In this episode of the Dear BAMf podcast, we speak with Gwen Fisher, VP Marketing at PassageBio. Gwen is responsible for developing and implementing the integrated communications strategy for the company and executive team. She is a communications leader with more than 25 years of experience, including 20-plus years in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. In this episode, Gwen answers tough marketing and PR questions from our listeners, including how to use data to speak to your audience and influence the C-suite.
My startup is in the beginning stages of working with a marketing and media agency to refresh our brand and messaging. We're a young company and do not have our product fully built out to where we want it. My COO is bullish on not using certain words or phrases in our messaging because she thinks they have a negative connotation. I think her thought process is a little misguided and is limiting our creative process. I know our customers don't view this phrase or concept negatively. Any advice for handling this conflict with data. She's a very data-driven person, but she doesn't have any data to back up her negative perception. I need some internal communications guidance.
Listen now to hear how Gwen advises this writer to move forward.
In Gwen's own words PassageBio is, "A gene therapy company in the biotech/pharmaceutical biotech space." They are using technology to find treatments for unresolved and often devastating diseases.
In 2020, the U.S. population lost 9.37 million jobs, and people are still out of work. Gwen acknowledges this by saying, "I'm one of the ones hired over zoom. So I think I'm pretty proud that I landed a job during COVID." She not only landed a job, but she also rebuilt the inter-communication culture for PassageBio. "I believe that the best brands are built from the inside out. It's important that you get your culture right and that you get your employees involved in the development process," explains Gwen.
Gwen likes to tell personal stories saying, "The best stories are those that draw out the personal experiences of people." She challenges storytellers to give accounts that speak about their family and their lived experience. Gwen explains, "When you start to personalize your story, it helps it come alive and becomes more meaningful to people who are listening."
"It is important to have as much data behind you as possible when you're making your case for something different and new," says Gwen. People naturally resist change, and so can your c-suite. Take the time to gather as much data as possible and don't get discouraged if your ideas are not accepted and implemented. Gwen puts it like this, "Even when you have the data, if your senior executive just has a certain mindset, you're not always able to change them."
We are all BAMfs (badass motherf*ckers), but sometimes even BAMfs need help. Dear BAMf is an advice column-style podcast that lets you anonymously hit us with your hardest marketing and PR questions hosted by Founder & CEO of BAM Communications, Beck Bamberger.
Have a difficult PR or marketing situation you can't figure out? Drop us a line at Dear BAMf. Your submission will be entirely anonymous.
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