Today’s post comes to us from Mr. Yap Boh Tiong of GLOBALHealthPR Singapore partner, Mileage Communications. Mileage is a regional leader in IPO communications for multinational healthcare companies looking to expand their presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
The road to a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) can be long and arduous. On average, it requires 12 to 24 months of preparation.
The advisory team typically consists of an underwriter, reporting accountant, independent auditor, legal counsel and public/investor relations (IR) professionals. Generally, the IR professional firm comes on board 6-24 weeks before the launch. Its principal functions are to:
- develop a strategy to educate the public and other stakeholders about the company
- sustain the stakeholders interest of the company
- attract potential investors, and post IPO, the analysts and new investors
Mileage Communications, which has handled numerous IPOs in the past, was recently tasked with the pre- and post IPO publicity for QT Vascular Limited, a medical device company that designs, assembles and manufactures balloon catheters for the treatment of vascular diseases. QT Vascular operates R&D and assembly facilities in Singapore and California, and its products are currently sold in the US, Europe, Japan and China.
The Mileage team adopted a two-pronged approach for this campaign. The campaign had to highlight the effectiveness of QT Vascular’s products in treating vascular diseases, which would mean greater market receptiveness and hence instill investor confidence in the commercial viability of the company. We organised a series of interviews with key opinion leader, Dr Mehdi Shishehbor, acclaimed cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, in the months prior to the announcement of QT Vascular’s impending listing. This served to drum up publicity for the company and its products. Results from clinical trials were also used to illustrate the effectiveness of QT Vascular’s products against alternatives on the market.
The second phase of the campaign kicked off with the announcement of QT Vascular’s impending listing. Mileage shifted the focus of the campaign to emphasize the growth potential of QT Vascular, as the company was in its early stages of development and still loss-making. Mileage organised one-on-one interviews with several key media (including the main vernacular broadsheets and business media) in an intensive campaign in the lead-up to QT Vascular’s listing.
A series of roadshows were also organised for potential investors and financial analysts from all corporate finance houses in the country. These roadshows were well-received and ensured QT Vascular stayed on the radar of analysts and institutional investors. Mileage also advised the client in selecting key business media for advertising its listing to gather even more visibility amongst retail investors.
Execution and creativity:
The biggest challenge of this project was simplifying complex medical terms and conveying them through marketing collateral to potential investors, financial analysts and the media. The Mileage team had to first conduct research into the medical device industry and medical procedures for the treatment of vascular diseases. These were condensed into concise explanations which were aided by diagrams and video animation to facilitate understanding of these complex medical procedures.