PR Pros Help HealthTech Navigate the IPO
Many people only think of public relations in terms of reputation management after a crisis hits: a product catastrophically fails, a drug is associated with a rash of adverse outcomes, or a CEO publishes a Twitter tirade.
But public relations bring value to the table even outside of critical moments, particularly in the healthcare industry, especially as the digital HealthTech market continues to grow. By 2025, the projected compound annual growth rate is 25%, and the estimated market value is anticipated to reach $660B by 2025.
We live in a digital age: our lives are online, our businesses are online, and a single misstep—personal or professional—can dominate the social media news cycle for weeks. For HealthTech companies preparing for their initial IPO, the guidance of a healthcare-focused public relations agency is invaluable; the counsel of a seasoned communication professional provides more than just press releases. Communications veterans are experienced in navigating the digital landscape, raising brand awareness, and securing news coverage—all of which are crucial to building the profile of a product or brand.
And investors have noticed, turning to special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) to invest in the healthcare PR industry.
How PR Investments Happen
SPACs are shell companies set up by investors as an alternative to a traditional IPO, with the sole purpose of raising money to eventually acquire another company. They have no commercial operations and are typically sponsored by a team of investors from institutions, Wall Street, and high-profile CEOs or billionaires. The draw of SPACs is that when money is raised, anyone buying into the IPO doesn’t know what the ultimate acquisition company will be: bringing on investors who have successful track records can, according to CNBC, “easily convince people to invest in the unknown.” For this reason, SPACs are also known as blank check companies.
SPACs aren’t new—but their popularity certainly is. In the past, they operated as last resorts for small companies who faced near-insurmountable hurdles in traditional money-raising avenues. But market volatility—driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic—has put SPACs back in the spotlight as companies postponed their IPO. Some companies, rather than postpone, merged with a SPAC as an alternate route to pursuing an IPO.
In a recent Rock Health report, the digital health investment climate was summed up neatly using just one word: “up.” SPAC explosion contributed to this growth, far surpassing the growth of previous years. This year, 39 SPACs are on deck seeking targets for mergers, with at least 47 “highly-capitalized digital health startups” poised to raise SPAC investor interest. Public relations firms are the latest target of SPACs, whose growing interest has raised the profile of healthcare PR agencies, in particular among investors. In the last few years, private equity investment firms like New Mountain Capital, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and Investcorp have poured funding into public relations agencies, including the W2O Group, Huntsworth, and Westwicke Partners, respectively, growing their businesses significantly. As it turns out, public relations isn’t as volatile an industry as private equity firms used to believe it to be.
The Value of Good PR
In the HealthTech space, brand integrity is more crucial than ever. Consumers, including physicians and patients, expect to have high levels of trust in the brands they turn to. For medical device companies—innovators who address the growing prevalence of chronic diseases, cancer, and diabetes through the latest technology—there’s a lot on the line. As investors pour money into public relations firms, the profile and credibility of these firms increases, sometimes exponentially.
According to the PR Council, healthcare is one of the biggest growth areas in the public relations industry, responsible for generating over 15% of firms’ revenues. These firms cover everything from biotech, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, MedTech, and medical devices.
Hiring a public relations agency can take the pressure off of HealthTech or medical device companies as they prep for their IPO, taking on tasks like securing high-profile press placements, connecting with potential partners, and—yes—writing press releases. Through these tactics and strategies, public relations agencies can position companies—and high-profile individuals at these companies—as opinion leaders and subject matter experts in their industries. From there, agencies can build trust and credibility with the public, investors, and future customers.
Because the pace of scientific and medical development is so rapid, and companies are more global than ever, a high-quality healthcare-focused public relations firm can help prepare a HealthTech company for an IPO. More importantly, partnering with a knowledgeable public relations firm can increase the awareness of new tech, increasing visibility and—ideally—valuation and the ultimate acquisition price. And there’s a lot of money to go around: according to Deloitte, venture funding for innovators in the HealthTech field almost doubled from 2019 to 2020, to $14B, and is anticipated to continue growing. This capital, according to investors, represents the beginning of a “multiyear opportunity”—not a bubble.
IPOs, along with high-value mergers and acquisitions, are also anticipated to continue trending upwards in the coming year.
TMG360 Media brings three decades of corporate communications and public relations experience to the table and is led by a team with over 100 years of MedTech and HealthTech experience.
If you’re ready to learn more about the value that a dedicated public relations firm can bring to your company, reach out and schedule a 30-minute complimentary session with a TMG360 Media dedicated MedTech publicist and learn how to navigate the IPO exit with us today.
About the Author
A digital marketing executive with two decades of experience in a variety of industries, and a connoisseur at using his creative and analytical skills to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital space, Jamie Hurley, CEO, manages the overall operations and resources at TMG360 Media.
With all of the many changes in the digital media realm, Jamie prides himself on always being able to quickly adapt to ensure his clients are always at the forefront of digital developments.
Having a natural instinct to become a mogul in the business world, while in high school, he began his first business: a dry-cleaning delivery service. By the age of 19, he was already a partner in a first-generation digital marketing firm, finding that he was a natural at seeing business and market needs.
Bringing that same dedication and big-picture-vision to every project, today, he uses his rich, hands-on business experience and depth of digital marketing knowledge to design elevated campaigns and successful growth strategies for clients of all stripes.
“Success is no accident. It takes hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice, and most of all, loving what you do. Every aspect of the operation excites me about being an executive in the digital space from developing strategic partnerships and visualizing new market opportunities to dissecting analytics across platforms and the challenges of scaling up operations,” he says.