case study

Elevating the International Vaccine Institute’s Brand and Voice Internationally


The Challenge 

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world’s only international organization dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of vaccines to shield populations against poverty-associated infectious and emerging diseases. The organization was founded in 1997 in recognition of the lack of financial incentives for the private sector to develop vaccines for diseases that disproportionally affect the millions of people who live in impoverished communities around the world.  

Yet, despite the organization’s achievements, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic — and the increased attention to vaccines and vaccine development that ensued — few individuals and organizations were familiar with its work and achievements.  

As IVI prepared to celebrate its 25th anniversary in October 2022, the organization approached Burness to help make sure its essential work was visible to key global audiences and to help develop a narrative about IVI’s identity as an international organization with projects spanning the globe. 

Our Approach 

As a first step, we sought to identify what makes IVI unique in the global health and vaccine R&D spaces and uncover stories that highlight its successes. We conducted a series of interviews with IVI staff and partners that informed a new communications strategy to position the organization’s work and its impact to low- and middle- income countries as well as globally. 

To highlight the range of IVI’s work, we developed and designed a 25-year impact report that documented its achievements over the years, from vaccine development to capacity building efforts.   

Additionally, to position IVI as a thought leader, we worked with Dr. Jerome Kim, IVI’s director general, to develop an opinion piece for global audiences. To further amplify IVI’s work, we spearheaded a social media awareness campaign that ran on LinkedIn and Twitter during IVI’s 25th anniversary celebrations. 

Result and Impact 

As IVI celebrated its 25th anniversary, the impact report showcased its various accomplishments — including the development of several vaccines — in an easy-to-digest and visually appealing format.  

We ensured that IVI’s unique role was highlighted as an organization that works along the entire vaccine value chain, from the discovery of new vaccines in the laboratory through to their delivery in real-world settings. We also highlighted its major accomplishments, including developing the world’s first affordable oral cholera vaccine, working with two vaccine manufacturers to develop to new typhoid vaccines, and IVI’s commitment to transferring skills and know-how to partners in low- and middle-income countries.  

The report helped position IVI as an organization committed to protecting some of the world’s most impoverished populations from endemic and emerging infectious diseases. 

The opinion piece by Dr. Jerome Kim, for its part, was published in STAT, helping to reach donor and partner audiences in the United States and globally. The social media campaign reached 1.14 million users and drove 7.1K clicks to the impact report over a period of 3.5 weeks. 

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