No matter how careful you are as a company, you can quickly find yourself in the center of a crisis you didn’t expect. When that crisis disrupts operations or threatens the reputation of the company, you must act swiftly but carefully.
The Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of healthcare communications.
One of our clients, a recently public diagnostics company, settled an ongoing royalty dispute with a major pharmaceutical company. The settlement amount was significantly lower than what our client had accrued, resulting in nearly $750 thousand upside to their P&L in the upcoming quarter.
After nearly 20 years of working in healthcare communications, the excitement never gets old for me. What’s not to love about an industry that’s critical to life itself, rife with issues and controversy, and delivers a solid dose of the unexpected on a daily basis?
In my mind, a highlight is the problem solving our job requires every day. Whether pursuing an opportunity, managing an issue or leveraging an insight, it’s our responsibility to chart the path forward on behalf of our clients.
There are many things public companies must consider when disseminating news. What is the most appropriate vehicle to disclose news to investors? In some instances, you will need to file a Form 8-K, the disclosure from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Sometimes, the news will necessitate issuing a press release. And sometimes, you will file both.
Patient advocacy is a part of public relations that has always held a special place in my heart. It’s easy for us in the healthcare industry to get so caught up in our day-to-day to-do lists that we forget the reason (namely who) we are actually working for. Patient advocacy is the piece that brings it back home. I’ve been in the industry long enough to have seen a lot of change in how healthcare companies include patients in what they’re doing, and I’m proud to say that we’ve made huge strides and are continuing to advance toward the place where patients are full partners.
Any company, no matter how diligent, can find itself suddenly thrust into a crisis — a natural disaster, product safety issue, whistleblower claim, or other unforeseen emergency. When an incident occurs, especially one that disrupts operations or threatens the company’s reputation, stakeholders, be they customers, shareholders or partners, will want to immediately know what happened and how they’re affected. Mishandling the crisis can exacerbate the problem and shake public trust, causing long-lasting harm. And in the current era of instantaneous digital and social media communications, if you don’t communicate during an urgent situation, others may get there first and define it for you.
I remember when reporters answered their phones because they were always at their desks, and only the very wealthy had cell phones. I remember sending materials via overnight mail, because that was the way reporters in Washington, D.C. wanted to be pitched. Then came dial-up internet and the common chime: “You’ve got mail.”