A friend told me she saw a story on NPR about gaps in coverage of events in Afghanistan because so many news organizations are suffering and can’t afford as many reporters in the different regions. Hopefully, this is just a temporary situation, and changes in the media landscape will eventually mean more coverage, but it made me stop and think about news in the biotech and life science industry. With fewer resources, some news organizations have resorted to simply reprinting press releases rather than adding value by selecting truly newsworthy releases, and/or editorializing to put the information in a broader context. I have watched this firsthand as the San Diego Union Tribune’s biotechnology section has changed significantly over the last year, as changes in personnel have taken place.
The result? A sea of press releases, each told from the company’s perspective, touting their company or new product as the best thing since sliced bread. Who will listen or care? Fewer than you think, as we all are confronted with much too much information these days. Anyone can send a press release these days, and that means that everyone does. Comprendia monitors the web and social media activity for the major life science brands, and has found that these verbatim press releases make up a significant amount of the online ‘news’ from these companies.
What is the solution? If you’ve been reading the Biotechnology Marketing 101 Blog, you likely know what’s coming next, as it’s a common theme (some would say it’s our soapbox ;). Today’s environment requires that you build a community that will care about your news or product launch. A newsletter is a great first step, but let me ask you: how much of your newsletter is simply focused on your company and products? This limits your reach substantially. For example, let’s say you sell columns for protein purification, and your newsletter reflects this very narrow field. Your customers will see you in this small area, stifling your opportunities for growth. Think about the potential to grow by creating a general protein purification blog or newsletter, providing tips and resources that are not always directly related to your products (as we’ve discussed earlier). Besides widening your customer base, you’ll get feedback from customers not only about your core products, but also about upstream and downstream applications, allowing you to move into new product areas. Becoming the resource for a more broad area also helps you to be found by search engines, and your readers may even be so zealous that they pass the information on to colleagues.
The community you build will feel as though they are a part of the product development process, and will truly care about your product launches. While this type of marketing appears to take more time and effort, you’ll find that not only does today’s environment require such an approach, but that it is more beneficial for all involved. In effect, the crowd has spoken and, they want and need this type of interaction from you. Need help? We’d be more than happy to help you get started, sign up for a free consultation.