Building a franchise
Starting in 2008, I embarked on a 12-year relationship with a leading Silicon Valley law firm that wanted to increase its market share of life sciences companies. To start, I landscaped the market in each region where the firm had a practice, identified key industry organizations in those reasons and began a campaign to develop relationships with those organizations and create opportunities for the attorneys to demonstrate their expertise at industry events. I also worked with the CMO to build a life sciences resource for the attorneys on the firm’s intranet site.
Eight years ago, when the firm recognized the potential of the emerging digital health sector, I mapped the sector and worked closely with a particular associate took the lead leveraging the firm’s strong life sciences and tech practices to target digital health companies. I also provided the team a significant study on the payer/provider landscape and how they interacted with the emerging sector. I worked with the team to develop a marketing strategy directed at digital health companies including a blog which I researched and wrote for the lead attorney, now a partner – Over the next seven years the firm has grown to become the leading law firm serving digital health companies.
Reworking a web site to improve UX
A designer I work with approached me about a client of his that needed a new website. I rewrote the site and worked with the client and the designer to restructure it so it was easier to navigate more relevant to the new generation of physicians that were replacing their long-time customers. Here’s what the client had to say:
As a medical device company, we were looking for someone with exceptional writing, editing and organizational skills able to direct a major overhaul of the content existing on our 20+ year old corporate website.
The project required an extensive amount of editing and re-organization of existing content as well as strategizing on the creation of new easily understood and user-friendly content for updates to patient information sections.
Overall, we were extremely pleased with the project results, an updated site with web content that was technically concise, fresh and engaging.
It was a pleasure working together with someone who had such a positive can-do attitude throughout the project. I would consider re-hiring this individual for future projects.”
-Suzanne Grey, President
Strategies for growth
I have a long-term, on-going consulting relationship with a life sciences industry publisher that produces daily regional newsletters. Over the years I have stepped in and helped him with special editorial or research projects. Recently, when he wanted to expand to additional markets, he asked me to help him analyze several potential regions. My initial research indicated that Philadelphia was a strong candidate for expansion. I followed up by spending a week on the ground interviewing stakeholders and potential advertisers. The outcome of that research confirmed that Philadelphia would be able to support a new publication. The newsletter launched six months later and quickly rivaled the existing newsletters in terms of subscribers and advertising support.
Last year he approached me about doing a series of year-in-review reports to help him expand his brand and increase the visibility of his business during the all-important week of the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. I worked with him to identify and enlist data partners for the reports pull the final reports and accompanying analysis together.
Pivoting during COVID
I started working with a diagnostic company at the beginning of 2020 shortly after they received clearance for their first rapid PCR test for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Their strategy was been to focus on sexually transmitted infections since these account for the bulk of diagnostic tests. In addition to the rapid testing, they were also marketing home tests for STIs.
Then came COVID. I worked with the company’s leadership team to develop an intensive media campaign illustrating the company’s pivot from a STI testing company to a provider of population health solutions to businesses, schools and public agencies. And the company recently received a CLIA waiver for chlamydia and gonorrhea testing on its rapid testing platform.
Rebranding and re-positioning after the loss of a co-founder
When an events producer unexpected lost her business partner, I helped her conduct a strategic review of her current properties and how she might expand her existing event portfolio. Over the next several years I worked with her to reposition some programs and develop new ones. I eventually took responsibility for all of the company’s communications functions including a rebranding initiative, a redesign of five websites, media relations, communications with investors and presenting companies and scripting all of her public remarks.
Coming out of stealth mode
A medical device company that recently received its first clearance from the FDA came to me to help it position itself as it emerged from stealth mode. I handled all the communications functions for the company including the review and placement of medical journal articles. I worked closely with the CMO to ensure that none of the company’s statement ran afoul of the FDA. When the company was having trouble recruiting volunteers for a clinical trial, I developed and launched a social media ad campaign that helped them successfully enroll enough volunteers to start the trial.
Research to improve access to innovation therapies
The Kauffman Foundation, in the interest of improving the relationship between life sciences and pharmaceutical companies and university technology transfer offices, retained me to develop, execute and report on a national survey of biopharmaceutical companies who had recently completed a tech licensing transaction with a university. I engaged a third-party opinion research firm and worked with them to create and refine a survey instrument. The final product was an 11-page report detailing the survey findings and identifying opportunities to improve the interactions between biopharma companies and university tech transfer officers. In addition, I conducted a series of interviews with the leaders of foundations dedicated to bringing innovation treatments to patients.
Kauffman used the report to identify best practices in the area of tech licensing agreements when working with a variety to stakeholders to increase patient access to innovative therapies.
Finding the keys to success
KLABs was a boot camp for founders created by the Kauffman Foundation. I was retained by KLABs to create a 20-page report based on interviews with the first cohort of founders. The objective was to see if, through the interviews, key attributes of successful founders could be identified. The analysis involved going through two sets of interviews with the founders: one when the entered the program, and one when they exited. The report focused on what factors drive the founders, how the founders’ products evolved over the course of the program, what was their perceived value of the program and how the founders felt the program helped them grow as both entrepreneurs and individuals.
I was brought into this medical device company by the CTO to create a series of articles about the company’s technology that the executive team could use in their fundraising activities. After meeting with the CEO and learning in more detail about the company’s goals and objectives, we pivoted from a content-based campaign to creating an investor event/open house at the company’s site. The evening event was attended by more than 70 investors who saw a short presentation from the CEO and had the opportunity to view a longer video demonstration of the device. Live demos of the device were also offered in the lab. The event resulted in several one-on-one investor meetings for the CEO.
Building a personal brand
One year during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, I was having cocktails with an intellectual property attorney who shared how he wanted to increase his visibility as a speaker on innovation. He explained that he had a huge backlog of videos from speaking engagements he had done but didn’t have the time or necessarily the expertise to leverage them. As a result of our chat, I started by going through his existing material and developed nine posts to launch the blog site. I also worked closely with a developer and designer to relaunch his website to accommodate the blog, a series of videos of his presentations and to improve the UX. He continues to cull through old material to flesh out the site with an eye to retiring from his law practice to devote full-time to the speaking circuit.
Leveraging social media
I worked with an intellectual property attorney to create content for social media and overhaul the production of his often-neglected blog site in order to increase his profile with clients and within his firm. Over the course of two years, he noted how many of his contacts reached out to him in response to his social media posts. He has since taken on a leadership role within his firm.
Meeting a strict deadline
When an intellectual property law firm wanted to relaunch its website to celebrate its move to new offices, the web developer brought me in to help the partner coordinating the project pull together new content and update existing content. The partner conceded that they may not have made their goal of having the site launch in conjunction with their office move without my help.
Tracking digital health
In the early days of digital health (called mHealth at the time), I was so intrigued with the potential for this new technology that I founded and acted as managing editor of a digital health news site called Mobile Health Market News that tracked the development and evolution of the sector and provided analysis. In that role I was often asked to share my insights with analysts and consultants. Subscribers and sponsors grew at a healthy pace and my data was even cited in Scientific American.
More recently, I have grown frustrated that sources tracking digital health investments do not distinguish between back-office infrastructure tools and apps that actually provide direct benefit to patients, since 2020 I have been partnering with a data provider to track digital therapeutic deals for my clients and industry contacts. I landscape the market quarterly to identify which emerging companies are developing true patient-facing therapeutics and provide my analysis of trends. Starting in 2021, I began including venture investments in my analyses.