Tag Archives: Goodpharma

Content is King, so they say…

Participate in something greater, by David Hunt

“Content is King” is a great expression; catchy, weighty, easy. It’s also misleading, absent of substance, and wrong on many levels. As of January 2014, the Internet has 861,379,0001 websites, or if you prefer Google has indexed 200 Terabytes of data2 which is just 0.004% of the total Internet. Either way, there is no shortage of content. There is however an appetite for relevant, topical, bespoke content delivered as part of an expert brand strategy – the social world requires brain not brawn.

Content is a form of advertisement, albeit positioned as a more sophisticated strategy. The objective remains to elicit an emotion that drives an action. However, despite this universal truth, the world has changed. It is more connected, more social, and ultimately more judgemental. It is no longer enough to tell stories; we need to craft a collaborative narrative. Being instant lacks longevity and durability. Producing content without emotion and relevance dilutes and devalues brands. Today, more than ever, the market requires insight, imagination and innovation. Our Havas colleagues in Australia produced what I consider to be the best social campaign in healthcare: The world’s most powerful arm.

Great agencies are more, not less, critical to the brand building process. So too is a genuine brand. We can no longer manufacture our image, we can no longer limit the format of our customer interactions, we are exposed, open, and unintentionally honest. A strong authentic brand personality is essential. It must represent the values of a business and be aligned to the personality of their customers. Fonts, colours and high-gloss photographs, pale-away versus behaviour and conduct. Social success today relies more than ever on the principles of brand development.

The scale of the Internet is infinite, standing out from the crowd is harder than ever, unless of course you join the crowd. Become more than just an isolated part. Participate in something greater. Unite your community through a shared ambition. Do more. Social success is inextricably linked to the power of the collective to make a difference; it requires more than a content production line.

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  1. http://www.techmadeeasy.co.uk/2014/01/18/many-websites-january-2014/
  2. http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2014/07/22/do-you-know-how-big-the-internet-really-is-infographic.aspx


Build it & they will come

Social Media, by David Hunt

Of course they will come. We’ve sweated blood, sweat & tears to establish our social media governance. We’ve aligned all our internal stakeholders, agreed our polices & opened the doors!! We’re big pharma & they’ll be delighted to talk to us!!

To launch a social campaign requires effort, ambition & conviction. Ironically, the internal campaign required to launch a social media initiative can consume the energy necessary to drive external engagement. In essence, the internal customers can take precedent over external. The product of this dilemma is often, “Where are the interactions? Where is the engagement? Where is the community?” It’s not enough to simply open your doors, you need to build an engaging presence.

Content is King, or so we are told. However, without context & relevance we are simply pushing messages via a new platform. We all see & publish countless updates that are neither liked, retweeted, repinned or shared. And they should, they’re good. However, they’re most likely not relevant to the viewer, or the viewer is not relevant to us. To overcome this, content strategy has to be more agile. It should respond to search & community trends and the evolving interests of peers – to be relevant we must be current. Beyond this, distribution should use expert community management & intuition vs. a pre-determined timeline – to be relevant timing is critical.

There are those in society who talk solely about themselves, their agenda, their opinions. They are typically tiresome & isolated, with a hint of arrogance & belief in their own self-importance. I have a community of family, friends & peers. I’m happy to respond, engage & participate in their stories – we have genuine, balanced relationships. Pharma HAS to work harder in being a member of the community. A social endeavour must have a framework to participate & build an engaging presence – to be interesting we must be interested.trapeze

Sadly not everyone likes me. Like everyone there are those whose company I enjoy, those I don’t. Online is no different. In pharma communications we need to work harder to find peers with whom we can form mutually beneficial relationships. With limited time & effort we could identify 100 new & valuable online acquaintances. We can see their bio, online footprint, sentiment & areas of interest. As we build our presence we can, we can build these relationships. Taking time to listen, engage & discuss – to deliver ROI we need to be social. 

The Pharma Obligation to Social Media

Social media debate, by David Hunt

The patient population is at our finger tips. Technology has provided a broader platform to witness their frustrations, build lasting relationships and work collaboratively to improve outcomes. The pharma industry invests billions in the development of new treatments; they are bold, courageous and imaginative in the pursuit of scientific excellence. Yet, with a few exceptions, remain anxious, nervous and paralysed in social media. The changing environment demands industry innovation and outcome based funding. If science will be at the heart of that drive, social must be the catalyst.

Fear of a brand name?
We invest millions in building a brand, yet remain terrified of its mention in public. Of course, we cannot publicly announce our treatment and associated scientific benefits, and yes we have an obligation to ensure it is not miss-represented either positively or negatively. But are we really at fault if a member of public chooses to discusses our brand in a fair, valid and experienced manner? We live in a free world, and an increasingly global community, we must engage if we have valuable information & insight. Do we not have a moral obligation to respond with valuable insight? Why would we leave Wikipedia with data we know to be inaccurate, when it’s widely considered to be the first point of reference? The vast majority of the general public are wholly unqualified to comment on disease, symptoms, side effects or treatments, but do so with the vigor of a grand-parent championing chicken soup. We have the knowledge, rigor and expertise to harness valuable patient experiences, real-life events and dialogue to support broader society.

But what if we came across an adverse event?
What if we don’t? We all have an obligation to report adverse events. Beyond the rules there is a moral obligation. Many months ago I witnessed a psychiatric nurse discussing how, with appropriate permissions, they monitored patients on twitter – AMAZING! If the NHS can find the time & resource to use social media in such a smart fashion, then big pharma must follow suit.

We’ll be accused of #badpharma and dishonesty!
That is true whether you participate or not. I’d advocate participating and whilst you would never directly challenge an individual, voicing your position to a broadly smart community can only be more positive.

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The approval process takes too long.
Social media is not just publishing content. It’s about listening. It’s an opportunity to hear from patients. It’s about understanding challenges & frustrations and working to address them. That alone is worth embracing the social world. It isn’t a fad, it’s been around since society – the playing field just got bigger.

 

As I often discuss, I’m proud to work in pharma. We make a difference, and we improve outcomes. Scientists & their amazing work will be at the heart of that success, but with the necessary courage communications experts can be the key.

 

Shareholders or Stakeholders, Who is Driving Healthcare

Good Pharma, By David Hunt

Large to small pharmaceutical corporations are powered by profit. So are we. Without revenue HAVAS LYNX can’t pay salaries and overheads and we would cease to function. However, we also care deeply about our creativity, ideas and innovation. We like to get paid BUT we are passionate about making a difference. The pharmaceutical companies that I have worked for are the same – whilst they are fuelled by profit, they are driven by patients.

Why does pharma have such a bad reputation? Why does Ben Goldacre find such traction in social media? Because it counts. Because we are an ageing population terrified by the concept of ageing. Because we are more aware of our lifestyle choices, more informed about serious illness and more concerned about what it means to us. As a wider society, we are totally committed to the advancement of medicine and this demands expertise, integrity and investment.

I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with David Jones, CEO of HAVAS, both an inspirational leader and global advocate for a sustainable future. David is the author of the excellent, Who cares wins. It outlines the future for business, one I passionately believe in, whereby companies will succeed by doing good. David argues that with social media as the catalyst, companies will enjoy long-term success by finding a balance between making money and making a positive difference. Brand value will be built by actions and not image.

Who cares wins was penned for business, it is PERFECT for healthcare.

Good Business

Good Business

I have worked on some great healthcare campaigns, working with some fantastic companies. The theme that runs through the most successful is a crusade to make a difference, to understand the patient situation and drive for a better outcome – big or small. I passionately believe in a patient centred approach. If we can balance both morale and commercial drivers, we can take real pride in a meaningful contribution.

Through the advancement in medicine, patients with Hepatitis C now have a much more positive outlook; it is still a tough situation, but better. However to benefit patients have to be engaged and supported, as an agency we have helped to raise awareness of the new options available through social media. Empowering patients to take action and providing them with the tools and education necessary on their arduous journey. 

In the later stages of cancer every day counts. HCPs, carers and family are under pressure. Sometimes the seemingly trivial can count against the patient and their survival. Partnering with our client, we developed an application to help HCPs reduce the critical number of days required to test and diagnose patients. Getting the right patients, on the right treatment, in the right time.

Schizophrenia is a lonely and isolating condition. Despite the best of efforts of everyone involved patients can unfortunately slip into a spiral of decline. We have used digital to educate patients and their families on more effective management of the condition. Over 100 patients have been enrolled in the programme, halving the number of hospital days.

I believe that by focusing on patients and engaging with all stakeholders, we deliver better health outcomes that simultaneously help to generate the revenue required to advance medicine. Good Pharma.

Further information:
https://www.stop-hepatitis-c.info/
http://www.schizophrenia24x7.com/