Crossing the Data Desert: A How to for Pre-Commercial Biotech IPOs
For pre-commercial life science companies, clinical trial data is king. There may be other members of the court – regulatory decisions, business development and corporate updates – but trial data is clearly king. Yet clinical trials take time, and there can be long stretches between data. These data “deserts” can be especially trying for pre-commercial public companies who are, by definition, in the public eye. How can a company best cross the data desert? At LaVoieHealthScience, we recommend a proactive communications strategy that includes thought leadership in the foreground while data is in development; a reinforcement plan once data is released; and ongoing visibility along the way.
Thought Leadership: A thought leadership program is a way for a company to differentiate itself by helping audiences understand its science and strategy. Components of a thought leadership program include first understanding the target audience – do you want to reach advocacy groups, prospective partners, etc. Then selecting the appropriate channels – is this a story best told through a by-lined article? Maybe a round-table discussion that is then summarized and pulled through your social channels and website.
Post Data Reinforcement: Once data is released, be it a poster or a plenary session, a press release is an obvious delivery channel. However, to reinforce the data, one approach is a KOL event to tie the data to the marketplace and help audiences understand the real-world implications. As to what type of KOL event – anything from a luncheon to a full-day program could be considered, depending on the phase, data, and indication
Ongoing Visibility: Of course, it’s also important to maintain corporate reputation on an ongoing basis. That’s when news posts, white papers, and webinars can come into play. News posts include news that is not quite worthy of a press release, but nevertheless of interest – events such as attendance at an invitation-only conference or re-appointment as an adjunct professorship. White papers, self-written reports that focus on a specific topic, can be made available on your website and/or available on demand. Webinars, and more recently podcasts, are meaningful channels to engage in conversation that showcases your expertise on a given topic. Last, and certainly not least, social media is an important opportunity for all companies as a means toward initiating conversations as well as inserting into others. You should work with partners who understand the industry to ensure compliant programming.
Crossing the Data Desert: In sum, there can be a lot of communications deserts in between data releases. However, with a “canteen” of communications strategies, pre-commercial life and health science companies can ensure the success of the journey.
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