The best Pharma PR programs will address several issues as they work with pharmaceutical clients. These issues include the following…
Because there are so many drugs on the market, and many of them have more than one recognized use, educational materials become important. Not only will the PR people help develop brochures and handouts for patients, but also for providers and for the media. All three categories of recipients will likely need a different depth of information. So PR experts will need to work well with pharma and medical experts to prepare the information to meet the needs of those involved. Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) will also be needed in this process and many others.
2. Identify future KOLs.
Key Opinion Leaders will be called upon to answer questions from media as well as government agencies about the pharmaceuticals being produced or developed by a company. They also need to have some distance from the Pharma companies so they can operate with minimal conflicts of interest. Because of the level of understanding of products and necessary ability to remain unbiased as to the effects and uses of a drug, KOLs tend to be in short supply and great demand at all times. PR experts often are the first to recognize when a doctor seems to have the needed abilities as well as an ease speaking to groups. So the PR experts can help with the development of doctors toward them becoming KOLs down the road by increasing their involvement and time in front of groups discussing the ins and outs of a particular drug or treatment.
Not all doctors or corporate officers are good at talking with the average person on the street. They either don’t know how to talk at an easily understood basic level, or they are so used to talking with people in their field that they use industry terms not understood by Average Joe. PR experts, however, have spent their careers learning and improving these very skills. That means they can either do the talking for the company or coach the experts on better communication skills.
The pharmaceutical industry has taken some tough hits in the last several years. R&D is so expensive that many companies have cut back significantly on those efforts and many of their big earners have patents that are almost ended. That’s not mentioning the regulatory issues from the FDA or any legal concerns. An innovative PR group helps because they know how to get information out, keep efforts transparent for official agencies, and still produce effective products at affordable prices.