Turning a vacant industrial warehouse into a state-of-the-art laboratory and office space was the first step in creating the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. Introducing the center to the public and garnering support from local, county and state legislators and business and community leaders was the next step in the biotechnology public relations and marketing efforts.
The PA Biotech Center turned to Furia Rubel to plan and execute a grand opening event that would unveil the world-class research center and build excitement for its mission.
The center employs an unusual model in which an anchor, nonprofit organization – in this case, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute of the Hepatitis B Foundation, dedicated to drug and diagnostics discovery for liver disease – actively spins out and attracts new companies and innovative scientists.
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Furia Rubel provided strategic planning, public relations, event oversight, and tactical execution of the grand opening. The event included a ribbon-cutting, presentations from VIPs and key players, followed by refreshments, tours of the center, and photo opportunities. More than 250 VIPs attended the event, including 12 elected officials, members of the media, and prominent community and business leaders.
The Philadelphia Business Journal published an exclusive cover story on the center the week of the event, and additional print news coverage included The Philadelphia Inquirer, Trend Leader, The Intelligencer, Bucks County Herald, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, The Morning Call and PharmaVOICE. Broadcast coverage includes KYW 1060 Newsradio, WPVI-TV 6 Action News and WFMZ-TV 69 News. The story was also featured by the Associated Press and Yahoo News.
The center’s return on investment for the grand opening campaign exceeded 300 percent. More importantly, the reaction from attendees, thought leaders, elected officials and the media was outstanding, laying the foundation for an ongoing and consistent program of public relations to highlight the good work the center is facilitating.
The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County has continued to flourish in the years since the grand opening. In 2016, an economic impact study found 325 jobs directly associated with the center, 237 additional indirect jobs in Bucks County and 165 jobs elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the companies located at the nonprofit center were collectively valued at more than $1.2 billion.
“The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center was founded to create jobs, foster innovation, and facilitate discoveries that may change the world, and Furia Rubel did an incredible job of introducing us to the world,” the center’s Vice President / Chief Operating Officer, Lou Kassa said. “Through major milestones and announcements, we have turned to the professionals at Furia Rubel for strategic counsel on the best ways to craft and deliver our messages to the right audiences. They have come through for us, every single time. The positive press that their campaigns have garnered over the years helped to make the center so successful that it was filled to capacity for years and now is undergoing a major expansion.”