Skip to content


The Sound of Missed Opportunity

We all know about the proverbial tree in the forest.  It fell, but nobody heard it. So, did it make a sound? 

For most of us, this anecdote is a philosophical riddle. I’d urge life sciences companies to read it as something different – a cautionary tale, a story of lost opportunity. 

Over the journey of a new medicine’s research and development, life science innovators often keep positive progress, in effect, deep in the woods – far from the earshot of relevant stakeholders. By staying quiet, innovators forfeit the benefits of informing those who may have the most to gain from a new treatment. These include health care providers, patients, and the societies and organizations who represent them.

In failing to share good news with stakeholders, those striving to develop a new medicine, device or diagnostic miss the opportunity to:

  • Spur clinical trials participation
  • Identify opportunities for stakeholder collaboration
  • Raise awareness about disease burden and the value of treatment
  • Create “buzz” that could attract additional investment. 

Think of it in this context.  Sometimes new research findings are reported in a medical journal.  The news is good, and the publication is respected. But the progress often doesn’t generate the desired momentum, because the findings are effectively buried from the larger world. 

The tree fell, but nobody heard it.  And it costs the developer potential connections, publicity and opportunity.

A better route?  In addition to publishing those findings in a peer-reviewed medical journal, abstract or poster, companies can share the significance of those findings by:

  • Actively disseminating an easy-to-understand summary of key findings 
  • Briefing members of the media and bloggers
  • Sharing on social media targeting a defined audience 
  • Briefing patient groups and medical societies
  • Highlighting in educational programs at medical society meetings.

When developing a new medicine, it’s easy to hyper-focus on the science, on raising investment and working toward regulatory approval. But while deep in the woods, companies can’t expect stakeholders to break from their busyness – to strain their ears and listen for the distant rumble of falling timber.

At Woodberry Associates, we work with life science companies to instead make their progress relevant, actionable, meaningful – and, above all, audible to all stakeholders.