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Following all the COVID-19 Lingo? Don’t Worry, We Got Your Back

Universal COVID-19 Vaccination - A PR Problem?

Maximizing your Media Monitoring

Setting the Tone – Positive Leadership Under Pressure

The flow of negative Coronavirus news is non-stop. We are being asked to shelter in place, and if we emerge for necessary provisions or simply to get fresh air, we are required to socially distance. And depending on what models you follow; the worst is yet to come.

Despite these grim realities, it is incumbent on leaders to set a positive tone for its organization in order to command control and instill confidence. Regardless if we are a small business or multi-national corporation, or a non-profit or academic organization, our key publics demand answers, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

In Healthcare Public Relations – Start with the Patient

Pharma marketers must be in a constant state of learning and adaptation.  The speed of medical advancement only seems to be outpaced by the speed of information.  And this information is placing patients squarely in the driver’s seat when it comes to their health and their healthcare decisions.

Why Your Business Still Needs Press Releases In 2018

Public Relations professionals often debate if the press release is dead. Many people rely on social media as a primary source for news. According to Forbes, 63% of both Facebook and Twitter users receive their news from the social media. Some companies consider this trend as a reason to abandon press releases.  And, while announcing news on a social channel may be strategic in some cases, well-written press releases are mainstay for corporate news distribution in 2018.

Top Five Ways to Work with Healthcare Mom Bloggers

Mom bloggers, considered among the most valuable Digital Influencers, can be a critical component of your public relations and marketing programs. Mom bloggers are particularly sought-after for healthcare opinion leadership since women and mothers drive most of the household healthcare decisions.

Is Your Corporation Lost?

In a global sea of thousands of life science companies, getting lost can be easy. It is vital for corporations to develop and maintain a strong corporate image to ensure long-term business success. And, increasingly in a world of constant connectivity, corporations are delivering messages directly to their target audiences. In a recent Forbes survey of 2,500 U.S. adults, on perceptions of 100 corporate brands, Johnson & Johnson prevailed as number one.

Patient Engagement vs Patient Advocacy

JFK Communication is witnessing a new trend in healthcare. The terms Patient Engagement and Patient Advocacy are being used interchangeably. So, are these two functions different?

CRISPR Technology Will Transform Life Science

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.   

Top Five Tips for Communicating about Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

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.

Public Relations ROI: Reporting Results that Grow Budgets

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.

Rare Diseases are Not so Rare

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.

Top 10 Life Science Blogs

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!!

If You Feel like Something is Missing – Give Something Away

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:

Use Infographics to Tell Your Complex Life Science Story

As life science communicators, we know that the story is everything. And, as we witness the emergence of new technologies designed to treat diseases in a more effective and targeted way, the stories can get very complicated. The explosion of immuno-oncology treatments and gene expression profiling tools will improve our ability to deliver precision medicine solutions through increased efficacy, fewer side effects, and improved economic outcomes.

But with all these improvements, life science innovators are challenged to explain these advances to the non-scientist. Physicians, patients, caregivers, and investors need help understanding these complex technologies.

Infographics to the Rescue

A picture is worth a thousand words. An infographic (information graphic) is a representation of information in a graphic format designed to make the data easily understandable at a glance. Infographics can also simplify large amounts of data, graphically reveal data patterns and relationships and show data variables over time. Infographics predate writing as a means of disseminating information -- cave drawings are probably the earliest known example. People were also creating and using maps before the advent of written language.

Thankfully the proliferation of smart-phone technology and an almost universal access to digital media channels, provides an ideal palate for infographics. Digital media channels enable the development of infographics combined with the powerful benefit of liking, sharing, commenting and dialogue.

Top 5 free Infographic Tools

Thankfully a plethora of tools exist to help you get started making your own infographics.
  1. Canva: Canva helps make design simple. Whether you’re a design newbie or a seasoned professional, Canva makes creating designs and documents easy through its collection of professionally-designed layouts.
  2. Infogram: Infogram offers over 35 interactive charts and more than 500 maps to help you visualize your data. Create a variety of charts including column, bar, pie, or word cloud. You can also add a map to your infographic or report.
  3. Visme: Visme helps turn static infographics into interactive infographics with built-in animations. When you share your infographic as a URL, visitors will see the animated infographic upon visiting and as they scroll down the page depending on the animations you have set.
  4. Venngage: Venngage is focused on infographics. Unlike many other services who offer to create slideshows, reports, and wireframes, Venngage promises that it can help you to create a beautiful infographic in just three easy steps.
  5. Piktochart: There's a team of designers behind Piktochart’s 500 infographic templates. Templates are updated on a weekly basis and include icons, photos/videos, charts, and maps that you can drag and drop into your infographic – there's no need to search around the web for hours to find what you need.
We welcome your feedback. Please let us know if this information has been helpful. Please feel free to share any feedback regarding our blog, especially your experience utilizing infographics. And if you need help developing your infographics, please reach out and challenge us.

Start-Up Life Science Dilemma – To PR or not to PR?

As the leader or CEO of a life science start-up or mid-stage, your company reputation and your proprietary technology are your main priorities.

Scott Gottlieb, MD and the Orphan Drug Modernization Act

Scott Gottlieb, MD, appointed as FDA commissioner in May 2017, has made some fast progress. According to the FDA Voice, The FDA has reviewed the backlog of orphan designation requests that were more than 120 days old. And they accomplished this goal on August 28, 2017 – nearly a month ahead of their September 21 deadline.

Yes Folks - Size Matters

Your blog size depends on key strategic factors

We all know that blogs are a vital component of a comprehensive, integrated inbound life science marketing program. But what is the ideal length for the most effective blog?

The Top Four Reasons We Value Online Communications

Communicating online aligns more with the academic definition of communication -- two-way communication that includes delivering and receiving messages. The best online communicators understand this rule of thumb – listening is as important as sharing. In a world where everyone wants to be heard, it makes sense that we have two ears and only one mouth!

Top Three Challenges Facing Orphan Drug Candidates

Prior to the passage of the 1983 Orphan Drug Act, just 34 drugs were approved to treat rare diseases, leaving small patients populations with few options for their rare diseases. That number has since skyrocketed with the implementation of the Orphan Drug Act. In 2016 alone, the FDA designated 333 drugs in development as orphans and approved 39 products, including both novel medicines and new orphan uses of approved drugs. Since the Orphan Drug Act took effect, The FDA has designated 3,600 orphan drugs and approved 552 orphan drugs.

Life Science Companies Should Ride the Social Media Wave or Risk Drowning

Despite the existence of guidelines, only a few life science companies integrate social media in their marketing mix. Still, others stay away from online and social media completely. The best life science companies know they must catch the digital wave or risk alienating their target audiences and losing ground on their competition. They also know that this wave is large, choppy and complex, so it is wise to wear a life-jacket.

Biopharmaceutical Industry under a Trump Administration – Great News, Right?

A conservative, pro-business president who campaigned on reducing taxes, reducing regulations, improving U.S. trade policies and creating jobs. Sounds great for the life science industry. Right?

Not so fast.

At his January 31, 2017 meeting with pharmaceutical industry leaders, reviews were mixed. Right out of the gate, president Trump decreed the following:

Caring for Cancer with CancerCare

Thank you #CancerCare New Jersey!

 The 2016 annual CancerCare New Jersey Walk/Run for Hope was an amazing success!

PR Professionals: Know What You Don't Know

For new graduates, adjusting to the working world compared to the academic world has proven to be more challenging than expected. In the academic world, you go to class and are expected to have the answers for all of your exams and assignments. In the professional environment, there is no way you could have all of the answers, instead you are expected to “know what you don’t know”.
Not knowing how to handle a challenging situation is not a weakness; the weakness lies in not seeking out those who can help you. It is imperative that you learn this lesson sooner rather than later, or you will set yourself up for failure.

Rider University PRSSA Hosts Crisis Communications Panel Discussion

I was privileged to serve on a panel of experts at Rider University on March 31, 2015, discussing the role of public relations in a crisis.  

As a corporate communications officer for major global pharmaceutical companies, especially in my role as a product public relations executive, crisis communications was an ever-present aspect of my job.

The Rider PRSSA chapter convened a distinguished panel of experts (present company excluded) to discuss crisis communications best practices. And, based on the excellent direction of our student moderators, a number of key themes emerged.

Following are core strategies for successful crisis communications:

Life Sciences in New Jersey – why it's going to last! (Clone)

John Kouten, CEO, recently had the opportunity to share his insight on the future of the life sciences industry in New Jersey with NJ Biz.  Take a look!

JFK Communications Supports BioNJ Annual CEO Summit (Clone)


JFK Communications, Inc recently supported BioNJ's annual CEO Summit. US1 included our letter summarizing the event on November 18, 2015.