The ROI of Communications
Last week, I watched a biotech CEO struggle with his very reluctant recognition that he needs to make a significant increase in his budget, and his time, for communications. The struggle was visceral: he won’t be able to measure how this money and time will support the company’s pipeline. It would be less painful for him if the increase was going to areas with a benefit he can quantify, like meetings with investors or setting up a sales and marketing function
This CEO is not unusual. Companies need to measure their return on investment and unquantifiable areas, like communications, like reputation, are hard to measure. This unquantifiability too often acts like an invisibility cloak because these areas don’t show up in standard ROI systems. This invisibility is dangerous. Revenues are quantifiable. Trust, respect, goodwill are not. But the loss of them in the biopharmaceutical industry has led to substitutes like the Sunshine Act, like billions of dollars in fines, that are only too measurable.
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