health—and together, we can work to fight COVID-19 and save millions of lives.

Read the latest Digital Dose for additional perspectives on this and the communications industry. For more insights or communications support from our local experts, please contact

Last week, the GLOBALHealthPR community connected virtually to discuss how we can best support our clients and their priorities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaders from our network of independent healthcare agencies around the globe shared experiences on how best to support our clients to communicate effectively at this unprecedented time.

It sounds very simple, but a key takeaway was how vital it is to ensure regular contact with clients to make sure that agencies stay up-to-date and can provide the best advice in a rapidly evolving situation. It’s important to discuss purpose and activities that can help demonstrate their organisation’s ability to adapt and commit to this ‘new normal’.

Below, we outline strategies and tactics that healthcare communications agencies and industry can take to support hospitals, healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients:

  • Consider other channels, including virtual events, through which to share scientific information to HCPs now that pharmaceutical sales reps are off the road and all in-person medical meetings have been postponed or cancelled.
  • Develop targeted patient content to help companies reach immunosuppressed and high-risk patients with important information.
  • Prioritise internal communications to help organisations continue to operate efficiently and to maintain staff engagement. This may be especially important for smaller client companies, who may not have leveraged agency support for internal communications previously.
  • Encourage clients to pursue media opportunities that reflect the changing landscape. Over time, the media in many countries have become less inclined to tell other healthcare stories and have become increasingly hungry to tell positive stories. We can help clients convey how they have supported healthcare systems and local communities.

Opportunities for industry partnership include the following:

  • Provide phones or tablets to hospital intensive care units that are closed to visitors, so families can contact loved ones who are in critical condition.
  • Set up a phone line that provides psychological support to healthcare professionals who are extremely busy and under immense pressure.

We also discussed how agencies can support their wider communities, including other businesses and non-profit organisations. For example, our partner in Italy, Connexia, is a distributor for Cisco’s Webex and has been providing free accounts to over 300 companies, as well as offering onboarding services to this platform.

Building Business Resilience

The coronavirus pandemic may cause a lasting economic downturn, and therefore, it is vital we are prepared to effectively support each other in building business resilience and to look after our teams. Based on feedback from countries that have been hit hard by the pandemic, GHPR business leaders recommend the following:

  • Move to a working from home model sooner than required by government. This will help limit exposure to the virus, enabling employees to continue working effectively.
  • Pay close attention to your organisation’s internal communications, building in plenty of time for check-ins and making sure that people feel supported while they are working remotely. A company culture does not disappear when working virtually, but it may take a little extra care to ensure its presence continues to be felt.
  • Regularly track finances and business KPIs. Moving from monthly to weekly and even daily check-ins ensures that our businesses stay in good shape. Increased oversight empowers us to be able to react promptly to change.

We all found the first meeting of our GLOBALHealthPR COVID-19 Task Force extremely useful and will continue to connect, listen and share our learnings in the coming weeks and months.

Follow @GLOBALHealthPR on Twitter for additional perspectives on this and other timely global health issues. For more insights or communications support from our local experts, please contact

Authored by Rachel Terry, Director, and Jenny Davies, Account Director at Aurora Healthcare Communications, London.

Over the past two weeks, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been spreading like wildfire, with cases now rising faster outside of China than inside. The spread of the virus to more than 100 countries has presented new challenges for governments, health professionals and media covering the outbreak.

In case you missed it, access Part I, Part II, and Part III of our series, where GLOBALHealthPR leaders from the Asia-Pacific region, North America and Europe, and Latin America provide insights about the spread of information in their markets and the impact it has had locally.

In Part IV, we feature agency leaders from Italy, Spain, and the Nordics, who share their take on the impactful aspects, topics and evolution of this ongoing media conversation. Download the piece here.