Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a conference on Emerging Media in Pharma, sponsored by the good folks at CBI. It was held in a Doubletree Hotel in Philly – the majority of pharma-themed conferences are now held in Philly, it seems (with a few scattering into Princeton NJ, or other nearby locales).
My immediate impression was on the downcast side – the number of attendees was clearly going to be small, which can bring a deadening feel to any event. However, on a positive note, a number of my active fellow pharma networkers were there, including Jon Richman, Phil Baumann, and John Mack, and together, we kept up a very lively interaction with the “outside” world that was tuned into to the Twitter #pharmedia hashtag.
This conference had an interesting mix of speakers – the first day was a bit more on the classic principles, case studies, and discussions, but the second day shifted gears into some broader areas, like what the VA is doing to reach suicidal vets, and perspectives from patient advocates (diabetes, in this case). This was helpful because it got us out of the pharma bubble, and into thinking of some other effective networking angles.
Here are some snippets and sound bytes from the tweetstream over the 2 days:
- Years to reach 50 million users: Radio 38 yrs, TV 13 yrs, Facebook 2 yrs
The “authority shift” on health content – doctor as primary source decreasing, communities/on-line/consumer opinion leaders increasing
Mobile platforms for patient drug adherence – huge potential. 25% of epharma consumers demand mobile health tracking (among those with mobile)
Twazzup – very cool context-tracking interface (try it!)
Strategic changes: 1) push strategies are failing 2) pull strategies are working
Do pharma marketers really want to start a conversation? Or just talk? And, do consumers want to converse with pharma? It’s not just about pharma talking to consumers and consumers replying. It’s about consumers talking to consumers.
People here at #pharmedia really want to know HOW to do it. Others are doing it. Here’s all the social media in pharma. http://bit.ly/11dBiH
AEs (Adverse Events – the reporting of which on-line scares a lot of pharma regulators -SW) are easy to hide behind and help the risk averse. A set process like AE reporting should be easy to overcome.
Even at this marketing conf. a pharma speaker has to give fair balance and give out the PI. Seriously.
(Bayer) Connecting patient taking Betaseron with MS-trained nurse and a mentor. Nice. Like the idea of connecting patients with a mentor. If they meet offline, then no off-label or adverse events online.
Some of ppts are available from #pharmedia as peeps tweet presentations. Wonderful idea! http://tinyurl.com/lnelda @ideahaus My keynote to UCP: Using Social to Grow Social Capital: http://bit.ly/12F0IL
“If you build it, they will come.” Not. @jonmrich is giving a refresh on web presence, away from static shop front. http://bit.ly/cbidod
74% of Rx drug WOM takes place in person (less than 10% on-line). Interesting stat from @healthtalker
“SM is Pharma’s last best hope to improve its image.” Not if it follows this model: http://bit.ly/gwQgO
Just don’t get the Adverse Event Reporting fear for pharma soc med. Content mgmt, moderation, hand-off to pharmacovigilance. So? The Myth of Adverse Event Reporting. http://bit.ly/JJSl3
“Twitter is to brains what Google is to servers”
Personally, if I only hear “rainbows and unicorns” messages about a drug, it definitely raises my eyebrows.
Victor Wahby, MD going to give an overview of a communications campaign launched by VA (suicide prevention). 3,600 veteran lives (documented) saved from suicide via this campaign?? Wow. The hotline is 800-273-TALK. Here’s a link to a news article about the VA suicide prevention campaign: http://bit.ly/prI2D So often we talk about campaigns and ideas that are abstractions or trivial pursuits. What the VA is doing is life-saving.
Twegulate! The world’s first FDA-compliance Twitter regulator application for Pharma. 😉 (yes, this was a joke mock-up, dreamed up during the prior evening’s tweetup at a local Irish pub) http://bit.ly/CIJUO
Now, from the patient side: @sixuntilme and @askmanny, two Type 1 diabetics, start with a crucial point. WE ARE PEOPLE. I do wish pharmas would START here when considering Networked Communications: How can we ADD VALUE to our audience?
askmanny: See the presentation @sixuntilme and I did today: “Become A Partner With The Patient Blogger” http://bit.ly/qJouL
The “Loads Of Hope” initiative started by P&G teaches a big lesson that all other companies can learn from http://bit.ly/453lq
Participatory Medicine is being talked about http://e-patients.net being touted. @ePatientDave would be proud.
Having practiced in US and Asia, I can say participatory medicine is over-rated. Despite my overly participatory style, many patients do best w classic paternalism.
The Conclusion: If your company can’t be remarkable online, don’t even try. If it’s gonna be overly complicated, forget about it.
#Pharmedia was fun, with very active twittering (far more back-channel discussion than in-room, actually!) Thanks to all who took part!
That should give you a pretty good taste of the themes, and the flavor, of the two days.
The organization of the conference was excellent, the food was quite good, and some of us had a very pleasant tweetup with other Philly folks on the Monday evening – which, coincidentally, was being held just a few blocks away. Some speakers bailed at the last minute – that was disruptive – and the use of mics could have been better coordinated. Otherwise, it was a fine time.
Hopefully, I’ll see you at some other upcoming pharma conferences this year – here’s where I’ll be!
Andy Levitt says
Hey Steve – great to see you at CBI, and thanks for the reference in your very good summary.
Hope to see you again sometime soon.