The importance of manners, by David Hunt
Speak when spoken to, remember your please & thank-yous, and listen to others – all important lessons I’m determined to teach my son, Hudson. They are essential to being a well-rounded member of society and equally essential in Pharma’s pursuit of social media acceptance.
We talk A LOT about governance, rules of engagement and process. For me this is the method and internal mechanics, it’s of our concern and not our customers. Of far more importance to me is our product, their experience, which is determined by our behaviour & conduct. There’s little point in engaging in social if it does not help the community, and complement our commercial objectives. If we compromise our personality, we compromise our campaign.
Typically our behaviour is weighed down by bureaucracy; it is uptight, awkward & unresponsive. It lacks critical speed & authenticity. It can feel like a conversation with a committee, most likely because it is. Newspaper Editors the world over take responsibility for their publications. It allows them to publish breaking news, competing with their rivals, meeting the needs of their customers. The consensus is that Pharma cannot be so frivolous, the risks are too great. True, if we are publishing product related information, not true if we are engaging with a community relating to disease awareness. Of course there will be points when we can’t comment, but these should not compromise the many meaningful interactions we can have.
Of course governance cannot be underestimated, but it should be guidelines & not a rule book. It should inspire, not suffocate our interactions. And it must be built on a brand personality & values, a global tone for all markets & platforms.
By trusting intelligent individuals to take responsibility, thus replacing response by committee with a more human approach to social media, we too can become a well-rounded member of society.