Diagnosing Digital White Paper


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A framework for managing social media by:

• Establishing guidance
• Defining the landscape
• Clarifying roles and responsibilities
• Addressing legal issues
• Understanding best practices

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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Diagnosing Digital White Paper

  1. 1. Establishing networks) or external (e.g. podcasting, building relationships within the company can help shape the council’s perspective onGuidance with digital media influencers what policies and procedures need through media outreach, YouTube to be developed and where there channels, etc.). Representatives of are opportunities to be more the council will also learn that there efficient and save money.Early adopters tend to “own” digital may be a number of areas overlap.and social media and are usually For example, marketing, corporatethe first to launch pilot programs communications and public Finally, there should bethat are based on trial and error. relations are all conducting monitor agreement on the digitalSuccessful companies work to audits to capture conversations landscape so that when programsdevelop a cross-functional digital online and there are multiple are presented to legal, there ismedia council that establishes one agencies conducting the same consistency in how eachset of policies and standards that audits with different outcomes. communications and marketingare based on innovative best discipline will work within U.S.practices and the law. Having a clear picture of what Federal Drug Administration (FDA) digital initiatives are taking place regulatory guidelines.In order to achieve consensus onpolicies and best practices, thefirst objective is to appoint a keyrepresentative from eachdiscipline to be a member of the Defining the Landscapecouncil. There should be at leastone representative fromregulatory, legal, safety, It’s easy to become bewildered by the many terms used in themarketing, public relations, online world including: “social media,” “digital media,” “Webhuman resources and corporate 2.0,” and/or “social networking.” It would be great if there wascommunications involved in the one term that could extend the current definition of “online”council. The representative is or “interactive” communications, such as “new media.”Here’susually a person who ispassionate about the company a general example on how to bucket digital and social media.and its products; knowledgeableabout the company’s internalculture, structure and politics; Digital Media Channelsand is a senior executive.The purpose of the council is toevaluate current digital and socialmedia policies, procedures,responsibilities and programming,with the end goal of identifyinggaps and creating a plan of actionthat will evolve over time. Social Media ApplicationsCouncil meetings are usually thefirst opportunity for eachdepartment representative to learnwhat others are doing. More oftenthan not, companies as a whole aredoing more than they would haveanticipated, be it internal (e.g.creating internal Wikis or social [2]
  2. 2. Clarifying Roles & and social media programs successfully. In general, public leader in a specific disease category who has very little traffic,Responsibilities relations, corporate inbound/outbound links, or views communications and public affairs to his or her site, but recognized by professionals are responsible for the industry as influential.Digital and social media doesn’t fit building relationships with digitalneatly into one discipline, and this media influencers and may engage Marketing professionals are creatinghas proven to be a roadblock for with influencers to correct content using social mediamany companies. Is it inaccurate information, generate applications for the purpose of brandPR/corporate communications, awareness, build community, and/or company communications,marketing, advertising, customer increase thought leadership, targeting and aggregating keyservice or IT? In some prepare for a crisis, and/or audiences around a brand or diseaseorganizations, everyone is doing it, communicate news that will result awareness. This activity is usuallyand there is no integrated strategy. in earned media placements. done using unearned media andIn other organizations, no one is requires a greater level of Direct todoing it because of perceived Prior to engaging a digital Consumer (DTC) regulatory scrutiny.“legal” ramifications or lack of influencer, most pharmaceuticalclarity as to who is responsible. companies understand they need There are many areas where allAdditionally, many companies that to establish qualitative and disciplines collide. One of the mostare ready to get started still quantitative metrics to determine important is search. According tostruggle with fundamental influence. For example, a reporter Forrester, 81 percent of the peopleresource issues, such as sufficient such as Tara Parker-Pope with going online for healthcare“head count” to drive social media The New York Times is a journalist information are starting theirprograms, the right kind of talent, with the necessary credentials, experience at a search engine.and the appropriate role for and understanding the editorial Influencer sites often appear in theagency partners. process, she also meets the top organic search results of sites quantitative influencer metrics such as Google, Yahoo and LiveThe council can help with established by sites like the Search and that is why it’sreorganizing and aligning internal Healthcare 100. A qualitative important to be part of thedisciplines to implement digital influencer may be a key opinion editorial content. What’s equally important is how your brand or company appears in the vertical search results on reference sites such as Wikipedia and WebMD. There are many ways public relations, corporate communications and marketing can collaborate by sharing search activities such as: • Monthly rankings report • Trends for all key phrases on the top search engines • Search engine listing significant gains and losses • Search engine optimization and marketing initiatives • Keywords for messaging Tara Parker-Pope’s Well Blog within the New York Times website. • Multimedia press releases • Social media tagging [3]
  3. 3. Addressing about a drug’s safety and efficacy profile and not off-label uses. It’s infringement may discourage creativity. When using existingLegal Issues important to remember that even non-branded activities could online content, there are several rules that companies must easily be perceived as branded by adhere to per Fair UseUnderstanding the official the FDA, especially if the drug is legislation and other copyrightcorporate digital and social media the only one on the market for apolicies will help the review statutes. In the meantime, very specific treatment.process for any new program. always remember trademarksBelow are several U.S. examples and copyright on images, photos, • Privacy – AEs are often the firstthat guidance should address. roadblocks to digital health music, and art must be licensed initiatives, but privacy should or pre-authorized by the owner.• Adverse Events – The actually be a bigger concern. number one concern among Many PR and marketing • Transparency – Practices pharmaceutical companies are professionals, as well as designed to deceive people about the complexities involved with consumers, ignore the “terms the involvement of marketers via discovering adverse events and conditions” of a public Web online communication calls into (AEs) and reporting them to the site. More often than not, those question the issue of transparency. FDA. There are many tools and terms clearly state This includes paying key opinion methodologies for monitoring manufacturers are not allowed leaders or patient advocates to the digital channels, but about to engage in community forums, promote therapies online without 90% of the time adverse chats or discussion boards. But disclosing that they have been events discovered online do what about monitoring? asked to represent the company, not meet the FDA’s criteria Consumer/patient privacy is less using fake identities to for a “reportable adverse of an issue if the site is a public impersonate consumers, event,” including: forum where members anonymously posting information - An identifiable reporter voluntarily provide their private on blogs and message boards, - Identifiable patient information, but not on closed or disobeying rules established by - Identifiable drug password-protected sites. individual communities, spam - An identifiable adverse event link-building, etc. Many marketersThe reality is most pharmaceutical • Trademark and Copyright have attempted stealth marketingcompanies are successfully Protection – This is one of the in the past and have been caught.monitoring for market intelligence, most basic legal issues Aspects of transparentissues management and media associated with online content, communications include:relations purposes. but it is often forgotten or - Clearly identifying who unclear as to who owns you represent• Fair Balance – The FDA has consumer-generated media. The - Being truthful and established clear guidance for definition of what exactly “Fair non-misleading DTC promotion and applying fair Use” means is hotly debated and - Responding based on factual balance to marketing and remains a poignant issue in a data or an established point of advertising programs to ensure digital age where takedown view that is consistent with the the public receives information notices and copyright products approved labeling [4]
  4. 4. Best PracticesPharmaceutical companies areactively engaging in healthycommunications and marketingactivities that include reaching outto digital media influencers andusing social media applications. Infact, the FDA now recognizes thevalue of social media applicationsfor sharing information quickly intimes of crisis. The FDA’s A number of pharmaceutical decline and layoffs increase as acommunication office, in companies are also increasingly result of the recession. There arecollaboration with the Centers for warming up to the idea of sharing many examples of influential information with influential health bloggers who were affectedDisease Control (CDC), created a bloggers who are specifically by the transformation of mediablog to jointly address the peanut associated with mainstream media including Ed Silverman, who madeproduct recall. In addition, the FDA publications. Approaching a his mark on the pharmaceuticaldeveloped a widget so that blogger who is not part of a industry by sharing whistle blowerconsumers could syndicate news mainstream publishing company stories submitted to his Pharmalotto their own sites. Finally, the FDA delivers less of a feeling of control blog, formerly owned by The Star-created a Twitter profile to keep for pharmaceutical companies Ledger of New Jersey.consumers up-to-date on the since the blogger is notSalmonella crisis. as likely to have an understanding of thePharmaceutical companies are legal issues associatedalso recognizing the value of social with healthcaremedia applications such as RSS communications or any(Real Simple Syndication), tagging, kind of an editorial filter.mobile and Twitter. For example, There are, however, moreAstraZeneca and Novartis have and more mainstream media reporters who areTwitter profiles, GSK includes making their way to thetagging and syndication on its blogosphere. This trendcorporate site, and Bayer offers its is only going to increasecorporate communications news as the publishingin mobile format. industry continues to These “independent” influencers are credible and carry weight, and as a consequence, the public relations and corporate communications executive shouldn’t rule them out just because they aren’t employed by a mainstream publication. Instead, each influencer needs to be assessed on a case by case basis to determine if engagement is possible. [5]
  5. 5. Public relations and corporate blog by establishing policies for support consumers using its weightcommunications professionals are accepting and posting comments, loss product, alli. In this case, thealso becoming more engaged in addressing the rules about no effort was lead by marketing andresponding to inquiries from blog product mentions on the blog, and they were able to gain approval byreporters and correcting by creating an accelerated internal demonstrating small success overinaccurate blog posts. The key to process for issues management. many pilot programs. In addition,doing this most effectively is to Motivated by the success of its they established a process forfocus on those blogs deemed to be parent company’s endeavor, J&J monitoring and managingthe most influential and relevant to subsidiary Centocor has also begun potential issues, such as adversetheir disease category. Lilly, for its own corporate blog, nto411.com. events, on the community forums.instance, has been quite active insharing product news with Contrary to popular belief, J&J More and more pharmaceuticalinfluential diabetes patient was not the first healthcare companies are creating groups inbloggers like Amy Tenderich of company to establish a blog. GSK’s social networks for humandiabetesmine.com. In fact, the corporate communications in resources and recruiting purposes,Diabetes Mine blog is no longer France actually launched a blog as well as for disease awarenessfeared by pharmaceutical back in 2006. Since then, GSK has and branding. For example,companies and everyone from launched multiple digital and Merck created a cervical cancerMerck to GSK is advertising their social media activities including an group in Facebook, whilediabetes treatments on her blog. online community and blog to AstraZeneca created a branded SYMBICORT channel on YouTube for asthma sufferers. Mainstream media has recognized that if you can’t beat them, join them. For example, The New York Times has a presence in social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, and iTunes. By working with The New York Times editorial within their social networking presence, pharmaceutical companies have a more controlled environment for engaging. An example would be reaching reporters on The New York Times channel on YouTube rather than posting video on YouTube alone.Finally, some companies areventuring into the space in a moreaggressive way and creating theirown corporate communication(s)blogs. Johnson & Johnson hasreceived a great deal of attentionfor JNJ BTW, a corporate blog inwhich there is “talk about Johnson& Johnson — what we are doing,how we are doing it and why.”Mark Monseau, Director of JNJcorporate communications, spokeat the Health 2.0 conference abouthow J&J was able to deploy the [6]