A new voice for the international Parkinson's community
The European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) commissioned Speak Media to develop a new digital platform that would deliver magazine-style content to an international audience.
The EPDA was looking for a new communication platform in place of its quarterly print publication for national campaign groups – EPDA Plus – that was limited in reach, and costly to print and distribute across Europe. The new platform would instead need to deliver a regular feed of quality content to a much broader audience beyond Europe – and ultimately become the ‘voice of the international Parkinson’s community’.
Dom Graham, head of editorial and brand communications at the EPDA, said: "Our focus is on great storytelling that will inspire and connect people affected by the disease, backed by news and resources on everything that relates to helping people with Parkinson’s live a full and healthy life."
We conducted research with existing readers across key audiences to understand their content needs – capturing essential information on their media habits and device preferences. Based on these insights we developed a content-first approach and defined themes and formats for our stories.
As a charity, the EPDA had an extremely limited marketing budget, so we built our regular content production on a weekly cycle of tightly managed resource featuring a mix of original and curated content, as well as reaching out to influencers and subject experts in the Parkinson’s community whose content contributions have helped establish the editorial authority and voice of Parkinson’s Life.
The site was designed to have a clean yet vibrant look to reflect our varied articles and editorial tone, while the different sections are colour-coded, signposting stories in their relevant categories to aid navigation. The responsive layout gives readers on any device the same user experience allowing them to browse and easily find articles of interest.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from the client, industry figures and readers alike. The magazine now acts as a ‘hub’ for our audience to read and share inspiring stories, and it has attracted 20,000 new users to the site from 131 counties since launch in 2015.
The site has also been successful in generating investment via sponsored content and advertising, ensuring its long-term future is secure, while at the same creating a new revenue stream for the EPDA.
Parkinson’s Life was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at the BMA Patient Information Awards 2016 under the category ‘Internet Resources’ and it was shortlisted for ‘Launch of the Year’ at the Content Marketing Association Awards 2015.