There are virtually no similarities you can glean between two development stage biotech or life sciences companies without delving into their founders, their mission, their pipelines, their funding, and the list goes on.
But there is one similarity that stands out: the roadmap of announcements and news.
Not every organization will capitalize on the news in this map, and sometimes they’ll put their eggs in baskets that aren’t likely to take off in the media. This roadmap will help you understand how to get the most out of your announcements.
Rounds of Funding
Funding is big news, and it’s likely to make its way into relevant industry publications with or without your own communications work. Your organization, the funders, and the funding itself are all of interest to the industry, making this one of your org’s first opportunities to spend real time in the spotlight.
The pitfall: Underestimating this branding opportunity.
The opportunity: If the reporters are going to cover the story, make sure it’s easy for them to use your branded assets. This could be thoughtful (and brief) quotes from executives, high-quality pictures from the office or lab, videos explaining the pipelines, and anything else that’s important to your mission.
Future investors, industry partners, and team members are reading wherever your funding news is landing. Make sure it’s a memorable and positive impression.
Your orgs new executive team is big news – to the org. Unless you’re announcing a team that is either so controversial or so unlikely that it becomes news, this is an announcement that won’t enjoy the same coverage as some of your funding news.
That doesn’t mean this isn’t important news. This is another step in building your org’s digital identity, putting news out there that future stakeholders may encounter.
The pitfall: Expecting big headlines from staffing updates
The opportunity: Get some high-quality bios, professional headshots, and a good quote or two. Consider this announcement a mini newsroom for reporters and investors who want to read up on your team in the future. There’s no reason they should have to dig for a text-only press release buried in search engine results down the line.
You are speaking to potential investors and employees/talent with this one, so highlight why your organization is somewhere people should want to work and invest their money.
The section at the beginning of this roadmap, describing how it’s impossible to know that much about an org without delving into its background? That’s true for your development pipeline newsworthiness.
It depends on what you’re doing. Is it relevant to the news of the day? How well is it explained in your content?
Consider this assessment an important test for how prepared your organization is to make the most of the communications side of the business. Expectation management, media targeting, and a good grasp of the news landscape are forever going to weigh in on investing, industry partnerships, and recruitment, so the experience is valuable even at this stage.
But perhaps more importantly, your pipelines are the lifeblood of your work. Do them justice every time there’s a chance they’re talked about in the news.
The pitfall: Missing the point of announcements that don’t always make the news.
The opportunity: This is an all-hands-on-deck announcement. Do right by the gravity of this news, because an accessible pipeline outline announcement will either haunt or bolster your org’s digital presence for years. Where applicable, get scientific illustrations of your technology mechanism or target in your development pipeline into your announcement. Strong visuals can do a lot of heavy lifting in telling your story.
Here’s where the tried-and-true announcement map ends. It’s entirely possible to map the next big news opportunities for your org, but we’d have to know more about it first.
In the meantime, here’s where your organization needs to start self-monitoring the news. This is a step down from biotech/life sciences competitive surveillance and media monitoring, which delivers everything you need exactly when you need it (typically 1-3 times a day). The latter service costs more. Besides, there’s still one more opportunity left from the DIY version.
Self monitoring is your chance to get intimately familiar with what makes the news, and who actually makes the news. Understanding what publications relevant to your industry consider newsworthy, as well as who the reporters are that you should be building relationships with, is really important at this stage. Set up your parameters, tinker to improve results, and read your media digests whenever you get the chance.
Get a newsroom up on your website to immortalize announcements and coverage you want to keep around, which you should have ample opportunity to identify through your own monitoring process.
Once your news or need for competitive surveillance has outgrown your ability to keep track of it, or the impact of the news is too significant to ever stay in the dark on, human-curated services that deliver exactly what you need are on the menu. It’s not possible to recommend this step without understanding what your org has available and what it needs, but just know that this is the final frontier in perfecting the communications side of your business.