Managing BBC probe into pharma pricing

Skill area: Crisis management

Objective: React fast and achieve balance or prevent publication

Our life science and pharma clients have faced various crises where journalists are relentless in pursuit of a story. These include a BBC TV investigation into pricing malpractice; false charges of animal experimentation; sacking employees for erratic behaviours that could have led to industrial espionage claims; lost parcels containing drugs and many more.

We take the heat off the client by handling all media enquiries. As trained journalists we know our media law and can quickly convey to the media that we expect them to follow the ‘rules of the game’. We establish what exposure is likely by examining the media enquiry minutely, and construct the best response.

We have worked with global teams on messaging and response for share-price sensitive issues. And where client interaction with the media is unavoidable, we have managed ‘top up’ media training within hours for key personnel.

We invariably defuse ‘hostile’ media enquiries and have always secured balanced coverage. By distancing our client from the controversy, we also remove the threat that the story will continue to ‘fester’ and attract other reporters.