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Consulting and communications to help organizations navigate the path to growth

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Building a Communications Function for Organizational Success


the client challenge

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals was preparing to pivot from an early-stage, investor-focused company to a Phase 3 company planning for a potential commercial launch. Aquinox needed to establish a communications function and create a plan for engaging in multi-stakeholder communications.

the approach

Align on the role of communications

-Aquinox did not have an internal communications function, and had faced challenges aligning on communications strategy in the past. We began by building trust and educating about what communications can achieve. We then agreed on the systems, roles and responsibilities that were needed to establish a strong communications function for Aquinox.

Build a communications function 

-With no internal communications staff at Aquinox, Orangefiery knew it would be important to be extra proactive and transparent about communications plans, activities in progress, and activities coming up in the near term. To do this, we established processes to set and communicate expectations for communications goals, content needs, timelines and roles and responsibilities early on, so that there were never any surprises for the Aquinox team. We also developed new tools for rigorous planning and project management:

– A series of workshops with senior leadership to align on communications strategy, goals, target stakeholders and messaging

– Communications content submission briefs to clearly define and set expectations for the purpose, development and review process for each piece of content

– Communications content review sessions via videoconferences with screen sharing, scheduled far ahead to allow for expected attendance

the result

A highly effective and efficient communications content development and review process that received extremely positive feedback from all leadership including the CEO.