MacDougall Musings

Mapping Out 2024: A Biotech’s Guide to an Effective Communications Strategy

The MacDougall team brings decades of experience helping leading life sciences companies elevate their communication and connection with key audiences. Your success depends on visibility and credibility with your core audiences, partner with MacDougall to amplify your message and its impact.

With the first month of 2024 already in the rearview, now is the time to ensure your life science company’s communications strategy is developed and aligns with your corporate goals. Regardless of your company’s stage, it’s important to regularly review your messages and overarching communications strategy as things may have shifted over the course of the year. But where should you start?  

Read on to learn three tips to building an effective communications plan. 

Identify your upcoming milestones  

Once you’ve identified which organizational goals your plan will be supporting, you should determine which upcoming key milestones you will promote and what you hope to achieve by announcing them. Data read outs, new C-suite hires, fundraising milestones, clinical trial initiations – each of these inflection points offer impactful moments for value creation in the market. 

One simple way to get started is by creating a calendar outlining when you expect announcements to fall. Based on this calendar, you can fill periods of low or slow news flow with more proactive communications methods. Pitching your C-suite for thought leadership opportunities such as podcasts or panels at industry conferences is a great way to maintain momentum during quieter periods and establish executive team members as key opinion leaders (KOLs). 

Once you have mapped out your news for the year, begin to craft compelling messaging that signals how each corporate milestone is driving your company forward and enabling you to execute on your goals and mission.  

Establish your key message  

Arguably the most important aspect of your biotech company’s communications plan is identifying your key messages. Your company’s key messages will help you stand out amongst competitors and will serve as the foundation of all communication efforts.  

Your core messages should be consistent across all communications materials including press releases, presentations, website content and social media posts. To determine your key messages, you must first understand the needs and desires of your target audience(s), whether they be investors, scientific organizations, patients, potential partners or the general public. Based on your core differentiators and your identified audience, you can begin to develop your key messages.  

Whether you are telling your value story to investors or working with patient advocates – maximizing each interaction is only possible when you have a deep understanding of your audiences, tailored messaging and spokespeople with the skills to deliver. 

Even if you aren’t updating your core messaging, it is always a good time to media train your team to ensure all executives can confidently speak to a consistent corporate narrative.  

Determine your communication method(s)  

Once you have created a news and events calendar and have clearly outlined your corporate messaging, you should begin identifying the best communications channels to reach your key audiences.  

Publicizing company progress can take shape in many ways – through a formal press release, a newsletter, a social media post, a blog or even an R&D Day. Each communications channel has the potential to touch specific audiences, so it’s important to consider your intended targets, disclosure requirements, tone and reach. 

Patient advocacy events, for example, are typically well received on social channels such as LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter). Alternatively, announcements such as updates on an ongoing clinical trial should be shared through a press release and supported by calls with KOLs, outreach to patient advocacy groups, etc. 

As important as yearly communications planning is for any company, it can be a daunting task. Need more guidance? MacDougall has the resources to support your company every step of the way. Learn more about our service offerings here.