Clinical Trials and Drug Announcements: Tips and Best Practices

May 28, 2021

Clinical Trials – Options for Promotion

The promotion of rigorous clinical trials is important to encourage discovery that leads to evidence-based practice of medicine and health care. The  following recommendations are for colleges and schools actively seeking to conduct and promote important clinical trials designed to improve the health status of their patients and all the communities they serve.

All of the following options require some level of Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and/or approval.

We recommend college and school communicators connect with their faculty to discuss possible options in promoting their clinical trials.

Social Media
Used as a recruitment and engagement tool for trials of any size.

  • Design and content elements developed by faculty or by the college’s and school’s communications and marketing team — depending on the scope of the trial, capacity, and existing trial budget.
  • If a budget exists in your trial, there is also opportunity to create paid social posts (or advertisements) that reach a broader audience.
  • Final materials must be approved by the IRB before they can be used publicly.

Website
Developed for trials with large-scale public engagement needs or urgent public health interest.

  • All content must be provided by the research team, which includes photos and text.
  • Department and college/school leadership are encouraged to make the final determination when they run into faculty demand for a site/promotion of a clinical trial, regardless of UR engagement.
  • Consider a web-linked site where people can sign up for your study with a pre-authorization tool.
  • Final site must be approved by IRB before it can be published publicly.

University Marketing/Promotional Assets
Developed for trials with large-scale public engagement needs or urgent public health interest.

  • Flyers – Content is provided by faculty and condensed based on industry best practices.
  • Video – Short video that explains trial conduct, usually recorded via Zoom for internal use only (among fellow physicians).
  • RESOURCE Article – Article for internal physician audience on the college/schools owned-communication avenues, UMP intranet, as well as M Health Fairview intranet. Please consider reaching out to other health care systems, as well.
  • Speaking Engagements – Connections to opportunities to interact or speak with physicians or other care providers with patients in the target study group.
  • For a non-University, third-party to film a promotional video for a clinical trial recruitment campaign, contract photographer or videographers must submit a Request to Film at z.umn.edu/UMN_filming_request. We recommend submitting the request at least two weeks prior to the anticipated film date.

University Public/Media Relations
Developed for clinical trials with large-scale public engagement needs or urgent public health interest, particularly trials with “firsts” and those pursuing a newsworthy potential discovery.

  • A press release and pitch strategy will be developed for the study, in partnership with the study PI.
  • Timing of the press release is determined by trial readiness, PI availability for interviews, and IRB approvals.

Drug Announcement – Options for Promotion

The University of Minnesota colleges and schools promote important drug announcements, in partnership with third-party companies, designed to improve the health status of our patients and all the communities we serve. The promotion of drug development is important to encourage modes of discovery that lead to life changing care and highlight faculty work with corporations and community.

Please reach out to your college or school communication’s team to discuss all or some of these possibilities to promote your drug announcement.

Social Media
Used as a tool to amplify a faculty’s expertise and research role.

  • Design and content elements developed by faculty or by the college’s and school’s communications and marketing team — depending on the scope of the trial, capacity, and existing trial budget.
  • If a budget exists in your trial, there is also opportunity to create paid social posts (or advertisements) that reach a broader audience.
  • Final materials must be reviewed by OVPR for conflict of interest before they can be used publicly.

Public/Media Relations
When a groundbreaking drug is developed and approved, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical companies public relations agency or representative, consider engaging University Relations:

  • UR Public Relations rep reviews third-party press releases and pitch strategy developed for the drug announcement.
  • UR PR will be a support for hyperlocal pitching of only the University’s expert and their role in the drug’s development.
    • The third-party PR agency will be responsible for providing additional media relations training around sensitive language they have contractually agreed to with their client.
    • The drug needs to either receive FDA approval and/or to be announced that the drug is going to market for public relations consideration.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to University Relations at urtc@umn.edu.