How to get the most out of your time at BIO
If you were at last year’s BIO International Conference in Washington, D.C., It’s likely you noticed the Massachusetts Pavilion – whether you had an interest in Massachusetts, or not, – simply because of the crowds. They were there for major announcements, like the State’s formalized life sciences relationship with Israel; and high-level presentations, like the one by Governor Patrick, not to mention the party celebrating Massachusetts as the location for BIO 2012.
BIO 2012 is only a week away. Figuring that I am not the only communications person gearing up for the event, I went to the man who handled the BIO communications for his organization so spectacularly last year to ask some questions. That man would be Angus McQuilkin, Vice President for Communications for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
What is your advice for public relations and investor relations professionals looking to get the best results for their organizations and make the most of their time at BIO?
Framing what your announcement is going to be is key. Announcements of broad interest to the industry as a whole, with international partners, will get more attention than others. So, frame your announcements by their broad impact on the sector and pull in partners from other parts of the world to join you in making them. That’s certainly what we’re planning to do with the Center. It’s always a good idea to attend others’ press events so you can see what does and doesn’t work. I recommend people put some on their calendars, even if they are not impacted directly.
For those who didn’t know, you can request the media registration list from BIO. It’s best to reach out to reporters ahead of time before their calendars fill up. The local media market will matter a great deal this year, too, because the Massachusetts super cluster is a window to what is going on in the life sciences around the world. Local media can help get key messages out to an important audience.
There will be an increased focus on social media this year, so think through your social media strategy and spend some time on it. You can take advantage of the Buzz Center (new this year) to leverage and learn how to use it for the future.
Spend energy building relationships with companies, international organizations and media who attend. I do this every year, plus the legwork of establishing more relationships. You can’t overstate the importance of relationships in communications. Go out and create a network with the people who participate in BIO each year. And, of course, stop by the Massachusetts Pavilion!
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