Science and the power of the written word 2.0
04 November, 2016
Victoria explores the changes within science and pharmaceutical media.
Of course I’m going to say that the written word is mighty, I work in PR. But if it is possible, in the world of science PR it has become even mightier over recent years – in my humble opinion. I’ll explain why:
I predominately work with clients in the science industry – anything from pharmaceuticals to agriculture – and have seen first-hand that the media is changing.
Gone are the days where PRs would take journalists out for lunch to pitch their clients’ latest scoop. Instead, journalist numbers are shrinking, but at the same time the pressure on them to produce content, not only for the publication’s next issue, but also for the website, various social media accounts, newsletter etc., is increasing.
How can we help?
Interestingly, I have found, particularly in my work in the pharmaceutical media, that more and more journalists want unique content. This means supplying articles that are developed specifically for their title and their audience.
This makes sense. In a time when a digital publication can be created with relative ease, standing out and differentiating becomes essential. Unique content makes that possible, and by utilising the excellent relationships we have with the press we are able to support journalists in this endeavour.
To do this we regularly pitch content ideas for articles to journalists (unfortunately not over lunch) on our clients’ behalf. Yes, it takes longer to write a full article, (sometimes up to 2000 words!), but the exposure of having a larger piece in a publication is arguably more valuable.
Writing such lengthy articles in target titles also means that you have the chance to demonstrate the company’s industry leadership in a particular area. This is valuable to all companies, from start-ups wanting to gain share of voice, to market leaders wanting to maintain market share.
Of course this also gives the opportunity to target your content at specific publications. So you can speak to scientists with an article on your latest R&D, and target primary care workers with an article on how a new product could affect their work.
This is ultimately a win-win for everyone: the company (or its PR team) writes an article with the exact messages it wants to convey (providing they aren’t too overt) to the audience, the publication gains content tailored directly to their audience, and the audience reads an article entirely relevant to their interests.
It’s not an exact science
Now I’m not saying that ‘the press release is dead’. For certain stories (appointment releases, awards announcements, contract wins, etc.) a press release is entirely appropriate for this media. But it is unlikely to get you the page / double page spread you so desperately desire in your target publication.
Instead a much more targeted and successful approach for us has been to build relationships with the pharmaceutical media. By utilising this we are able to better understand their requirements, and work to gain editorial opportunities for our clients.
This article was written by Victoria Ellis, one of our Senior Account Managers. Victoria works predominantly on our B2B PR accounts including Bayer’s Crop Science division and Durbin, a global pharmaceutical logistics company. Prior to joining KISS, Victoria gained a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Manchester.