macdougall musings

How to Stay Visible Between Announcements

While biotech and digital health companies come to us for our strategic counsel and execution prowess in publicizing important milestones – exciting data, publication in a scientific journal, financing or an executive hire, for example – what they often fail to consider is the importance of staying in the industry limelight when they don’t have news.

Without a doubt, we love the thrill of helping a company make a name for itself and promoting news that showcases progress, but it is just as important to not fade into obscurity between milestones. We mean it when we say to our clients, “no news, no problem!” and at the start of every engagement, we develop a comprehensive 6-12 month media plan that does not rely solely on news milestones.

Why put in the effort to stay visible between news announcements?

In the same way that a garden needs to be tended to in order to thrive, biotech companies must maintain ongoing communication with their key audiences and one effective way to do this is via the media. However, there is no “one size fits all” approach and what works for one biotech company may not be the right strategy for another. This is why we start all of our partnerships with a deep dive into a client’s science and business needs. We find out about their key audiences, market drivers and timeline of milestones for the next two years. For example, a company that is focused on fundraising may consider contributing a corporate profile or posting about their participation at a relevant investor conference on their social media pages. Alternatively, a company looking to increase awareness of their therapeutic area or scientific approach may consider authoring a blog piece or rolling out an educational social media campaign.

Where are some places you can start?

Lulls in news announcements offer the opportunity for companies to highlight key issues related to their science – what dire problems are they working to solve? Is there a need to shine the spotlight on unmet medical needs? Perhaps it is important to get closer to patient communities via advocacy organizations. Is hiring a priority? A proactive communications program can help with any and all of these issues.

This could seem like a daunting undertaking, so consider these opportunities as a place to start:

  • Blogs
    • Creating and maintaining a corporate blog can help you stay connected to your patients, investors, potential employees and other key stakeholders. It can also be a resource for journalists looking to get up to speed about a specific indication or therapeutic condition. A blog is also a useful place to show how your company connects with the community. Perhaps there was a volunteering event your team participated in or another way your team is giving back to others. A corporate blog is a practical and accessible place to provide detail.
  • Thought leadership
    • Thought leadership pieces commonly take the shape of CEO spotlights, quotes in feature articles, contributed articles or company profiles. These are great opportunities for the C-suite to provide insights into industry trends, their unique views and their way of approaching critical problems. When considering engaging in a thought leadership program, it’s important to keep in mind that CEO spotlights are typically less focused on promoting the company itself, but rather providing industry knowledge and counsel.
  • Multimedia opportunities
    • Traditional written content is now sharing the spotlight with podcasts and video interviews. These opportunities breathe life into the story that a company is trying to tell and are a great option when it comes to providing visual demonstrations of a company’s mechanism of action (MOA).
  • Social media
    • As we have said before in a previous MacDougall Musings piece, biotech is no longer a stranger to social media. Social media is a powerful tool to amplify a company’s message and is a great option to leverage in between news or milestone announcements. Consider sharing posts that highlight your company culture, kicking off a campaign that educates your audience on your MOA, or sharing relevant news articles to stay in industry conversations. In addition, many journalists communicate on Twitter and will ask for sources or share articles. This is a great way for a company executive to connect with an important journalist.

When it comes down to it, boosting your company’s visibility in the lulls between major announcements is all about creativity and providing a unique point of view. There is always a story to be told, even though you may not think that you have anything newsworthy to share! Not sure where to start? MacDougall is here to help.

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