As the leader or CEO of a life science start-up or mid-stage, your company reputation and your proprietary technology are your main priorities.
It is an extremely complex leadership role with many challenges:
- What is the fastest path to our goal?
- Will we receive our next round of funding?
- Will we successfully find a strategic partner?
- Will big pharma invest in our technology or our company?
- How come no one is talking about our science?
- Why isn’t anyone visiting our website?
- Why aren’t our press releases generating any buzz?
- Why are our competitors more visible?
Is it time to engage a public relations firm?
For CEO’s leading start-up or mid-stage life science companies, the answer to this question is never easy. But if answers were easy, then they would not be getting the big bucks! Before engaging with a public relations firm, we encourage start-up and mid-stage life science leaders to review the following questions:
- What is your goal in partnering with a PR firm?
- Are you, and your board of directors, experienced working with PR firms?
- Are you comfortable with the limitations of “earned media?” We cannot control the media.
- Does your company have adequate resources required to maximize the value of PR?
- Is your story newsworthy?
Four Foundational Pillars of PR
If you believe it is time to begin a process of publicly promoting your company, your technology and/or your stock, following are four primary PR principles:
- Identify your target audience
Face it. You are not everything to everyone. Thankfully, you can target your messages to key life science audiences, such as physicians, pharmacists, payers, academicians, regulators, business development pros, investors, patients and/or patient advocacy groups. Determine your target audience and focus your efforts on meeting their needs.
- Establish your core messages
PR 101 demands the development and delivery of consistent messages. Do not garble your message. A corporate policy of indifference towards consistent messaging by key communicators will diminish your PR effectiveness. Concise, consistent company and product messages will always serve to strengthen the perception of the company and the product with your target audiences. Successful adoption of a consistent message policy will yield benefits when your target audiences can parrot them back to you. This is PR nirvana.
- Establish your online presence
If you wish to be taken seriously by your target audiences, you must have an attractive, easy-to-navigate website. To increase engagement with your target audience, it is highly strategic to begin a systematic process of sharing content online and via social channels – effectively establishing your company as an expert in your field of science.
- Build and nurture relationships
PR is not advertising. PR cannot be bought. PR must be earned. Strong relationships drive PR. Establish relationships with your top five media, KOLs, analysts or patient advocates. Serve them. Act as an expert for them. Do not incessantly pitch them. Follow them on Twitter. Comment on their posts. Nurture them.
At JFK Communications, this is our passion. We are not too big for you. If you believe you require public relations services, we welcome the opportunity to serve you.