ELITE Digital Crusader Michael Leis of Digitas Health

Michael Leis

SVP, Social Strategy

Digitas Health


Blazing New Trails in Content and Social

“Michael Leis has single-handedly taken the social content capability at Digitas Health from a slow drip to a roaring waterfall of industry-leading work in just a few years,” says Brendan Gallagher, EVP, Connected Health Innovation at Digitas Health. “He has a way of framing strategy to help clients understand the importance of using content to drive real behavior change, rather than simply looking through the lens of the channel.”

Michael brought a behavioral strategy approach to connecting people through content and social that has brought exponential success to the agency’s clients. A couple of his recent successes include the largest, most engaged multiple sclerosis community on the Internet: MSLifelines and doubling engagement for a large therapeutic community for an autoimmune condition.

Some of the most rewarding work the agency has produced is a community for teens with cystic fibrosis (CF) called Through Thick and Thin. Not only was his team able to redesign behavioral CRM for teens, they created the first therapeutic community on Tumblr for a pharma brand. Since inception, Through Thick and Thin has re-set the engagement benchmark for the entire health and wellness category on the 400-million blog platform, and had broken the “viral” sharing threshold seven times. Tumblr’s typical health and wellness benchmark for content reblog rate is 6% to 9%—Through Thick and Thin is at 38%.

This new way of marketing has captured judges’ attention across categories, including a Bronze Clio Health, Philadelphia Art Directors Club award, and two silver DTC awards. Through Thick and Thin was also recently awarded the Shorty award for best Tumblr presence, beating out major consumer brands.

Most recently, Michael and his team’s success in social and content strategy has begun reframing what defines valuable website content with a top pharma brand in support of the patient experience, creating a unique patient content co-creation method that helps patients connect to shorten the gap to diagnosis.


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