Last week, Russo Partners secured a mention for one of our clients in the heavyweight voice of the print media sphere: The New York Times. In an article published June 12, biotech reporter Andrew Pollack writes about the rising prevalence of gout in the U.S., citing our client Ardea Biosciences as a company currently developing a new drug to combat the recent resurgence.
Although Ardea is one of several companies with a gout drug in clinical trials, it is the only one mentioned by name and the only one whose CEO is quoted in the article. What sets Ardea apart from those other companies? Good PR prep work. Long before a federal advisory committee sat down to review another company’s investigational gout drug — a meeting that happened on June 16 and provided the news peg for The New York Times story — Russo Partners worked with Ardea to establish good relationships between the company and the journalists who cover the gout space.
Good media relations doesn’t depend on a company having the news of the day. It hinges, instead, on building good relationships with journalists — even before the company has news coming into the space.
Our work on Ardea’s behalf began earlier this year shortly after the FDA approved the first new gout drug in more than 40 years. Knowing that a second drug was working its way toward regulatory approval later this year, we developed a general story about the need for gout drugs, highlighting Ardea’s place as a key player within the gout space. After preparing CEO Barry D. Quart to tell this story, we lined up introductory interviews for him with multiple journalists, including Pollack of The New York Times.
The bottom line here is relationship building. By introducing reporters to Ardea’s CEO and making sure they stayed updated on current happenings with the company and within the gout space, we forged media connections that helped land this important mention for our client.
When Pollack began work on a roundup story on gout drugs, he turned to a company with which he was familiar and a CEO he knew. That familiarity was a result of our PR strategy on Ardea’s behalf. So far, so good.