Handling public relations (PR) for a biotechnology company may seem intimidating at first, but the rewards can be everlasting. Think about it – you are at the forefront of learning about exciting scientific innovations and breakthroughs before anyone else. As PR professionals, we are in the driver’s seat, tasked with making sure the public gets the news about our clients quickly and accurately. Biotech companies, especially young ones, often rush into their own brand of PR with little thought, which can lead to detrimental consequences. A well thought-out, strategic PR plan can help a company avoid costly mistakes. To accomplish this, the first step is to know your audience. Who do you want to target?
Biotech companies associate with a variety of audiences – investors, potential partners, current and prospective employees and the media. Here’s a breakdown of each segment and their importance:
Investors – Investors want to see evidence of technological progress – investment in core technologies. Investors draw on numerous sources like trade and financial press, analyst reports and conferences.
Potential partners – This group is very important because they could represent a catalyst for significant growth in revenue or market position. These groups look for innovative and complementary technologies. Positioning and differentiating your company to this audience will be a key component to the overall communications strategy.
Current and prospective employees – Employees want to read about the company in publications and hear about it at conferences they attend. They want to be assured that the company is reputable and prestigious.
Media – Remember the media is representing the public. This audience requires patience, time and understanding. Too often scientists feel that the facts should speak for themselves. However, scientists must build their cases for nonscientists. Otherwise, a poor understanding of the technology may lead to confusion, fail to ignite interest, result in poor coverage or worse, fear of science.
Once you have identified and become familiar with your target audience, the fun begins! Yes, I said fun! We are experiencing some remarkable explorations and innovations right now. In the last 10 years alone, we have learned that there is water on Mars, stem cells can be reprogrammed and rockets can be manufactured to be reusable. Science has so many great stories to tell. So, subscribe to our blog and stay tuned for when we share where these stories come from and what they should focus on.