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Clinical Trials

Studio 63 has a specialty in recruitment/retention programs for a variety of industries, including clinical trials. We offer strategic intelligence, marketing insights, advertising expertise, and outstanding creative that not only motivate volunteers to participate in clinical trials, but keep participants informed and engaged to ensure their continued commitment
throughout the entire study. Our unique way of doing business virtually guarantees breakthrough marketing communications and advertising in record time, at a lower cost, with more creative options, and at a higher quality than traditional methods.

Identify Trial Strengths/Challenges
Every trial is unique with its own SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) relating to each of the following:

  • Study type
  • Subjects/participants
  • Demographics (age, m/f, ethnicity, etc.)
  • Site location (large academic medical institution, independent specialty center, etc.)
  • Region/geography
  • Competitive landscape (i.e., referring physicians)

Prepare for Study Launch
  • Develop a Study Brand
    • Create a consistent look, tone, and style throughout all components/materials
      • Color palette, fonts, images, etc.
  • Develop Key Messages
    • Determine what you want to communicate to each of your target audiences (potential subject, a peer medical practitioner, media, etc.)
      • Why does this study matter?
      • If we get the result we’re hoping for, how will the field be changed? How might it help patients?
      • What are the selling points in getting subjects to participate in the study?
      • What can be said to mitigate anxiety or concern about participating?
  • Create a Suite of Materials
    • Patient recruitment material (brochures, postcards, posters/flyers, tent cards, banner stands, FAQ sheets, etc.)
    • Study talking points (helpful for media pitches, clinician presentations to patient groups or colleagues, group leaders in announcing your trial to various networks, etc.)
    • Referring physician materials (pocket card, referral form, physician letter, website portal, etc.)
    • Articles (include your own publications, association newsletters, community/media outlets, etc.)
    • PowerPoint presentation (patients, physician audiences, association meetings, support groups, etc.)

Develop a Multi-pronged Approach
  • Reach your target audience in multiple ways and venues
    • Typically, someone must see a message 3 times before they internalize it
    • It may take receiving the message up to 9 times before they act on it
  • Develop a series (variety) of messages/approaches/strategies that will work for both the short- and long-term, as initial recruitment strategies may hit a “lull” at some point during the study

Establish 800 Number and/or Website
  • Identify a central information hub where people can go to learn more about your trial
  • Create tracking mechanism for inquiries
  • Be responsive

Present the Importance of Research to Potential Patients
  • Make the case for why the trial matters (show the big picture and the part they can play in it)
  • Believe in your trial (convey your belief in its potential)
  • Communicate about the nature of the trial with patients with energy, excitement, and enthusiasm

Investigators to be Active Participants in Recruitment
  • Be “front and center” as much as possible when potential trial leads come to the site
  • Be the direct contact to referring physicians as much as possible
  • Be involved in brainstorming new ideas to keep a pipeline of qualified leads and troubleshoot when there is a lull

Coordinators are Your Front-line Communicators
  • Make sure your coordinators are educated, informed, and engaged about the study as they are the key connectors that make trials happen
  • Coordinators need to provide follow up to mailings/inquiries, and quickly identify when physician involvement is needed to address concerns
  • Coordinators should encourage potential participants to “come in” to discuss the trial (in person meetings are much more effective than phone consults)
  • Set up expectations about response times

Find Potential Patients within Your Institution
  • Patients in your clinic will be loyal to you and your practice – they’re the lowest hanging fruit for recruitment
  • Be thorough in your efforts to reach out to these patients
    • Tag charts of appropriate patients as your site is preparing to be activated
    • Reserve priority appointments for newly diagnosed patients so they get seen in a timely manner
    • Inform and remind colleagues of whom you are targeting to recruit
      • Incorporate into grand rounds and monthly meetings
  • Develop systems and processes that make referring a patient easy
    • Compile a list of all ongoing clinical studies and place in binder for easy access/reference; update frequently
    • Set up an email address specifically for physician referrals
  • Equip patients with information about trials
    • Provide recruitment materials in your waiting room, patient rooms, restroom
    • Provide detailed information on a study-specific website

Leverage the Reach of Your Organization
  • Reach out to other departments and support functions to support your study
    • Consider tagging charts in other specialties whose patients may qualify as controls
    • Conduct an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) search to identify qualified leads
    • Post study information throughout your facility/site
      • Advertisements, posters/flyers, and brochures displayed in waiting rooms, patient rooms, restrooms, and other community areas
      • Create an “information wall” – a bulletin board with information on research/clinical trial opportunities, support groups, classes, and other postings useful to your patients
  • Connect with clinical and research colleagues
    • Host a “lunch” conference or grand rounds
    • Ensure satellite locations have key information about the study
    • Utilize practitioner email lists to notify your peers that you’re seeking a particular group of patients
  • Participate in community events sponsored by your organization
    • Health fairs, patient days, etc.
  • Utilize organization-wide publications (weekly e-newsletters, monthly updates to staff, annual report, community magazine, etc.)
  • Work with your internal media/PR/PA department
    • Meet with your internal media/PR/PA department to determine if your study is “media” appropriate; think about the human interest component and would the general public be interested in reading about this research
    • Provide your media/PR/PA department with the suite of materials you developed, including a press release and fact sheet
    • Provide your media/PR/PA departmentwith some preliminary ideas about media outlets

Mass Media Marketing
Determine if traditional and/or new media is needed to reach, inform, educate, and recruit your target audience. This may include:

  • Print (newspapers, magazines)
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Outdoor (train, bus, billboards)
  • Web-based marketing

Long-term Strategies for Recruitment
  • Create a database of patients who express interest in research participation
  • Initiate an annual patient/caregiver symposium that showcases your center. This is a prime opportunity to feature the best approaches to care, promote the unique offerings of your center, and discuss research opportunities
  • Send quarterly newsletters to your constituents where you can highlight the story of a subject enrolled in research, talk about the outcomes of a study that is wrapping up, introduce researchers in your practice and showcase their work, and mention the studies at your site for which you are recruiting
  • Develop a physician/practitioner recruitment network

Patient Retention
  • Send visit reminders by email/text
  • Create patient support materials (traditional and online)
  • Give-away or take-home items
  • Treatment follow-up by phone
  • Transportation assistance
  • Appreciation and Recognition Cards (thank you, birthday, milestones, etc.)
  • Exclusive events for study participants