W2O, an innovative, analytics-driven, digital-first marketing and communications firm, today announced that it has extended and expanded its $50,000 three-year commitment to the Future Leaders in Healthcare Fellowship Program, which it offers in collaboration with The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF), an organization focused on increasing the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, communications, marketing and digital.
The fellowship program has been expanded to include all aspects of integrated marketing and communications. This includes data, analytics and insights; social and digital paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) media; creative and content; activation and engagement; and investor relations.
The initial fellowship, which was created and led by W2O Founder and CEO Jim Weiss and TLF Chairman and CEO Kim L. Hunter, was launched in March 2016. Since then, several individuals have been selected and completed a fellowship in W2O’s New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco offices.
“It’s been an incredible experience over the past three years developing this next generation of leaders as they gained a deep understanding of the marketing communications environment and the unique needs of our healthcare client partners,” said Weiss. “This partnership with TLF not only provides opportunities to young men and women, it furthers conversations with healthcare organizations to increase diversity in their marketing communications functions in order to stay relevant and improve the ability to target a wide range of patient demographics.”
“As a young African-American, I believe my time and role at W2O will inspire others to pursue career options in healthcare communications and public affairs,” said Steven Pye, an account associate at W2O and former TLF fellow. “African-Americans are underrepresented in both sectors, but the partnership between W2O and TLF is helping to change that.”
Under the extended program, W2O is providing another $50,000 donation to TLF that will be dispersed over the course of three years, placing two fellows per year. The program includes a 10-week, paid fellowship in one of W2O’s U.S. offices, exposing the fellows to careers in healthcare marketing communications and giving them the opportunity to work with W2O’s healthcare clients, which include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and medical technology companies.
“There is no greater result than the real-time ability to identify and develop talent to offer the next generation of marketing and communications leaders a legitimate opportunity to succeed,” said Hunter. “This type of program allows for on-the-job training designed specifically to help young professionals better understand and adapt to the constantly evolving healthcare landscape and have a voice at the table.”
The partnership with TLF illustrates W2O’s commitment to provide culturally relevant campaigns and services targeting the nation’s diverse population.