BIONEWS   April 2022
SEO for Civilians cover art

Ad Emergency – Before and After

Nimble and experienced, Biotica is built for medical ad emergencies. For example, this two-page spread for Wizard Research’s Dry Eye Mask. Our charge was to re-concept, rewrite, and re-design Wizard’s ad and deliver it to the publisher within six days. Despite the tight deadline, we took the time to review competitive ophthalmic ads wall with the goal of making the new ad pop in the publications. Most ads in this category are packed with scientific information and bullet points, although only 23% of readers venture into body copy. Our approach was to demonstrate a simple benefit to the patient and communicate it quickly in the headline. Look for the Ahhh Factor to be a thing for the brand in the future.



Though rush projects aren’t an ideal way to roll, ad emergencies are inevitable, and we pride ourselves on being able to respond to them. The next time you have an overflow issue or a last-minute need, think Biotica. Let us show you how we come through in a clutch. Do you need an ER visit? Call Susan Abramovitz at 513-967-6480 for more, and we’ll get started right away.

Comments: Bill Abramovitz

Are you ready?

Navigating The Golden Triangle of Crisis Communication

Your business will experience a crisis. It’s not “if"; it's "when." It may be a big one, like "Brand X's Latest Medical Device Turns Patients into Zombies," or a small one like "Supply Chain Disruptions Means Three Percent Less Cotton in Each Brand X Cotton Swab.” But a crisis is coming. And you can handle it like a champ or a chump, and the marketplace will decide which one you are. From a public relations perspective, a crisis is any event or circumstance that negatively impacts an organization’s or individual’s reputation, credibility, or brand. And in a crisis, whoever oversees your company’s PR will get the chance to earn their paycheck. They’ll counsel the C-Suite on how to respond to the public, what information is appropriate to share, and the language used to share it. There are three basic rules for Crisis Communication, affectionately referred to as the Golden Triangle of Crisis Communication because they are all equally important.
  1. Plan Ahead. As in most things in life, prior planning is key to preventing poor performance. Handling a business crisis is not something you want to do on the fly. Start by creating a detailed contingency plan that outlines every conceivable crisis and appropriate response. Wargame this with all the heavy hitters in the C-Suite and get your general counsel involved to factor in any legal ramifications. Important note: This will be painful and time-consuming, and no one will feel they have time for it. But it will be worth it.
  2. Build an "action plan" that can be quickly implemented by every member of the executive, communications, and operations teams in the event of a crisis. Spending the time and effort before a problem happens will save time and resources in the long run. Pro tip: When detailing who is in charge of what elements in the action plan, use positions and titles rather than names. People move around, but jobs tend to stay the same.
  3. Be fast. In a crisis, speed is paramount. It’s crucial to acknowledge a crisis immediately. Any information vacuum will fill with conjecture, rumor, and misinformation, especially in this day and age of social media. You may not be able to provide all the details, but a prompt announcement to the media and your key publics will mitigate speculation and rumor and let audiences know you are in control. Pro Tip: Let audiences know if the situation is fluid and that you will keep them updated as new and better information becomes available. Being quick with communication sometimes comes at the expense of being accurate, so make sure your audiences know that upfront.
  4. Be transparent. In the public relations world, an old axiom is that the cover-up is always worse than the transgression. Every PR pro has a story about how a company could have fared much better had they just been upfront with information from the beginning. They usually tell these stories to their CEO when they're convincing them to be upfront with information at the beginning. Think Enron. Or VW. Or the Nixon Administration. So, what should you do in a crisis? Take responsibility. Tell the truth. And don’t engage in a cover-up or unethical behavior. That stuff will always come out. Always. Pro-tip: Stick to facts, don’t assume, don’t make blanket statements, and don’ play the blame game. Oh, and never say “No Comment.” If you don’t know an answer to a question, tell them you’ll find out. And then be sure to follow up.
If you need help developing a Crisis Communications plan, drop us a line, and we can show you how to get started.

Comments: Ben Singleton

Edit button for Twitter?

Is Twitter (finally) getting an edit button?

The number one requested feature for Twitter may become a reality. Because who has time to proofreed proofread the frist first time? It’s a moment that Twitterers (Tweeters? Twits?) have long anticipated. Twitter is finally planning to launch an “Edit Tweet” feature.

The popular social media tool/dumpster fire announced the news after teasing it on April Fool’s Day. It’s a bit of a turnabout, as Twitter had formerly stated that the ability to edit tweets wasn’t a priority.

But don’t stop proofreading your tweets just yet. There's been no timeline announced, and, like a glacier, it will probably roll out gradually.

Whenever the feature does launch, those of us with an itchy tweet finger can relax a bit, knowing we'll be able to edit a tweet rather than just delete it and start over, waving goodbye to whatever engagement it was enjoying.

Comments: Ben Singleton

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Breaking Up with Inactive Email Subscribers

Like old clothes that no longer fit, sometimes you need to throw out some of your email subscribers. Gasp. Yes, the folks you wooed into joining your list, who now have you on ignore. These subscribers are hurting your overall email marketing efforts by:

  • Not opening or clicking on your emails over a set period
  • Deflating your open and click-thru percentages
  • Alienating potential customers
  • Bloating your conception of the size of your list
  • Diminishing the overall authority of your list, and boosting your odds of being rejected by servers or spamming out

Don’t take it personally. The email market is projected to top 4.9 billion users by 2023, which means that every email competes with the 120 emails the average office worker receives every day. To burst through this crowd, you need to nail every aspect of your mail execution, from your list and content to design and code.

Related: Get More from Your Email with a Dose of List Hygiene

What causes unsubscribes?

Your unsubscribe rate should be less than .5 percent. Anything higher warrants a close look at the reasons list members typically depart your list.
  • You're emailing them too frequently
  • The mobile presentation is scrambled
  • Unprofessional design
  • Spammy behavior (Words that make spam filters grouchy) and constant selling
  • They’re not digging your content or it’s irrelevant
  • They don’t recall signing up, especially true with purchased and affinity lists

High unsubscribes are often accompanied by high bounce rates, anything over 2 percent. Review the reasons your email provider provides for the bounces. “Blocked by server” or a message tagged as spam show you’re in unsubscribe trouble, or it looms ahead.

Sign them up the right way

The key to a happy and contented subscriber list starts with the initial signup. Forms on your website should state what the user will receive and how often. After signup, they should receive another email called a double opt-in to verify their email address and to confirm their interest in the list. Trying to revive old lists and using affinity lists from brokers are a sure signs that you’re in for an unsubscribe problem.

Make it easy to unsubscribe

Unsubscribe links are a legal requirement. But many senders, as if embarrassed by them, stick the links at the bottom of emails in small or poorly contrasting type or embed them in other copy. Be proud of your unsubscribe link. It shows your using best practices and you value the privacy of your users. Make sure that users can leave your list with a single click. Don’t interrogate them about why or presenting pleading “are you sure” messages. The consumer has spoken. Honor her request.

Put the subscriber in control

One way to stave off subscribers before they bolt is using a subscription preferences center and linking to it in your emails. This allows users to determine which emails they wish to receive and adjust the frequency.

Break up with them before they break up with you

One of the best tools for corralling inactive subscribers back into the fold is a reengagement campaign. This is a simple email that allows them to confirm their interest with a double opt-in or unsubscribe altogether. You can send this email to your entire list or to your unengaged subscribers. Make the copy short, for example:

“Hi, Bob, we noticed you haven’t opened our email in a few months. Let us know that you’re still interested in our mailings by clicking the confirm button (which triggers an opt-in email). Otherwise, click the unsubscribe button, and we’ll immediately remove you from our list.

Comments: Bill Abramovitz

World doctors and health professional day

Choosing a Social Media Platform for Your Medical Marketing

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. TikTok. So many choices, so little time. And so much content you’ll have to generate.

How do you choose which social media platform is right for your medical company? Don't make the mistake of thinking you have to be on every platform. Choosing one or two that make the most sense for your brand and doing them well is more effective than having many accounts implemented haphazardly.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing which social media platforms are best for you.

Who Is Your Audience? Who is your target audience? Current customers? Potential customers? Community stakeholders? Identify your audiences and their characteristics, list them, and prioritize them. Now you're ready to start making decisions about which platforms are best for reaching your audience. For example, if your audience is Generation Z, Facebook may not be your first choice as an avenue to engage with them.

Once you've established the audience you'd like to reach, you can start making more informed decisions about which social media platforms in which to invest. Check out this info from Sprout Social to get a handle on social media platforms and the demographics they attract. And remember, even if you love making TikToks, but your target audience isn't on TikTok, spending a lot of time and money developing content for TikTok isn't going to do much for advancing your brand on social media.

What Are Your Goals and Objectives? Do you want to educate consumers? Build your brand? Move product? Be seen as a thought leader in your category? All the above?

Choose a platform that’s in line with what you want to accomplish. LinkedIn is a great place to showcase "think" pieces that detail your understanding of the marketplace. Show off your latest product offerings in natural settings on Instagram. Post a video with a detailed product demonstration on YouTube.

Need a little assistance determining what your goals and objectives should be? This downloadable PR planning worksheet can help!

Allocate Your Resources. Unlimited budget? Go nuts developing professional videos with all the bells and whistles. Tiny budget with no staff? Perhaps cleverly written tweets with pics snapped with your iPhone are the route to go.

The trick is to develop a strategy with your resources in mind, build a calendar for your chosen platform(s) and start populating it. Leave room in your calendar to insert timely pop-up content to keep things fresh. Oh, and don't forget that time is a massive part of that resource commitment. Someone must be responsible for spending the time to write and develop all that sweet, sweet content. (We can help with that, too.)

If you'd like help developing your social media, drop us a line, and we'll show you how to get started.

Comments: Ben Singleton


7 Tips for Marketing Mental Health Services

With mental illness month coming up in May, it’s high time we examined marketing mental health services.

1) Define your target audience. Most practices offer more than one treatment option. So, focus on one target audience at a time per web page. For example, the audience for bipolar treatments does not dovetail with the audience for PTSD. Consider that those with mental health disorders have a constellation of people in their lives, from family, and friends to coworkers and caregivers, who seek care for their loved ones. All are prime sources of referrals.

2) Invest in website content. Most healthcare consumers start their search for care on a search engine. Significant content is important to patients and to robust search engine optimization (SEO). Ranking high on key searches is essential to building awareness of a practice and controlling the cost of search ads.

3) While providing some information about various conditions, focus your marketing materials on the benefits to potential patients. Empathize and explain how treatment will enable them to live a better life. People want help not a taxonomy of bipolar disorder.

4) Use search ads to target patients in market. Google AdWords provide a cost-effective way to reach patients or caregivers who are currently looking for mental health services.

5) People buy from people, and mental health treatment is no exception. Don’t shortchange profiles of your key people, their education, accomplishments, awards, and publications that support their gravitas in the field in general.

6) Build awareness. Use targeted print to build brand awareness and to differentiate a psychotherapy practice from its competitors. We’ve also found that public radio program underwriting during “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” is very effective for driving traffic and generating calls.

7) Print and Digital Together. Make sure that all your materials – direct mail, brochures, print ads – all contain a link to a landing page, summarizes your practice and provides contact information.

Make Mental Health Month your month for evaluating and revitalizing practice marketing. Fronting all these different tactics can put a strain on your internal resources. That’s where we come in. Contact us at 513-967-6840 or email Susan Abramovitz, for professional help.

Comments: Bill Abramovitz