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The post Life Science Public Relations Guidelines: Top 5 Words To Leave Out Of Press Release Titles appeared first on Comprendia.
You may know that we founded and manage the San Diego Biotechnology Network, and we offer an automated news feed which appears on the website, Twitter, and email. Several of the top words used in life science press release titles are understandable and useful, but several are problematic as they represent non-newsworthy items.
We are hoping that these changes are indeed taking place, and the 23andMe announcements this week are indeed a very exciting development. Since our founding in 2008, we’ve seen a slow progression both with scientists and life science marketers towards the utilization of more digital and social media.
The post Comprendia’s 2015 Life Science Marketing Planning Webinar appeared first on Comprendia. Note: The webinar is intended for biotech marketers who manage or sell non-FDA regulated products.
The webinar is now available on demand and includes the results the registration poll and 3 life science marketing polls taken by participants, view it here. By following the suggestions above, you should be able to rid your life science company from the ravages of Tactitis. We hope someday that there will be an effective Tactitis vaccine to help life science marketers resist the urge of utilizing tactics that don’t support strategic goals. Are you headed to the American Association for Cancer Research 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego April 5-9? We’ve covered before how conducting your own life science market research is easier than before because of new software and communication channels. The post Life Science Market Research: Get Better Results With Our Checklist appeared first on Comprendia.
These key items for planning a life science market research project are interrelated and should be considered as a whole during the planning. Every few years we hit the life science conference jackpot in San Diego, and 2014 is a banner year for us.
Gone are the days when you need to send a person to do a house-to-house survey to gather facts and information about your product.
If you wish to get honest feedback about your product or services, Survey Monkey is probably the best for startups and small businesses. This is an online agile market research tool that can help you get quick answers by conducting 30-minute one-on-one online video interviews.  GutCheck is based in US, so all of your participants will be from there. This app is designed to collate insights from your Twitter account.  Just like the Facebook Audience Insights, Followerwonk lets you determine the region, activity, keywords, authority, follower size, and more.
Do you know any other market research tools that you think can be helpful for startups and small businesses? In order to automate this feed, our tools must filter out press releases that are not newsworthy. Below, we share the top overused, generic terms as well as suggestions for replacing or rethinking the content of the press release. This word is used to announce an addition to staff, and these releases should be used very sparingly, and with purpose. Besides catching eyes, helping you to craft a newsworthy release, and helping readers understand your news, you’ll also get better search engine optimization (SEO) with a meaningful title. We were invited to meet with what we thought was a forward-thinking life science company to discuss social media and digital marketing. We are often asked to give examples of life science tools companies who have succeeded with social media. The main impetus for writing this post came this week as DNA testing giant 23andMe announced several collaborations with pharmaceutical companies. Time and time again we hear life science marketers complain about returns on staid trade show exhibits and other supposedly tried and true marketing strategies and tactics. As we pointed out first in 2009, social media is really just a new flavor of an engagement strategy that life science companies have been using for a very long time. A very interesting corollary to this post is that the self-tying Nike shoes, also predicted in Back To The Future Part II, have been prototyped and used to raise money for Parkinson’s disease through the Michael J.
Since the changes have been gradual, your life science marketing team may not have made the necessary changes to their marketing plans to adapt. Many are entrepreneurs with a great product, while others have been successfully selling products on the internet for years, before it was so commonplace. This advice may seem pedantic, but we run across many life science marketers who skip this important step. With the sweeping changes taking place in media and consumer behavior, we’re often surprised that life science marketers are so content with the status quo.
A corollary to #3, and something that is also easier to accomplish these days, is to track how the tactics you’ve chosen to support your strategy are helping to meet your goals. However, some stalwarts will likely remain, being sure that the cart should indeed be put before the horse, and that tactics should drive strategy.
Until then, we hope that these suggestions will help to prevent senseless acts of random tactics, a hallmark of Tactitis. For this occasion, I’ve decided to reflect about the future of life science digital marketing and I present five predictions which are open to discussion.
Alas, although we view creation of engaging content and the building of opt in communication networks as being essential strategies for today’s life science companies, many still view social media as a tactic. We interface with traditional life science trade organizations such as the Biotechnology Industry Organization as well as modern, non-membership entities such as ScienceOnline.
Life science companies should be querying customers’ needs more frequently in order to engage them with social and digital marketing, which is necessary in a post-broadcast world. You need to consider whether you want your respondents to know that your company is conducting the survey (non-blind) or to not know (blind).
For a verbal survey, you’ll need to provide each respondent with a $25-50 gift card, depending on the length of the survey and your relationship with them.
Check out our calendar or the list below to see what events to see us at in late 2013 and 2014, and fill out the form below to schedule a meeting! Now that we are in a digital world, all resources are almost spoon-fed to us.  But, without proper knowledge on what to use, your business will falter.
The Basic plan lets you create online surveys and polls, which you can send to your list for free.
This tool is easy to use.  You can create any target demographic based on the region, age, gender, interest, likes, and more.  If you don’t have one yet, sign up now to enjoy this awesome free app! That got me thinking about other overused words in the titles of life science press releases, ones that point out that the item is not newsworthy.
To find the overused words, we created a word cloud using the titles of 1300 releases collected over the past 8 months, it is shown below. Of course you’re announcing or reporting something in a press release, but what makes it newsworthy?
They seemed to have done their homework about what we do, but we were soon barraged with questions about the utility of social media for life science marketing.
Life science companies are not convinced that their customers are using social media, so they believe efforts there are fruitless. We normally point to companies such as Life Technologies (see this clever conference campaign incorporating Twitter hashtags) and IDT DNA (see their use of Pinterest), but the truth is that the number of examples is exceedingly small.

If you followed the news closely, you saw that with at least one collaboration, they’ve also announced leveraging their new research portal to study disease. We see that life science marketers have an easier time relating to content marketing, as opposed to social media marketing. During this free one hour webinar on October 15th, you’ll get up to speed with the latest trends in life science digital and social media marketing as well as how these strategies and tactics fit with traditional marketing. Which type of preparation is more important for being successful in this environment, undergoing lengthy scientific training or learning marketing acumen with courses or a degree in business? Creating a marketing plan for your company or product line keeps you focused on your goals and forces you to think your life science marketing strategy through. Formally or informally, ask your customers what value you can provide them, both in your product offerings and your communications with them.
On this blog we were the first to point out that corporations are paying to acquire and advertise to a large number of purported fake Facebook users. With the SDBN, which is non-member based, we sought to connect more life science researchers and professionals by leveraging online tools and engaging events. In looking at myself over the past 6 years, as a consumer, I’ve changed my lifetime habit of TV watching to relying solely on my iPad and the internet for entertainment and news. Stay tuned and if you’ll be attending BIO 2014 or any other conference in San Diego this year, schedule a meeting with us, and check out our event during the convention. We’d be happy to meet with you casually at the happy hour or at your booth or nearby. Below are listed the top items you’ll need to consider in planning your life science market research project to ensure success.
In other words, define the big picture questions that need to be answered and also how the data will be used to support business decisions. Consider whether they can be targeted using social media, forums, or by advertising or renting an email list.
A mix of multiple choice and essay answers will ensure that you are querying respondents’ needs thoroughly.
Below we share an example of how you can craft a newsworthy release about information you’re announcing. These types of announcements are more well suited to your website, as people who are interested in investing in your company will likely be following it closely. Rather than sending a larger number of generic releases, consider quality over quantity in your life science public relations. I would extend Hamid’s insightful observation to say that the problem extends to the ways researchers are incentivized to participate in social media. We need a really successful campaign or a game changing strategy, as we see in other industries. Most biotech and pharma companies, understandably, focus their social media efforts on their customers, the general public. Exhibit halls were invented before the internet, scientists can now see all of a company’s new products from the comfort of their lab, obviating the need to visit a trade show exhibit. We’ll get input from you before, during, and after the webinar to make sure your questions are answered, and the webinar will be recorded and posted with past webinars, which are always available for viewing. The tactics you choose will be based on your strategy and will lead to achieving your objectives. For example, have they shifted from using phone-based technical service in favor of web chat or an FAQ?
Staid displays with brochure racks were invented in the days where we could not search and browse for every product we need on the internet. For example, a month by month analysis of your Facebook likes is fascinating, but how does this metric translate to your strategic goals (and are you sure the users are real)? Believe it or not, few companies were using WordPress at that time, but I found a few examples and went for it. It turns out that this was our last mass mailing, snail or electronic, as we got zero responses. Others have vociferously complained about Facebook advertising, and we have found it increasingly difficult to run page promotions. However, surveys done in this fashion must rely on working with an agency that has resources to find survey respondents, or advertises the survey. Be sure to budget for this expense and have a contingency plan in case you don’t get the number of responses you need with your chosen method(s). Conferences are a great time to schedule an event such as a workshop or happy hour, see our life science event planning service to see how we can work with you.
We are all for you DIYing your life science public relations, and here we present the top 5 words you should avoid to get your press release noticed by journalists, search engines, and ultimately your audience. Also, be sure that your regulatory and legal group are on board with the release well in advance, as FDA and SEC standards must of course be met. Those who are already going to the conference will be made aware of your presentation, so there is no need to publicize it. While we won’t promise that these commandments are the complete guide to success, we hope that they help you to think differently about press releases, writing them in a way that is more effective in helping you meet your goals. We also wish companies would realize that by making a splash in social media, that they could be the example that we and others share for years to come. In addition, these marketers are limited by FDA guidelines (or lack thereof) which stunts progress and leads to fewer good examples to share. I’m not saying we should abolish them, as face to face interactions are still very important, but we should enhance them.
Sometimes, we only bring up later that a solid social media strategy is key to successful content marketing.
Fox was diagnosed Parkinson’s disease in 1991, only 2 years after he starred as Marty McFly in Back To The Future Part II.
Below we list the top ways to cure this ailment as well as ways to tactfully (get it?) respond to those in your organization who suffer from this devastating disease.
We provide many resources here to help you out, including a free webinar (including a marketing plan template) and a short blog series. Track numbers and step back from time to time to make sure your metrics are meaningful and adjust tactics as needed. I caught a very lucky break as the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) convention was in San Diego that June, and they were accepting bloggers.
A hard lesson was learned, and to be honest, we should have known better: broadcasting a message works very poorly. Even though we don’t see a social media revolution taking place, as it has for other industries, we do see an evolution, as incremental changes take place.
Because there is no membership fee, however, we don’t have the resources to provide the same sorts of benefits as the established organizations do. Whether you’re a blog reader, webinar viewer, or want to inquire about working with us, we’d love to meet with you! Surveys are often a time when people come out of the woodwork with question they want to add, which can lead to a survey that is too long, resulting in a low completion rate.
Verbal surveys are good when the goals of your survey involve determining how customers feel about your brand or products, as a conversation is often better to glean this information. In both cases, having an unblinded survey helps in this case, as loyal customers may be eager to give their feedback to improve a brand they like.

Also, if you do a broad advertisement of the survey, you’ll need to carefully qualify the respondents. For example, if one of your objectives is to determine whether your respondents utilize image-based social media, ask them whether they use Instagram and Pinterest in a multiple choice question, and ask them about ideas for sharing images in an essay question. In addition, you can leverage our extensive reach with the 10,000 members of the San Diego Biotechnology Network and get meetings with new clients with our business development services. If they don’t agree with your positioning of the news, maybe you should hold off on sending the release rather than to send a watered down version.
An exception would be if you’re planning to make the presentation available online to those who may have a more casual interest.
However, we’ve seen some developments which portend a change in this perception both due to the current funding crises and some high profile attention to the problem of scientists communicating in general.
This shift by 23andMe and their pharma partners, which gets researchers involved, may represent a sea change in how life science tools companies view social media. Much like the 3D shark interacted with Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II, we can use technology to engage and even delight (but not terrify) them. Asking tough questions about all tactics, and analyzing how they are supporting the company’s goals, will help to avoid this debilitating symptom of Tactitis. A few months later, we founded the San Diego Biotechnology Network (SDBN) and no longer need to broadcast our materials as we provide engaging content and events and are well known in the region. Similarly, LinkedIn has made some changes to their groups which we fear portends their eventual dissolution. ScienceOnline formed mostly on blogs and Twitter and has struggled greatly over the past year with sweeping changes in leadership, and some would say it may be due to a lack of financial resources.
In science, the consequences are dire, as anti-vaccine advocates and climate change deniers can sometimes have as much influence as real scientists, and suspicion about corporations is high.
First Name(required) Last Name(required) Company(required) Email Address(required) At which San Diego conference(s) would you like to meet with us? Sticking to key objectives for a survey will help you to focus and keep your survey succinct.
For a non-blind survey, the opt in to receive communication about the company’s product is straightforward. We normally require an institutional email address along with a non-obvious qualifying question. This strategy will prevent bias, as well as randomizing the answers on multiple choice questions. Society for Neuroscience November 9-13 (2013) Society for Lab Automation & Screening January 18-22 American Association for Cancer Research April 5-9 Experimental Biology April 26-30 Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) June 23-26 Protein Society July 27-30 American Society for Human Genetics October 18-22 Sign up below, we’re looking forward to meeting with you! Here we outline some changes that we feel need to happen before life science marketers will adapt to using social media. Hopefully, a silver lining of this current dark cloud of decreased funding and support will be that more scientists will embrace social media.
23andMe previewed their research portal at the American Society for Human Genetics 2014 meeting in San Diego, and anyone can create an account and look around. We can only hope (?) that continued disappointment with the status quo, as well as information and examples that we can provide, will effect change. Fox Foundation, with its patient and researcher-focused mission to cure Parkinson’s Disease, founded in 2000, was clearly a look at how the future of biomedical research may be funded. Currently Comprendia is working to provide local coverage of the BIO 2014 convention through the San Diego Biotechnology Network (SDBN).
In short, 3rd party social media applications are struggling to find a business model, and life science companies that depend on them may suffer as a consequence. Which model is better, one in which members are required to pay, with more benefits for members, or one which is more open with membership and information, relying on other funding to provide support? Online surveys are better for instances where the majority questions are multiple choice and deal with more objective questions such as budgets for products.
For a blinded survey, opt ins may be more difficult, as the respondent is unsure about receiving emails from an unknown source.
Consider also using Likert scale questions, which can be used to get quantitative data from qualitative questions.
Post an update on the conference after the fact, indicating how your presentation was received, along with other important findings from the event. We have seen an uptick in some activities, such as the number of Twitter status updates shared at conferences (which we noted in 2012, and adoption continues to grow). When researchers can log in, and benefit from the big data created by social engagement, we’ll hopefully start seeing #1 of this list come to fruition.
One of the current hot phrases is “digital marketing,” and for SEO we were sure to capitalize on that with the title of this post!
While these applications still offer benefits now and in the short term, we urge life science companies to diversify and to ensure that resources be used to develop Web 2.0 applications and sound, engaging content on their websites. Life science companies have a great opportunity to be the cheerleaders for biotechnology research. In addition, if you need statistically relevant data, an online survey is preferable because you’ll get a larger number of responses (see this post for estimating the sample size you need). However, blinded surveys may be preferable because they prevent competitors from knowing your plans. These two features prevent users from changing their answers to qualify for a survey, and software such as SurveyMonkey allows for these restrictions.
I would also argue that life science companies could lead the way instead of waiting, showing the utility of social media in many different ways (perhaps a follow up post).
You also need to consider your target–in general, online surveys are best for younger professionals and those in academia, as they tend to have more time for surveys.
Even if the survey is verbal, you should enter the questions into software such as SurveyMonkey and have the interviewers type in respondent answers during the survey, as this helps to standardize both the questions and the resulting data. These questions normally result in very valuable data, which we analyze manually and via word clouds (see this example from our partner site).
Work more closely with trade organizations such as AACR, ACS, AAAS and ASBMB and tell them what is working for you and what changes need to be made to meet your goals. After finishing your questions, and entering them into the software, be sure to test the survey yourself to make sure it does not take more than 5-10 minutes to complete. For example, if a staid conference exhibit hall doesn’t benefit you any longer, give that feedback to the organizers and brainstorm on what will work. While digital marketing and social media are facile and adaptable, they take time to gain momentum, as we pointed out back in ’09.
If it is too long, consider conflating some of the questions–we find that the matrix questions, where respondents are asked their opinions on a range of items, are ideal for creating a concise survey.
I would be positively giddy if every life science conference offered the partnering and networking opportunities that BIO does.

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