Beyond Borders: Launching Ernst & Young’s Global Biotechnology Report
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Beyond Borders: Launching Ernst & Young’s Global Biotechnology Report

Building on the success of prior single-market biotechnology report launches, Ernst & Young, one of the nation’s pre-eminent professional services firms, charged FischerHealth with the task of generating awareness for its first-ever global biotechnology report.

Paul Holmes

Building on the success of prior single-market biotechnology report launches, Ernst & Young, one of the nation’s pre-eminent professional services firms, charged FischerHealth with the task of generating awareness for its first-ever global biotechnology report. The new global report would replace previous solo reports on the U.S. and European markets and would expand to include worldwide data.
Based on research, FischerHealth developed a three-tier media relations strategy to further enhance E&Y’s reputation as a corporate leader in the biotechnology marketplace. As a result, the team was successful in securing more than 155 media placements and 710 broadcast placements for a total readership of more than 135 million and a total viewership of more than 3.5 million.
In planning for this launch, FischerHealth encountered the following three challenges:
· Global Coordination: This was the first time that E&Y’s U.S. and International PR staff would work together simultaneously to launch the same report
· First Global Book: Beyond Borders was the combination, continuation and expansion of the previous regional U.S. and European biotechnology reports. Potential for confusion among clients and media, was a distinct possibility
· Timing for Media Outreach: Another significant challenge was how to deal with the time differences from country to country
 As an agency specializing in healthcare communications, FischerHealth had a strong base of knowledge from which to develop a highly targeted global media relations campaign. In working closely with E&Y’s PR staff across the world, the team was able to maximize resources to increase visibility and results.
The program goals were to successfully launch E&Y’s first-ever global biotech report, ensuring broad inquiries to the company for the report; to reinforce E&Y’s leadership position in the life sciences industry across the world; and to continue to strengthen the reputation of E&Y and its partners as life science thought leaders.
Based on FischerHealth’s knowledge of the biotech marketplace and research provided by E&Y detailing the industry, the team established the following target audiences for the launch campaign: biotechnology and pharmaceutical company executives; life science industry thought leaders; financial industry leaders---venture capital firms, investment bankers, brokers/analysts; biotechnology/life science trade media; and business media worldwide
As a result of top-line research conducted in early 2002, the team created a three-tier strategic program centered around the leading biotechnology conference, BIO 2002.
In preparation for the launch, FischerHealth developed template releases and pitch letters that could be customized and used for media outreach via E&Y’s regional U.S. and international PR teams, as well as fact sheets outlining key data, pre-launch and launch pitch points, key findings, spokesperson biographies, press kits and media training materials.
Following approval, these materials were coordinated to each PR team to eliminate any confusion and to enhance consistency of messaging. In addition, all key materials included a background statement to explain that this new global report was just an expansion of the previous reports they had all come to know and love (to eliminate confusion on the new report). FischerHealth also scheduled a media rehearsal conference call to review basic media skills and overarching key messages to ensure that E&Y executives were prepared and ready for the launch. 
 As mentioned above, one of the challenges facing the launch of any thought leadership piece is timing media outreach to secure stories in major business outlets worldwide (e.g the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal), without giving one publication an advantage over another and without waiting too long to expand pitch efforts to regional and/or trade media.
Recognizing the importance of timing in the coordination of this worldwide media effort, the team created a strategy to pre-pitch key media from around the world under embargo until June 10, 2002 (the date the wire release and official launch). Following the launch, FischerHealth worked with E&Y to distribute an Audio News Release based on key findings from the report.
On June 10, 2002, a press release was distributed across the wire, coinciding with the kick-off of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) conference, where E&Y presented the findings of the report. Simultaneous to the release and conference, expanded regional and trade outreach was initiated worldwide. During BIO and immediately following, more extensive pitch efforts were conducted with E&Y thought leaders. As a result, the team received multiple phone calls and e-mails from media, healthcare executives, potential new clients for E&Y, students and professors throughout the world.
Coverage from pitch efforts was secured across the world in leading trade and business publications and resulted in more than 135 million impressions compared to 81 million the year prior for the launch of E&Y’s U.S. report.
Following the launch, the team used breaking biotech industry events and financial market news to continue to position E&Y thought leaders. One pitch capitalized on the booming real estate market in biotech hot spots (e.g. North Carolina and Boston) due to the increased number of public and private biotech companies.
The team also sustained momentum for the report by offering reporters who covered biotechnology a complimentary copy to use as a reference and to quote in their stories. In fact, the news libraries of several leading papers such as the San Francisco Chronicle and key organizations such as BIO now house a copy of Ernst & Young’s report on their shelves, and many reporters refer to it as the “Bible” of biotechnology.
Program measurements are based on media coverage, both quantitative and qualitative. Overall, the team secured print and broadcast media impressions in excess of 135 million. In addition to media placements, E&Y thought leaders gained a stronger position with the media and several new clients were introduced to the firm via the efforts.
The effort secured more than 155 articles in excess of 135 million media impressions. In total, the team secured more than 710 broadcast segments for more than 3.5 million impressions. Media placements were spread across key biotech trade and business outlets. These include: Biospace, Chemical Engineering News, Chemical Market Reporter, Biotechnology Newswatch, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, New York Times, Denver Post, Reuters and the Financial Times.
As a direct result of media mentions of the biotechnology book, E&Y received inquiries from healthcare executives, potential new clients, as well as students and professors throughout the world
E&Y thought leaders gained a stronger position with the media as demonstrated by the amount of continued proactive media calls from reporters requesting information post-launch about the biotech market segment.
Approximately 40 percent of the articles mentioned the title of the book, “Beyond Borders”
100 percent of articles tracked specifically mentioned E&Y, building the reputation of the company in the marketplace.
Approximately 60 percent of placements mentioned an E&Y spokesperson, further strengthening the reputation of E&Y and its partners as life sciences thought leaders.
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