To PR, or not to PR?
22nd May 2017 - Last modified 30th October 2017 - 0 comments
Written by David Robinson.
When does PR make sense for science and healthcare companies?
As Alto Marketing specialises in science and healthcare marketing communications, the question of whether PR is still an effective business-to-business (B2B) communications channel often comes up.
The emphasis on science and healthcare PR has changed over the years as the media landscape has changed, particularly with the increasing influence and effectiveness of digital marketing. Of course, the channels used in a communications programme will depend on the individual company, their industry and areas of interest, and what they want to achieve.
That said, PR should definitely be a key component in the communications mix, if:
• Your products have sales, or potential for sales, in multiple market sectors
• You have a large base of potential customers
• Your potential customers are hard to find
• You are looking to make deals or raise finance
• There are sufficient, well-read media relevant to your product/service offering*
Why? Well, if you’re selling to a large number of possible customers, and/or into many market sectors, PR will give you the most cost-effective exposure to these potential customers, both in terms of actual cost and the resource needed to manage it, compared to other channels. If your customers are hard to find, or you’re not sure who they are, again PR is a cost-effective way of “trawling” a large universe of potential customers to get to the likely ones.
PR is also a major channel that investors and deal-makers use to gain insight into developments in the science and healthcare industry. So if you’re looking for finance or partnerships, then PR is essential. Once you have finance, your investors will want the world to know about your company and increase its value…so PR is again going to be a cornerstone of your communications.
In addition to the above, there are other, often overlooked, reasons why companies should run a healthcare or science PR programme:
Brand awareness & positioning
The importance of brand awareness cannot be overstated, even in this age of data-driven marketing and immediate results. In the scientific or healthcare B2B environment, your audience is unlikely to make a decision based totally on emotion. In most cases a prospect becomes a “lead” due to multiple factors. They may have responded to your e-marketing or AdWords campaign, but they are likely to have done so because they are already aware of your brand and have gained confidence in it. When your news is picked up by highly trusted media it also gives your brand added credibility, especially when compared to paid advertising.
PR is an excellent tool for raising brand awareness over time, particularly as part of an integrated communications programme with other channels such as advertising. PR also generates direct enquiries as well.
A PR programme is an ideal way of developing and maintaining a content calendar for your content marketing programme. As well as the news about new products and customers for your PR programme, the calendar might also include lead generating content marketing activities such as white papers, application notes, case studies, videos and scientific posters. Most, or all, of these can be “repurposed” as PR news and repurposed again as blogs for your website and social media channels.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
The more relevant content you have on your website and the more regularly your website is updated, the better your on-page SEO will be. With a PR programme in place, you will be producing news content on a regular basis. This should be uploaded to your site when it is released and is therefore a regular source of new and relevant content for your website SEO.
At Alto Marketing we consider the broad picture every time we start working with a client – and again when a client’s particular situation changes – to determine the most relevant communications channels. In most cases PR is extremely valuable, but it might not be right in all situations. So if you’d like a new approach to your scientific and healthcare marketing communications, or simply an objective review, please ask us.
* There is no rule of thumb here and this should be reviewed and decided on a case-by-case basis.