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Word Of Health China (Oncology) (English)


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Word Of Health China (Oncology) (English)

  1. 1. Word of Health: China Listening to and learning from Internet Word of Mouth discussions about the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries Featured disease area: Oncology (Cancer)
  2. 2. Word of Health: China Contents Did you know? 1 About Word of Health: China 1 Word of Health: China methodology 1 An introduction to Chinese Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) 3 Overview of healthcare and pharmaceutical IWOM landscape 4 Where is the discussion? Who is discussing? What is being discussed? Word of Health: China featured disease area: oncology (cancer) 7 Cancer types Cancer medication Cancer treatment Cancer prevention Key cancer e-fluencers Other notable online healthcare and pharmaceutical discussions during Q3 10 Insights & Actionable Conclusions Why is Internet Word of Mouth important to healthcare and 12 pharmaceutical companies? Five things healthcare and pharmaceutical companies can do “right away” to 13 incorporate IWOM into their communications campaigns Five DON’Ts when incorporating IWOM into communications campaigns 13 Word of Health: China
  3. 3. Did you know? tients, potential patients, doctors, medical professionals, mothers, and “people just like Did you know China’s 137 million Internet you and me” in Chinese social media, in- users overwhelmingly name the Internet as cluding blogs and bulletin board systems their primary source of news and informa- (BBS). See figure 1.0 for an example of a tion?* typical BBS forum. Did you know that every month hundreds In addition to an overview of industry of thousands of people (patients, potential IWOM, Word of Health: China will present patients, doctors, medical professionals, strategic insights and actionable intelligence mothers, and “people just like you and me”) essential for healthcare and pharmaceutical on the Internet in China talk about health companies to successfully integrate IWOM concerns, disease prevention, treatment into their communications campaigns. options, drug effectiveness, drug costs, pre- ferred hospitals, and healthcare / pharma- Each edition of Word of Health: China will ceutical companies and their brands? highlight a single disease / treatment area. This inaugural edition focuses on oncology The Internet in China is home to a whole (cancer). new world of stakeholder dialogue that healthcare and pharmaceutical companies Further specialized reports covering health- cannot afford to ignore. care and pharmaceutical industry IWOM are also available from Edelman and CIC. Do you know what they are discussing? For inquiries, please refer to the inside of the back cover for contact information. Are you involved in the conversation? Word of Health: China methodology Is Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) part of your communications strategy? This publication of Word of Health: China draws on BBS messages processed by CIC About Word of Health: China between July 1 and September 30, 2006 (Q3). Word of Health: China is the product of a strategic partnership between Edelman Pub- During this process, CIC collected lic Relations China and CIC. 1,427,853 user-generated messages from 176,373 unique posters on 13 Chinese Web It represents the first coupling of Internet sites and 430 health-related BBS forums. Word of Mouth (IWOM) expertise and No private or personally identifiable infor- healthcare / pharmaceutical communica- mation was collected during the research. tions experience, and is focused on helping See figure 2.0 for more information. companies in China understand and lever- age Internet Word of Mouth in the field. Using CIC’s proprietary text-mining tools, all collected messages were categorized and Word of Health: China will provide a top-line mined according to a customized library of overview of healthcare and pharmaceutical- terms (including Internet slang) focused on related online discussion generated by pa- companies, brands, products, and diseases. *中国互联网信息中心 China Internet Network Information Center ( Word of Health: China 1
  4. 4. figure: 1.0 (typical BBS forum) author of most recent reply time & date of most recent reply author of original post post topic / title number of page views / readers number of replies This method allows CIC and Edelman con- edition takes a close look at communities sultants to understand volume, content, and e-fluencers specifically discussing topics discussion topics, and sentiment of online related to oncology (cancer). healthcare and pharmaceutical-related con- versations. See figure 3.0 for “data lifecy- figure: 3.0 “data lifecycle” cle.” Through this analysis, CIC and Edelman data source (BBS/blogs) consultants have identified the topics of greatest interest, as well as the most active and most relevant online communities and data collection key individual e-fluencers within the online healthcare and pharmaceutical world. This figure: 2.0 data processing Web site Category Posts Posters & categorization 1 A pharma 5232 536 2 B pharma 168097 25962 3 C pharma 269528 69703 4 D pharma 5986 1535 data mining 5 E pharma 19586 1770 6 F pharma 21637 3748 7 G health 472510 30859 8 H health 65824 5328 data analysis 9 I health 70746 11948 10 J health 18792 575 11 K child 197888 11454 12 L pharma 49363 6260 Word of Health: China 13 M child 62664 6695 Total 1,427,853 176,373 source: CIC health IWOM data (July - Sept. 2006) source: CIC 2 Word of Health: China
  5. 5. An introduction to Chinese Internet figure: 4.0 Word of Mouth (IWOM) Old Vertical Model company / experts The growth of the Internet and its impact on information and media landscapes around the world is staggering — China is no exception to this phenomenon. At the end of 2006, China recorded 137 million “netizens,” up almost 25% from 2005,* and second (not for long) only to mass audience (stakeholders) the number of Internet users in the United States (210 million).* New Horizontal Model The explosion of Internet usage in China * * * has spawned a vibrant Internet Word of * * Mouth culture, with 34.7 million Chinese bloggers and 50.6 million “netizens” gener- * * * ating various content and engaging in con- * = a company’s key stakeholders versations on the country’s online BBS mes- sage boards.** IWOM is facilitating “horizontal” communi- cations by providing online platforms for China’s IWOM culture is adding a new ele- user-generated content and peer-to-peer ment to the corporate communications dialogue, such as blogs and BBS message mix. Its emergence is driving the imperative boards (or forums). for companies to rethink the strategies be- hind their communications / public relations More and more recipients of messaging in campaigns. China are joining the burgeoning IWOM culture and participating in “horizontal con- Companies have long relied on mainstream versations” about companies, brands, prod- media (MSM) to engage key stakeholders in uct experiences, services, and corporate communications / public relations cam- issues / crises. paigns. In its day, the practice of top-down, one-way communications through MSM was Healthcare and pharmaceutical-related both influential and effective in reaching IWOM discussions on Chinese internet BBS stakeholders. However, times are changing message boards are particularly plentiful, as fast, especially in China. are the opportunities for companies to lis- ten to and learn from them. As with other markets, China is making a significant departure from the traditional Unlike IWOM in other markets, Chinese “vertical” model to a “horizontal” structure BBS message boards, not blogs, attract the based on peer-to-peer stakeholder commu- most “netizens” and account for most of nications. See figure 4.0. the “horizontal” discussion taking place online in China. * Internet World Stats ( **中国互联网信息中心 China Internet Network Information Center ( Word of Health: China 3
  6. 6. BBS message boards are Web sites that sites offer news and information, and have allow users to “post” discussion topics and expert health consultants serving as BBS comments. Sometimes BBS message boards administrators. Often, both patients and are part of a larger Web site, and some- medical professionals participate in the dis- times they stand alone. They differ from cussions by answering posted questions, blogs in that they allow any number of peo- and starting new discussions with their own ple, often anonymously, to post new topics posts. and comments, with new postings occurring frequently (much more frequently than on Some of the more popular health portal blogs). Blogs allow anyone to comment in sites include: reply to posts, but typically have no more than a few, if not just one, “poster” creating • 搜狐健康论坛 new topics. These distinctions allow BBS • 网易健康论坛 message boards to host a wider variety of • Q baby d i s c u s s i o n t op i c s a n d a t t r a c t m o r e “netizens,” with greater concentration of • 91 baby conversations around particular interests. See figure 2.0 for an example of a typical Sickness / treatment sites are typically BBS forum. smaller than health portal sites, and ad- dress specific sickness and treatment con- “Netizens” engaging in discussions on cerns. Some of these sites are general and healthcare / pharmaceutical BBS message cover a variety of sicknesses; others are boards in China are among the most con- specific to just one or two. Some of these nected, informed, and influential consumers sites are sponsored by hospitals or medical online. They are the ones seeking the latest management. Those participating in discus- information and sharing it with others, and sion on these sites typically include patients, are known among their online peers as healthcare professionals, and doctors. “experts” in their particular area of interest. Some of the more popular sickness / treat- Overview of healthcare and pharma- ment sites include: ceutical IWOM landscape General sickness Where is the discussion? • 爱爱医 Word of Health: China research reveals two • 丁香园 basic types of Web sites hosting healthcare and pharmaceutical BBS discussions: 1) Hospital / medical management-sponsored large, general health portal sites, including • 大夫网 mothering / baby-care forums, and 2) sick- • 就医网 ness / treatment sites. Specific category or sickness sites Health portal sites focus primarily on • 肝胆相照论坛 healthy living, disease / sickness prevention, fitness, and personal beauty care. These • 战胜结核网 4 Word of Health: China
  7. 7. Who is discussing? information, reviews of pharmaceutical equipment, sharing knowledge and informa- Those frequenting healthcare / pharmaceu- tion with other doctors (case studies and tical BBS forums can be classified into three medical, clinical, and prescription experi- general categories: 1) patients / potential ences), and debating opportunities for fur- patients, 2) doctors / medical professionals, ther medical education and training. See and 3) mothers. figures 6.0 and 6.1 for examples of “doctors” posts. What is being discussed? Mothers — Discussion is focused on shar- IWOM can typically be separated into three ing experiences and exchanging with kin- distinct categories: 1) NEWS word of dred spirits (“How should I manage my mouth, 2) EXPERIENCE word of mouth, health during pregnancy — health supple- and 3) CAMPAIGN word of mouth. Within ments, exercise, diet, etc.?” “How can I the sphere of healthcare and pharmaceutical remedy my baby’s ailments?” “At 6 months IWOM, the vast majority of discussion falls old, should my baby be doing this?”). See into the “experience” category. figure 7.0 for an example of a “mothers” “Netizens” (whether they are patients / post. potential patients, doctors / medical profes- sionals, or mothers) are talking about their Discussion about specific manufacturers individual opinions and sharing knowledge (corporate names) and products (brands of based on personal and professional experi- medicine) were observed within patient, ence. They are also discussing sickness diag- doctor / medical professional, and mother nosis, appropriate medicines, and medicinal conversations. However, they accounted side effects, and are seeking emotional sup- for only a small volume of the overall gen- port from those with similar conditions. eral “experience” talk. Taking a closer look: Taking a look at what the three main classi- fications of participants on healthcare / Manufacturer — Discussion came mostly pharmaceutical BBS forums are discussing: from doctors / medical professionals, and focused on individual companies’ business Patients / potential patients — Discussion operations (China and global) and related centers on identifying illnesses and their industry development trends. See figure 9.0 causes (“What do I have?” “What causes for a listing of “mentions” of healthcare / it?”), seeking medicine and treatment pharmaceutical companies on BBS forums (“How can I remedy what I have?” “What during Q3. kind of medicine do you use for this?”), and sharing sickness experiences (“Who else Products / Medicine — Discussion in this has this problem?” “Let’s share!”). See fig- area was limited. Relatively few people di- ures 5.0 and 5.1 for examples of “patient / rectly mentioned product / medicine names. potential patient” posts. Hepatitis medicines Pegasys and Heptodin came up in discussions more than other Doctors / medical professionals (healthcare drugs. See figure 9.1 for a listing of prod- providers) — Discussion is mainly focused uct / medicine mentions on BBS forums on providing patients with accurate medical during Q3. Word of Health: China 5
  8. 8. figure 5.0 figure 9.0 Q3 BBS posts mentioning healthcare / pharmaceutical Post: “I often have headaches. I feel like my head is going to eyes hurt with companies every headache. Doctors: please help me! What is the problem? Is there any common treatment?” Roche (790) source: Abbott Labs (630) Novartis (459) figure 5.1 AstraZeneca (388) Post: “Are there any experts out there that can help me understand my symptoms? I have red pimples covering my body and many are on the bottom of my foot...they itch like crazy...please tell me what this is! What medicine should I take?” Merck (337) source: Xian-Janssen (316) GSK (258) figure 6.0 (193) Serono Post: “Female patient, 26 years old. Symptoms: swollen stomach, constipation, exhaus- tion. Is that just ileus?” Johnson & Johnson (192) Response: “My initial thoughts, just for reference: (1) rapid ascites (need to know the Pfizer (176) cause); (2) paralytic ileus; (3) acid-alkali imbalance.” source: CIC health IWOM data (July - Sept. 2006) source: figure 10.0 Q3 BBS postings mentioning products / medicines figure 6.1 Post: “Regarding the lithiasus case; first upload the patient’s old x-ray so I can see it, Pegasys (265) then take another x-ray of the intestinal and stomach area...also, have a look at the state of the duodenum.” Heptodin (218) source: Tylenol (119) Gleevec (116) figure 7.0 Sporanox (106) Post: “Help! I’m a mother and breast feeding. I have a cold and a fever. What should I Crestor (99) do? My baby is only 3 months old.” Iressa (97) Response: “Check with your doctor. Some cold medication can be taken without side effects for the baby, such as some liquid cold medicines.” Diovan (90) source: Tylenol Cold (73) Seretide (66) Rebif (60) figure 8.0 Plavix (60) Post: “I once had kidney disease. Can I use Pegasys? What should I be aware of, if any- thing?” Ketosteril (60) Response: “If your kidney test results are ok, you should have no problem using inter- feron.” Hyzaar (49) source: source: CIC health IWOM data (July - Sept. 2006) 6 Word of Health: China
  9. 9. figure 11.0 In many cases, “netizens” were not sure how to correctly use medicine, and were Post: “Where can I buy cheap Pegasys in Hubei province? How much does it cost now?” looking to consult with medical profession- als online. See figure 8.0 for an example of source: such a post. Discussion also hit on the topic Post: “I often buy Heptodin together with other drugs. I of medicine pricing, and where and how to found a Web site selling at wholesale prices. Please have a look if you’re interested in buying...prices are the low- get medicine inexpensively. See figure 11.0 est in China.” for examples of such posts. source: Disease / sickness — Discussion in this area figure 12.0 was extensive. Of all disease areas men- Q3 BBS postings mentioning disease / sickness areas tioned, respiratory ailments received the Respiratory (47,135) most postings (47,135), with cancer (44,667) and hepatitis (36,764) following Cancer (44,667) closely behind. Within these disease areas, Hepatitis (36,764) “netizens” asked detailed questions about treatment, medicine, prevention, and per- Central Nervous (18,053) sonal experience. Gastrointestinal (11,276) In some cases, entire Web sites have been Cardiovascular (9,898) established as repositories of doctor and user-generated disease information. These Diabetes (9,884) sites have BBS forums for “netizens” to exchange experiences, and include separate Skin (9,705) sections where medical professionals field Arthritis (8,188) questions. See figure 12.0 for Q3 BBS posts mentioning disease / sickness areas. Kidney & Urology (6,596) Osteoporosis (3,984) Word of Health: China featured disease area: oncology (cancer) Bacterial Infection (2,664) Each edition of Word of Health: China will source: CIC health IWOM data (July - Sept. 2006) highlight a single disease / treatment area. figure 13.0 The focus of this edition is on oncology Q3 BBS posts mentioning cancer types (cancer). Breast (3,600) Cancer types Lung (2,832) Among types of cancers discussed, leukemia Stomach (2,288) and breast, lung, stomach, and pancreatic cancers received the most posts during Q3. Leukemia (1,882) See figure 13.0 for more information. Pancreatic (563) The Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Prevention source: CIC health IWOM data (July—Sept. 2006) Promotion, launched in Q3, helped drive Word of Health: China 7
  10. 10. figure 15.0 figure 14.0 Q3 BBS posts mentioning company name and cancer Post: “I am experiencing breast pain again, accompa- nied by transparent discharges. After the discharges, AstraZeneca (73) the pain stops. To all the experts out there, what’s going on? How should this be treated?” Novartis (55) source: Roche (45) Post: “With a bone marrow transplant in 2003, can leukemia be cured completely? If it can’t be cured, should it still be treated with medicine? How many Sanofi-Aventis (15) kinds of leukemia are incurable? Should it be consid- ered cured after several years of remission?” Bristol Myers Squibb (12) source: Merck (12) figure 17.0 Pfizer (10) Post: “...Novartis has six cancer drugs on the China Astellas Pharma (7) market; Swiss Roche has five cancer drugs. Bristol Myers Squibb has more than ten new cancer drugs...” Johnson & Johnson (3) source: source: CIC health IWOM data (July - Sept. 2006) online breast cancer discussion. The Pink figure 16.0 Ribbon Group now has a dedicated Web Q3 BBS posts mentioning drug name and cancer site ( for breast cancer, Iressa (50) which hosts a BBS forum and user blogs (475 bloggers, dozens of new posts daily). Gleevec (26) Additionally, PRB has its own QQ number, which allows “netizens” to chat via instant Tarceva (19) messenging software with PRB breast can- cer experts. See figure 14.0 for examples of Herceptin (18) cancer posts. Taxotere (15) Cancer medication Diovan (14) A variety of companies and medicines were discussed on cancer BBS forums. Astra- Crestor (13) Zeneca, Novartis, and Roche were the company names most mentioned on these TAXOL (8) forums, with Iressa, Gleevec, and Tarceva being the most mentioned cancer medica- Mabthera (6) tions. See figures 15.0 and 16.0 for com- plete listings of mentions, and figure 17.0 source: CIC health IWOM data (July - Sept. 2006) for an example of a related post. 8 Word of Health: China
  11. 11. figure 18.0 Cancer treatment Q3 posts mentioning treatment options Surgery is overwhelmingly discussed as the Surgery (1906) most common cancer treatment. Tradi- tional Chinese medicine (TCM) and West- Alternative* (841) ern medicine were also heavily discussed as treatment options. See figure 18.0 for BBS Medicinal (505) mentions of different treatments. Chemotherapy (157) Cancer prevention Hormone (88) Within cancer prevention BBS posts, “netizens” mostly discussed dietary habits and specific foods, such as tea and bean Gene (65) products, as most effective in warding off cancer. See figure 19.0 for examples of such Immunotherapy (63) posts. Radiation (11) Key cancer e-fluencers * includes traditional Chinese medicine, vitamins, diet management, etc. Using CIC’s proprietary software and proc- source: CIC health IWOM data (July - Sept. 2006) esses, Word of Health: China is able to sys- tematically identify the user names of indi- figure 19.0 vidual e-fluencers participating in cancer- Post: “Research has proven that teas, such as green tea, related online discussions. No private or red tea, black tea, flower tea, jasmine tea, etc. help in personally identifiable information was col- keeping people cancer free.” lected during the research. These people source: are patients, medical professionals, and eve- ryday people motivated by their passion for Post: “Bean products can be effective in preventing breast cancer…” the topic. They are the most informed, source: most connected, and most influential par- ticipants in the world of cancer IWOM. figure 20.0 “Samar” (online screen name) is a top can- Post: “This case is an example of bile duct cell cancer...I think particular attention needs to be paid to the struc- cer e-fluencer on, and an ture of the tumor.” ultrasonic expert. He has a history of post- ing interesting cancer cases for discussion source: among doctors in the online cancer Post: “This seems like typical fibroadenoma, but the community. 507 of his posts in Q3 men- medical history and CDFI both indicate breast cancer. You should consider breast cancer, but no matter what it tioned cancer, the most of any poster in the is, surgery is probably the only option.” forum. See figure 20.0 for examples of his source: posts. Word of Health: China 9
  12. 12. figure 21.0 “肿瘤博士”(Tumor Doctor — online screen name) is a well-established tradi- Post: “The patient is advanced in age. The initial test results should be reconsidered...for older patients, tional Chinese medicine doctor specializing tests need to be scrutinized.” in oncology. He is also a top cancer e- source: fluencer on Soho’s healthcare forum figure 22.0 (, answering “netizens’” tumor-related questions. 481 of Post: “The patient is advanced in age and has late-stage his posts mentioned cancer in Q3. See fig- may be caused by weak gastroenteritic function. If there is no abdominal fluid, the patient ure 22.0 for examples of his posts. should eat soft or liquid food and avoid “cold” medi- cine if taking traditional Chinese medicine.” Complete listings of cancer e-fluencers and source: the BBS forums in which they participate Post: “From the information you supplied, it seems are available in specialized reports. there is only a small chance it’s a sarcoma. You can use Chinese traditional medicine to treat it.” Other notable online healthcare and source: pharmaceutical discussions during Q3 figure 23.0 General medicine safety, traditional Chinese Post: “What’s wrong with Chinese pharmaceutical medicine, and online diagnosis generated a manufacturers? Have they all banded together to manufacture fake drugs? The bigger question is who significant amount of online discussion dur- dares to use medicine manufactured by these local ing the July to September (Q3) period. In companies?” brief: source: Chinese “netizens” are raising questions figure 24.0 about the integrity and authenticity of the Post: “It’s a good idea to combine Western medicine drugs / medicine produced by local Chinese with Chinese medicine. But the thought of wiping out pharmaceutical companies. See figure 23.0 traditional Chinese medicine is awful.” for an example post. source: Recently published articles about the abol- figure 25.0 ishment of traditional Chinese medicine and Post: “Our hospital offers online diagnosis and consul- methods have been met with sharp criti- tation. Hope we can be of help to everyone. Please add our screen name: Velvet.” cism online from academics and the general “netizen” public. See figure 24.0 for an ex- source: ample post. “道可道非常道” (Dao Ke Dao Fei Chang “Netizens” have seized on the convenient, Dao — online screen name) is another e- time-saving nature of online diagnosis, and fluencer on As a young doc- are driving its increasing implementation. tor passionate about sharing difficult cancer Certain hospitals have joined the conversa- cases and information with others, his post- tion and openly offer this kind of service. ings have become destinations for many See figure 25.0 for an example post. “netizens” seeking objective discussion and accurate, trustworthy medical counsel. See figure 21.0 for an example of his posts. 10 Word of Health: China
  13. 13. Insights & Actionable Conclusions Why is Internet Word of Mouth important to healthcare and pharmaceutical companies? Five things healthcare and pharmaceutical companies can do “right away” to incorporate IWOM into their communications campaigns Five DON’Ts when incorporating IWOM into communications campaigns Word of Health: China 11
  14. 14. Why is Internet Word of Mouth important to healthcare and pharmaceutical companies? • In line with the shift from “vertical” to “horizontal” conversations, the world of corpo- rate communications is now populated with a multitude of stakeholders, all of whom are making their online presence in China increasingly known through IWOM platforms such as BBS forums and blogs. Simply put, companies need to pay attention to IWOM to bet- ter understand the concerns and needs of stakeholders newly empowered by online so- cial media. • Companies need to recognize that corporate image and product reputation can be im- pacted by anyone at any time on the Internet through IWOM platforms such as BBS fo- rums and blogs. • Companies need to reach stakeholders “where they live” (in this case, the blogging / BBS community). Strategic public relations / communications campaigns must incorporate IWOM engagement to ensure they are comprehensive and successful. • Companies need to recognize the emergence of a new issues / crises model in China. Issues / Crises were previously born in mainstream media — in a top-down, vertical fash- ion. The opposite is now true. Issues / Crises routinely first garner the attention of mil- lions of “netizens” on IWOM platforms before ever making their way onto television screens or newspaper front pages. With Internet usage on the rise and the popularity of IWOM platforms growing, companies will be increasingly challenged in their management of real and bogus issues / crises online in China. • Edelman research* shows that key Chinese stakeholders rate corporate senior leadership as the “most trustworthy and believable source” for information about a company. IWOM provides new platforms for senior leadership to position companies and drive corporate reputations among an increasingly influential and active audience of stake- holders. • While companies are not yet extensively discussed in IWOM, there is an incredible thirst for accurate, objective, and trustworthy information within healthcare / pharmaceutical IWOM. This thirst is not being quenched by traditional media channels. There is a signifi- cant opportunity for healthcare / pharmaceutical companies to leverage IWOM in their strategic communications campaigns to better engage, educate, and inform patients, po- tential patients, and the general public. * 2006 Edelman Asia Pacific Stakeholder Research 12 Word of Health: China
  15. 15. Five things healthcare and pharmaceutical companies can do “right away” to incorporate IWOM into their communications campaigns • Systematically track top blogs and BBS a deep knowledge of their audience — the forums to listen to and learn about key online healthcare / pharmaceutical commu- issues of interest surrounding disease nity. Companies can also look to partici- areas relevant to the company or its pate in the community by sponsoring cus- brand / products. tomized BBS forums or Web sites dedi- cated to providing credible information to • Identify e-fluencers on blogs and BBS “netizens” about a particular disease or forums and seek to establish a transpar- treatment area. ent relationship with them. Provide them with disease and treatment infor- • Encourage doctors and KOLs in related mation, and engage them in brand and therapeutic areas to blog or host a BBS communications activities as appropri- forum, helping to ensure patient and con- ate. sumer populations are well informed about diseases and treatments. With such • Encourage brand physicians (M.D. cre- communications, being aware of related dentials) to blog or host BBS forums legal, liability, and corporate policies is about disease, drugs, and / or treatment. essential. The goal is to “have a voice” in the healthcare / pharmaceutical IWOM • Evaluate online marketing strategy to en- space. Make sure brand physicians are sure marketing dollars are spent where transparent about their identity and have most online conversations occur. Five DON’Ts when incorporating IWOM into communications campaigns • Don’t spam. Contacting e-fluencers with media, and will be opposed with passion. anonymous emails or private messages Instead, contribute to the conversation containing greetings such as “Dear blog- with content that will be of genuine inter- ger,” goes against the grain of authentic- est to the community. ity and dialogue that underpins online social media. Instead, personalize com- • Don’t pretend to be a consumer. Instead, munications using e-fluencers’ names, listen to the conversation so that you can and referencing specific content they learn more about your consumers and have written. their concerns. After careful consideration, you may choose to participate in the com- • Don’t pay for coverage or offer under- munity with thoughtful contributions. the-table incentives. Instead, offer what e-fluencers desire most: unique informa- • Don’t feel like you have to talk in order to tion and recognition. participate. Instead, consider engaging communities in other ways, including spon- • Don’t shill. Posting obviously commer- sorship, advertising, or support for events cial or biased messages is contrary to that allow the community to meet offline. the non-commercial nature of social Word of Health: China 13
  16. 16. About Edelman China Edelman China, which became one of the first multinational public relations firms to enter China in 1994, is a subsidiary of Edelman Worldwide. The world's largest independent public relations con- sultancy, Edelman has more than 46 offices and 2,500 employees in 39 countries. Headquartered in Shanghai, Edelman China is one of the leading international public relations firms in the China mar- ket. The firm has additional offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Taipei, and an affiliate network of agencies located in key second- and third-tier cities. With a staff of more than 160 Chi- nese and expatriate professional consultants, Edelman China provides local and international com- munications solutions to a diverse portfolio of domestic and foreign multinational clients. Edelman China's main areas of expertise include corporate, financial / transactional, crisis / issues manage- ment, government relations / public affairs, healthcare / pharmaceutical, consumer / marketing, busi- ness-to-business (B2B) marketing, and information technology communications. Visit or for more information. About CIC CIC is the leading Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) research and consulting firm in China. CIC helps its clients make sense of the buzz found on Chinese blogs, BBS forums, and other social media channels using proprietary text mining technology developed specifically for the Chinese language. With sensitivity toward marketing, market research, media planning, public relations, and product development, CIC’s team of social media analysts provide actionable insights for a stable of Fortune 500 retainer clients in China and around the world. CIC was founded in 2003 by a team of local and international professionals with experience in the Chinese public relations, market research, and brand consulting industries. Visit or for more information. For more details about Word of Health: China, or to inquire about in-depth or specialized health- care / pharmaceutical IWOM reports, please contact: Mr. Adam J. Schokora - 石灵杰 Ms. Daisy Zhang - 张伟 Edelman CIC (86) (021) 6289 2929 ext. 890 (86) (021) 5237 3860/61/62/63 ext. 866 Word of Health: China 15