As a young scientist and entrepreneur, I understood early in my career just how important it is to stay ahead of the curve. Being a voracious consumer of information and news was the best way to see the big picture, evaluate trends and market drivers, and gain the knowledge that empowered my strategic vision.
Today, as the CEO of the global leader in mammalian cell line development within the biopharmaceutical industry, I remain 100% committed to the adage that knowledge is power. I value the importance of information more than ever, particularly when as part of an industry where innovation is constantly changing. Staying tightly connected to the marketplace and devouring information is one of the most important aspects of my job. It makes me a more effective leader and informs every aspect of my decision-making.
How I Stay Informed
Like my executive colleagues, I stay educated, first and foremost, through continuous engagement with our partners, as well as through interactions with my excellent team of colleagues at Selexis. These front-line relationships help keep my finger on the pulse of the industry and my ear to the ground listening to what’s on the mind of our most important stakeholders.
To have a wider lens of what’s happening throughout our industry and related scientific fields, I also supplement my partner and team interactions with daily news and social media consumption. However, with increased demands on my time and limited hours in the day, keeping on top of the proliferating amounts of information can be a challenge.
Here’s the model that has worked most effectively for me:
Leverage Social Media Channels for Monitoring Industry News
To ensure that I have access to the industry news that is most critical and influential to Selexis and my role as a biopharma CEO, I follow a select group of trade media outlets and reporters on social media, including Twitter and LinkedIn.
Using social media enables me to consume industry annoucements I need in a streamlined manner on my desktop or mobile device. A few of the major trade outlets I follow are: @BioPharmaReport (B2B editor Dan Stanton, @DanStanton), covering trends in the global biomanufacturing sector; @BioPharmaDive (reporter Jacob Bell, @realJacobBell), providing a great dose of daily industry news; and @BioWorld (reporter Michael Fitzhugh, @mfitz), delivering news and insights on a broad range of healthcare and pharma industry topics.
Gain Broader View through Mainstream News
In addition to the trade media outlets highlighted above, I also find traditional mainstream media, such as The New York Times, Forbes and The Washington Post, to be an outstanding source of topical and in-depth pharma/biotech, scientific and business news. Among the reporters who I follow that provide valuable coverage that keeps me well informed are science and healthcare reporters Katie Thomas (@katie_thomas) and Sheila Kaplan (@BySheilaKaplan) of The New York Times; Luke Timmerman (@ldtimmerman), who publishes the Timmerman Report, a biotech newsletter and is a contributor to Forbes; and Carolyn Johnson (@Carolynyjohnson), who covers health business topics for The Washington Post.
Take Advantage of Personalization
With ever-increasing amounts of news available to consumers, filtering information so you receive the specific news you need in the most-timely manner possible is critical. While aggregating key media outlets and reporters on my social media channels is extremely helpful, I also personalize my news consumption through tools such as Google Alerts, which enables me to receive important news in real-time, and keep track of trends and interesting topics of my choosing. I also use several mobile news apps, such as NPR News, NY Times, CNN and the Wall Street Journal so I receive direct notifications from my favorite news sources on topics relevant to me.
Work with Strategic PR Partners
By having a relationship with a seasoned pharma/healthcare public relations agency, you can more easily extend a wider net for your news and information gathering. Selexis chose to work with Sam Brown Inc., an agency that has well-established itself over the course of 20 years in this industry. Like any good PR firm, Sam Brown not only helps publicize and promote our company, but the team also leverages its core competencies in media monitoring and social media analytics to keep Selexis informed on how our competitors and partners are getting covered as well. An agency like Sam Brown will also help you to share your news with the key reporters and outlets who might be interested in covering your company’s milestones and achievements.
These are the best practices I use to stay connected and informed. What strategies work for you? What news outlets and reporters do you follow? Please DM me on Twitter (@igfisch) if you’d like to share your strategies with me. For Selexis news, check out our newsroom!