Public Relations: Targeting Partners - Pharmaceutical Executive


Public Relations: Targeting Partners
PR can facilitate business partnerships by targeting messages to key players.

Pharmaceutical Executive

An easy way to identify which media are most appropriate is to conduct an internal media audit among similar functional business areas within your own organization. Ask scientists, executives, and marketers which publications and reporters they follow, and use this list of media gatekeepers as the heart of media outreach.

To play the media game, however, PR executives must get publications to include them in their coverage. Just as in seeking a business partner, the PR/media relationship is a quid pro quo. And PR must be able to pass on the information the media needs to inform their readers—another reason why the PR team must have a nuanced view of every department in the company.

Not only does public relations need to have a sound understanding of its company's science, its potential market impact, and its influence on the company's business, but it also needs to be in a position to drive this information to the appropriate audiences. That means communicating every message—whether it's about how the manufacturer strategically fills a void in a product pipeline, reduces overall research and development time and expenditures, enhances an intellectual-property portfolio, extends a compound's life cycle, or augments an in-house capability with new technology—from the point of view of how the company addresses and fills the needs of its desired partners.

Done right, that task will seat public relations squarely where it belongs—at the front table alongside other key pharmaceutical drug development and business functions, creating alliances that benefit all parties involved.

Paul Kidwell is a Boston-based independent public relations consultant. He can be reached at


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