Feel More Like You podcast

I combined clinical oncology advice, expert beauty tips and real survivor stories to help cancer patients maintain their identity through treatment.

The ask

 

Walgreens began offering an in-store service for cancer patients:  oncology-trained pharmacists and beauty consultants available to help with the physical side effects of cancer treatment, such as hair loss and skin changes. As the health content editor, I was tasked to bring this expertise to a wider audience on digital channels.

The result

 

An inspiring 10-episode series filled with 30+ authentic patient stories and dozens of expert interviews streaming on all podcast platforms with an 86% completion rate and 81% subscription rate.

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Why a podcast?

 

  • A branded podcast can help brands increase their perception as an expert in that space. Just like our in-store experience, this evergreen content is a service to our customers, available 24/7.
     

  • Podcasts are growing medium—98 million adults regularly listen, 21% of all adults. Global listenership has grown 42% since COVID-19.
     

  • It’s a great differentiator. No other retailer is meeting this audience’s needs in this space. It’s a first-of-its-kind not only for Walgreens, but for our customers.

 

How it was made

 (Research, research, interviews and more research!)

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The project was conceived and built in 8 months time. I lead the concept and creation of this project, to ensure we delivered content that:

  • Resonated with patients. I interviewed dozens of survivors early on to ensure we would strike the right tone and be useful to her.
     

  • Showcased expertise. I also interviewed top experts in the oncology field—such as surgeons, dermatologists and dentists—and in the beauty field—such as makeup artists, wig experts, medical tattoo artists and more.
     

  • Aligned to business goals. I worked with brand marketing as they formed the in-store program. I attended trainings and toured specialty pharmacies, following the patient journey from diagnosis to remission.
     

  • Turned highly clinical topics into actionable takeaways. Cancer patients are often overwhelmed by the information from their oncology team, but doctors don’t have time to walk through everything. I developed partnerships with our clinical review team of doctors to ensure our content was based in research and answered real questions from real survivors.
     

  • Reached our target audience. I also partnered with our SEO team to ensure we optimized the content based on what our patients are wanting help with.

On-location recording
Boxing class with survivor Csilla, learning how to show cancer who's boss.

Takeaways
 

Under tight time constraints, I was able to:

  • Create a 50-page, high-fidelity script of the entire series, deeply researched and reviewed with legal and clinical alignment
     

  • Study common side effects of cancer treatment and effective ways to find relief
     

  • Understand common gaps between patient needs and doctor objectives
     

  • Identify subject matter experts and their exclusive advice
     

  • Iterate based on multiple rounds of patient feedback
     

  • Cast real patients with relevant stories and experiences for each side effect
     

  • Host the podcast, conduct interviews and write scripted segments
     

  • Learn and execute audio editing via ProTools
     

  • Submit to Apple for approval a week before planned launch
     


Future state

Last March we were planning to go to CancerCon, but it was moved to a digital-only event because of COVID. Here are mockups of the booth we would've hosted at the in-person conference—complete with live interviews and makeup consultations.

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