s2s PR partners with Bioscribe: 4 questions with Bioscribe CEO Nicole Litchfield

Building community and fostering collaboration are cornerstones of the value we aim to deliver to our clients and our wider innovation ecosystem, from presentations to University of Washington CoMotion startups to sharing the latest PR and content best practices in our newsletter.

We aim to bring the brightest, most strategic minds to accelerate the impact of our clients.

To support and expand this effort, s2s has partnered with Bay Area-based life sciences PR agency Bioscribe for select life sciences clients to bring the industry’s most talented communications practitioners to startups on flexible terms that meet their needs.

Nicole Litchfield, the Founder and CEO of Bioscribe, launched the agency in 1997. She felt she could deliver a critical missing need in the emerging life sciences sector.

Fast forward to today: Nicole and her growing team have served more than 250 biotech and life sciences clients across the globe, from emerging startups to the largest global organizations. Our CEO and Founder, Eric Schudiske, and Nicole began collaborating in 2017 while supporting a co-marketing campaign for their respective clients.

To commemorate this new strategic partnership between s2s and Bioscribe, Nicole connected with us to share more about her and Bioscribe’s journey, how she’s seen the PR and media landscape transform over 25+ years, and her advice to startup founders advancing strong science.

4 questions with Nicole Litchfield, CEO of Bioscribe

1) You launched Bioscribe at an early age in 1997. What was your thesis when launching your own firm? And what inspired you to adopt Bioscribe’s unique and flexible contractor model? 

I actually didn’t start out with the intention to launch a firm. I had developed a niche for science writing at my first job out of college and decided to go out on my own as a freelancer. Within a year I had enough work to start hiring subcontractors, and Bioscribe was born. We have been a virtual company from day one, which has allowed me to attract the best talent wherever they may reside.

My goal has always been to provide a communications service platform that works better for both the life science startups that make up the majority of our clientele, and for the top-tier talent that I’ve been able to recruit who want an alternative to a more traditional agency. A core value that both our clients and our team share is a desire for flexibility, efficiency, and high-quality work. By drawing on a combination of employees and long-term, senior-level contractors, we have built a full-service offering that scales really well to support clients at any stage of growth.

2) The advent of new media channels (i.e., social) has democratized companies’ ability to contribute to, and stand out in, industry conversations. How has your approach to life sciences PR evolved over 25+ years and 250+ clients?

In many ways, our approach has not changed significantly over the past 27 years. It’s always been led by strategy, an integrated marketing approach, and an uncompromising commitment to high-quality, science-grounded, and ethical communications.

The main difference these days, of course, has been the introduction of social media and technologies that have enabled companies to operate their own communications channels. As the traditional walls that used to gate communications have broken down, companies have both more opportunities and more risk in shaping their narrative and managing their reputations. Misinformation, fake news, and a higher level of noise mean a company’s owned channels are now more important than ever. 

3) What’s your best advice to life sciences founders in the current media and investing climate? 

One mistake early-stage companies make is operating exclusively on a milestone-driven communications strategy to connect with their target audiences.

Milestones are important, whether they are corporate, scientific, or regulatory, but they don’t happen very often and that can create a lot of dead air in between. You will have more success with media, investors, and prospective customers if you are consistently and strategically sharing your story. They want to understand who you are and how you are making progress on your mission, and these stories are not just about the big moments. In between those moments, there’s a lot of great work, insights gained, and small victories.

Tap into that by telling stories about your vision, your science, and your people using a variety of owned, earned, and shared channels and you will be better able to sustain momentum and awareness outside of your key milestones. We are always happy to talk to founders about when and how we would recommend initiating a communications strategy based on their unique situation. 

4) What is the biggest value Bioscribe clients see, and how does this new partnership with s2s help serve that goal?

What I hear most often from our clients — from the new clients we onboard, to happy existing clients, to return clients who’ve hired us at two, three, or even four companies throughout their career — is that they value access to a deep bench of experienced life science communications advisors and specialists through a business model that meets them where they are.

We don’t require retainers, or monthly minimums; we build teams that help clients find the most effective and efficient strategies for their stage of growth. This flexibility has made us great partners to the startup community, and trusted advisors to founders, CEOs, VCs, commercial teams, and comms leaders who need additional support. Our partnership with s2s broadens our bench even more.

The s2s team offers not only great talent in traditional and social media, content, and strategy, but also experience in some areas of the industry where we have not previously focused, such as health tech, and provides us a new hub in Seattle where there is a thriving life science start-up community. In my view it’s the best type of partnership because the sum is more than the parts, and that benefits our teams as well as our individual and shared clients.

If you’d like to explore partnership opportunities, you can reach out here.

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