PR View by Melissa Hill

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When it comes to life science companies, change can happen overnight. Each morning we wake up to a flurry of headlines affecting the industry, including product failures and setbacks, proposed legislation impacting product exclusivity and new scientific discoveries. While these might be ordinary headlines to most of us, for employees and shareholders involved in these companies, these news events can mean significant change.

With change comes an opportunity for communication and a need for information. As the life science industry matures and companies grow, this presents an even greater challenge in communicating effectively with all key stakeholders. Companies that were once a small group of employees sitting around the boardroom are blossoming into organizations with numerous departments and locations. 

Keeping these employees aware of the company's mission, milestones, achievements and setbacks becomes critical with growth. As life science companies experience change with growth, it provides an ideal time to assess internal and external perceptions. Are employees aware of the company's vision? Are they aware of how the company positions itself to its shareholders? Do they know the plan for the upcoming product approval and launch? 

And equally as important, do external perceptions match internal perceptions? Do shareholders and customers know the direction of the company? Do shareholders know the timeline for your product launch? Make these questions a regular part of your communications plan. Don't be afraid to ask these questions; you might be surprised by what you hear.

As the tide shifts for life science companies, the famous words “knowledge is power” ring true for all of our key stakeholders.

Melissa Hill is VP at Porter Novelli Life Sciences

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