Tag: communication strategy

Food for Thought: Why Do Private Companies Need IR, Too?

With an increasing number of emerging private equity trading platforms worldwide, it has become obvious that professional investor relations is not just for publicly listed companies. Even though transparency requirements for private companies are still much lower than those for listed companies, there are challenges ahead. While previously targeting a relatively small group of specialized private equity investors, private companies are now facing a very heterogenous audience of private (and, often times, anonymous) investors with very little knowledge about specific industy sectors and business models. Germany´s latest private equity market place, fianc, was launched earlier this week and follows the route of established players in the U.S. like SecondMarket and SharesPost.

It remains to be seen whether the new private equity trading platforms will eventually trigger more stricter regulatory and communication requirements – which, in turn, could mean that being a private company loses its charm. On the other hand, it is an excellent opportunity for private companies to broaden their shareholder base and attract additional capital. According to IR Magazine´s newsletter Inside Investor Relations, some analysts have started to focus entirely on this new market segment. That said, it is obvious that private companies need to re-think and adapt their communication strategies and resources if they want to position themselves successfully on the new trading platforms. Feel free to contact us if you need advice on trading your company´s shares on the private market.

Food for Thought: How Can Biotech & Medtech Companies Benefit from SEO?

There are a lot of service providers offering Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But what do biotech and medtech companies really need to increase their online visibility? Three things are essential in our view:

First, if someone has heard about your enterprise, he or she should find your company’s name and website among the top three entries of Google’s search engine hit list. Ideally this should also work if the user spells the name wrong.

Second, a user should find your company by typing in a short string of keywords. As an example, an investor, journalist etc. might be interested in looking for biotech companies developing novel antibodies for the treatment of baldness. In this case your company should show up on the first page of Google hits if the user has typed in “biotech” “antibodies” and “baldness” or “novel treatments” and ”baldness”.

Third, your company should show also up in search results covering a broader field. In the example given above, a search engine should retrieve your company’s name and website for “biotech” and “antibodies” and rank them as high as possible.

The rest of SEO is negligible for biotech and medtech companies as they are not selling consumer goods. Did you ever meet a potential collaboration partner who has screened thousands of Google hits related to your company? Probably not. If you are lucky, he may have read about your company in one of the important trade publications and already has you on his radar. If you are not so lucky, he may wonder why he has never read anything about your company in one of those important trade publications – despite your leading-edge technology and thousands of Google hits.

But how to accomplish the three goals mentioned above? There are no tricks involved – feel free to spend a lot of time and money trying to outsmart Google’s algorithms but you will learn that Google adapts faster than a bacterium acquires resistance to penicillin.

SEO success is based on carefully crafted key messages on your company, a bit of HTML editing and constant work to keep your website up-to-date, presenting new and interesting and – above all – relevant content.

The main task is to carefully think about the keywords important for your business. These need to be presented on your website in a way that Google’s earch engine can see and recognize them. This requires basic knowledge of HTML – not a lot more. The most important task is continuous communication – keep the world updated by adding news and novel information and by providing useful links, e.g. to pharma and academic partners, articles, patents, wikipedia entries relevant for your business, official statistics, market data, etc.

Thereby, you will not only ensure that your company shows up in search engine results prominently, but you will also build your company´s reputation among people interested in your field.

If you want to know more, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Food for Thought: How Bad is Big Pharma? An Analysis of Public Perception in the U.S.

Despite growing complaints about the negative reputation of the pharmaceutical industry, little fundamental research data has been available on the topic so far.

A detailed analysis by George P.  Sillup and Stephen J. Porth published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing supports the evidence. Following an audit of the top five U.S. newspapers over two years (2004-2005), Sillup and Porth concluded that the overall coverage of the pharmaceutical industry was primarily negative (69.5% and 60.1% in 2004 and 2005, respectively) and that “pharmaceutical companies need to take action to address the negative impression about them.”

In our view, the findings underline the importance of a sustainable, long-term communication strategy targeting all relevant stakeholders, including patients and the general public.

Further details and the full article (pdf) can be found at the Emerald Insight website:  http://bit.ly/axb8X0

Source: George P.  Sillup and Stephen J. Porth in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2008, pp. 163-180