The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has partnered with WPP Health Practice to improve communication about its research and to collaborate on health initiatives.
It is the first time the research hospital has teamed up with a commercial group such as WPP Health.
“As the world becomes a noisier place, especially in complex areas like health, you recognize that you need different skills to be able to communicate,” said WPP Health international CEO Claire Gillis. “There are so many channels you can communicate through, and they move so quickly. This is about making sure we optimize the [London School’s] messages to the audiences that make the biggest difference, whether it’s governments, patients, hospitals or populations.”
The London School specializes in infectious and tropical diseases, like malaria, tuberculosis and ebola, as well as worldwide public health research on issues like health equity and maternal health. The two organizations plan to collaborate on health initiatives globally.
The partnership came about initially due to the proximity of WPP Health’s London office and the London School building. Gillis said after walking by it so often, she became curious about the institution.
“We realized that we had very compatible goals around understanding of health, improving health outcomes and equity and access to healthcare, and we just started the conversation,” she said.
While the London School is getting access to WPP Health’s communications expertise, WPP Health will be able to work with the hospital’s experts and academic research.
“London School has incredible academics and [gains] access to information and thought leadership way before we do, and what we have is the ability to communicate really well to change behaviors; it’s quite a natural partnership,” Gillis said. “For us at WPP Health Practice, it’s about getting access to those brains and making sure we can close those gaps in health.”