CRISPR Technology Will Transform Life Science

Jul 12, 2018 11:45:36 AM / by John Kouten, CEO posted in digital communications, life science marketing, life science PR


We know that CRISPR is an emerging technology that holds the promise of radically changing the way we treat and, potentially, prevent and cure human diseases. We have already seen Biotech companies such as Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP), Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA) and Editas Medicine (EDIT) invest millions of dollars into this technology and pave the way toward countless therapeutic options for many common and rare diseases.   

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Top Five Tips for Communicating about Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Jul 5, 2018 4:39:06 PM / by John Kouten, CEO posted in digital communications, digital marketing, life science marketing, life science PR, life science communications


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all around us and is improving almost every facet of our lives. As a life science-focused public relations firm, JFK Communications is most interested in how AI will improve human life and how the Biotech and Pharmaceutical industry will utilize AI.  Already we are seeing companies such as Insilico Medicine collaborating with GSK to accelerate drug discovery.  As well as Flatiron, which is using big data, technology and AI to improve cancer outcomes one patient at a time.

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Public Relations ROI: Reporting Results that Grow Budgets

May 29, 2018 10:04:36 AM / by John Kouten, CEO posted in digital communications, digital marketing, life science marketing, life science PR, life science communications


Public relations return on investment (ROI) is a constantly debated topic. Unlike sales, advertising, and marketing -- public relations has traditionally been more difficult to track. So how do you know if your PR efforts are accomplishing what you set out to accomplish?

The following list can help:
  • Plan the work; work the plan. All public relations plans should include objectives, strategies, tactics, timelines, budgets and expected outcomes. The public relations agency and client should be in agreement regarding reasonable expectations.
  • Establish mutually agreed-upon metrics. After the PR agency and client agree on metrics, it’s the agency’s job to report and deliver on the metrics. One of the best ways to do this is by tying results back to the client’s main objectives.
  • Build relationships. While difficult to quantify, most clients desire strong relationships from its PR partner. Relationships with media, KOLs, patient advocacy groups, and influential academic and governmental press officers. Set a goal of how many relationships you will establish and nurture for your client.
  • Quantify media placement value. Negotiate with your client the value of different kinds of earned media placements. A national mainstream TV or newspaper placement may carry more weight than an online trade magazine.
In addition to these considerations, good PR firms should also develop dashboard metrics for the following PR deliverables:
  • Development of approved media messages;
  • Number of journalists relationships;
  • Social media engagement metrics;
  • Number of patient advocacy engagements;
  • Development and maintenance of an online press room;
  • Number of blogger relationships;
  • Development and management of an issues management process;
  • Development of approved corporate Q&A; and
  • Number of media-trained spokespersons.

Dashboard tracking should be used to efficiently track metrics. ROI Dashboards report successfully completed, in progress, and failed-to-complete metrics. Dashboards help keep an honest and open relationship with the client and the agency. It can reveal flaws in a plan unknown in the beginning of the relationship.

If your agency is not offering any ROI or dashboard metrics, ask them why. If you are not requiring any ROI metrics from your agency, you should consider building expectations up front. This will contribute to the agency/client trust and contribute to a long-term relationship and PR success.

If you are seeking better PR metrics, please download our new E-book: Maximizing Public
Relations Agency ROI -- A Focus on Life Science Organizations.

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Rare Diseases are Not so Rare

Mar 7, 2018 4:00:46 PM / by John Kouten, CEO posted in digital communications, digital marketing, life science marketing, rare diseases, orphan drugs, life science PR, life science communications


JFK Communications attended the sixth annual Rare Disease Day in Trenton.  This critical event was convened to draw attention to the need for greater awareness of, and investment in, rare disease treatments.

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Top 10 Life Science Blogs

Feb 21, 2018 3:46:22 PM / by John Kouten, CEO posted in digital communications, digital marketing, life science marketing


As life science marketers and communication experts, we must stay abreast of the 24-hour pharma, biotech and medical technology news cycle. Our life science public relations partners rely on our ability to stay plugged-in and apply this knowledge to our strategic communication consulting.

Following is our top-10 list of life science blogs to keep life science marketers plugged-in and on the pulse of the pharma/biotech industry.

Feedback welcome! Let us know why this list stinks and why yours is better. Thanks for reading!!

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If You Feel like Something is Missing – Give Something Away

Oct 31, 2017 12:30:30 PM / by John Kouten, CEO posted in Agency Culture, Breast cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Central and South Jers


As I prepare our JFK Communications team for our 14th year supporting the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, I am feeling very privileged. I live in the best country in the world with freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. I was lucky to grow up in rural New Jersey in a large family with strong moral values and a stronger work ethic. In additional to many family activities I recall an emphasis on education and A LOT of chores!

But more important, I remember learning about those less fortunate than us. I learned that if we all put our problems in the middle of the table we would fight to get our problems back. We raised money, we walked, we volunteered.

I was born fifth out of six as John Francis Kouten (JFK). John F. Kennedy had just been assassinated, and, not by accident, my name was an homage to this great leader. In addition to his countless accomplishments (e.g., Marine medal of heroism in WW II, averting war with Russia, civil rights supporter, gender equality, etc.) JFK, the president, believed in the healing properties of selfless service.

Politics aside (and any other bias you may have against President Kennedy), I am a firm believer in his vision, which is captured in his famous quote:

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