5 reasons why press releases should be part of your life science marketing strategy
No matter the size of your organisation, reaching out to your target audience and sharing relevant news with them is crucial to help you build a positive brand reputation and to ensure your company and products are well-known in the market. After all, people cannot buy something they have never heard of and will not buy from a company they don’t know and trust.
Public relations can help you boost brand awareness and trust by using different channels to manage and nurture the reputation of your business. One tactic that is particularly cost-effective and impactful is the writing and distribution of press releases.
What is a press release?
A press release (also known as a media statement, news release or media release) is typically a short, well-written communication that announces company news or information. The intention is to share the press release with the media in the hope that they’ll spread the word with their audiences by publishing it in print or on their website/blog. They may also share it on their social media profiles and via their email newsletter.
For an organisation in the life sciences, a press release, if written and distributed effectively, can be a major step towards larger business goals. For example, if your company has a new product or campaign to launch, you could drive improved business results if potential customers get sight of the news in the media.
5 reasons to send a press release
Below we outline the 5 main advantages that press releases offer to life science companies, and why you should consider sending them as part of your wider marketing and communications strategy.
1. Press releases deliver rapid exposure to a wide audience
A well-crafted press release can put your brand in front of lots of relevant people with just a morning’s worth of work. What’s more, thanks to the speed of web publishing, your news item could be published on an array of life science media websites within a 24-to-48-hour period, helping you to quickly reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of relevant prospects, customers, investors and other stakeholders. While it can take longer for your news to be published in print, this can sometimes be an advantage, as it helps ensure your news is still reaching people several weeks and months later.
Generating widespread exposure is only possible if you have created a well-written press release. This is key in helping not only the journalist who’s reading it to understand it better, but it’ll help ensure the news is more widely understood by the public (if you need help putting a winning press release together, here are 10 tips for writing a world-class life science press release).
Some life science publications have a broad reach, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. These publications are great if you want to reach as many life science professionals as possible. In other cases, niche publications exist that may only have a few thousand subscribers, but you can target them safe in the knowledge that they serve exactly the right people likely to be interested in your news.
It is also worth noting that many different people can influence purchase decisions in academic and industrial organisations, particularly when the products or services you’re selling have a high cost and/or a complex sales process. As such, it’s important to try to reach as much of your audience as possible for the best chance of capturing the attention of the right people. The distribution of press releases that get picked up by the media can help.
2. Sending a press release is cost-effective
A press release is a cost-effective, time-efficient way to reach as much of your target audience as possible with your company news. Compared to the time, budget and resources it takes to create ads, conduct search engine optimisation (SEO), send out paid email blasts, or a wide range of other tactics, press releases allow you to reach a wide audience for a low cost. This makes press releases a great option for gaining repeat visibility (as you can likely afford to send out a stream of press releases over time).
The cost-effective nature of press releases can be particularly important for smaller life sciences organisation looking to scale, where you’re likely trying to make your public relations/marketing budgets go as far as possible. Meanwhile, if your life sciences organisation does have a large enough budget, a press release may be just one tactic you decide to use. But it could potentially cost as little as the time of the person who writes and sends it out, so it’s a no brainer to include it as part of your strategy to help spread the word even further.
3. Press releases offer powerful SEO benefits
Outside of the brand exposure offered by press releases, you can also use them to improve the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your website.
One of the most impactful but challenging aspects of SEO is creating high-quality backlinks to your website. When websites that are well-respected by search engines like Google include a link to your site, it is a signal that your website is also a high-quality website (which is a critical factor influencing how high up in search results your website is featured). Typically, it is hard to convince the owners of well-respected websites to link back to your site… but with a press release, this becomes much easier. For this reason, you should include relevant backlinks in your press release, so that when it is published on relevant life science new sites, you are creating an array of backlinks at the same time.
4. You control the narrative of your news
You can’t control what the press say and write about your company, but you can help drive the narrative around your brand by frequently issuing and distributing press releases that position your company in a positive light. The more coverage that you can secure for news items that you seed (via a press release), the more you can influence the conversation and help to drown out any stories that might not be so favourable for your team and company.
5. Press releases help establish relationships with the life sciences media
Issuing a press release doesn’t necessarily mean that the media will automatically pick it up and run with it. Media outlets will need to consider whether the news topic is of interest to their readers or if it will benefit their audience to read the information that you’re sharing.
However, by sending out a regular cadence of high-quality, interesting press releases you can start to build your relationship with the media, so that they start to recognise your company and the types of news you share. Eventually, they will get to know your company and trust you as a source of interesting views and content. In many cases, they may even start to actively approach you for comments on relevant news items they are working on. In other words, even when you don’t have a press release to share or proactively pitch to the media, they will start coming to you!
Whilst it’s often a good idea to share information with your target audience, not every topic is likely to be deemed ‘newsworthy’ by the press and sharing irrelevant or low-impact news with the life science media can actually hurt your reputation. Therefore, we suggest thinking carefully before you write and issue your press release (to help you decide when a topic warrants sending a press release, check out our blog on 16 ‘newsworthy’ reasons to send one).
Getting your news to the media
Ultimately, your public relations strategy should aim to do two things: share your information with your target audiences and affect public perception (ideally in a positive way). Writing and distributing a press release as part of your strategy is an affordable and time-saving way of communicating key information to a wide audience via the life science media. However, the approach will only work if you know which media personnel to contact and how to get them to pay attention to your news.
Fortunately, you don’t have to distribute your press release yourself. Instead, you could consider using a newswire distribution service, which will have a team that has already built-up established relationships with the media and will ensure they pay attention to your news item. Interested to learn more? If so, here are 5 benefits of using a newswire.