Innovation Idea Sharing: Day 1 @ PhRMA Social Media Summit

Innovation Idea Sharing: Day 1 @ PhRMA Social Media Summit

07.26.12 | By Christian Clymer

Yesterday was the first day of the PhRMA Social Media Summit at Astellas' Americas HQ, where the focus was innovation for the biopharmaceutical industry. We heard from a number of industry and media experts, which prompted critical questions and discussions throughout the day.

The summit began with Lionel Menchaca, Dell's chief blogger, and Amy O'Connor, Eli Lilly's director of digital government affairs, who addressed the challenges associated with sustaining innovative content. They emphasized that being creative and promoting creative content to engage relevant stakeholders, in addition to developing an editorial calendar that outlines what is happening across all social media channels, is essential. They indicated, however, that the calendar should be flexible based on what is relevant to provide content that is most likely to contribute to the current dialogue.

Using video to talk about innovation also prompted an exciting discussion. Tim Bahr, who formed NextWorks to help organize and engage target audiences with video content, talked about how video helps people better understand issues and is increasingly interactive. This inspired participants to note that while utilizing testimonials and genuine video can be very influential, it is sometimes difficult to move away from more typical marketing videos to something that is shorter and more focused.

Our media panel featured healthcare reporters Brett Chase of Minyanville and Debra Sherman of Thomson Reuters who shared social media insights from a reporter's perspective. Both emphasized how important Twitter has become and Debra noted that she is unlikely to respond to biopharmaceutical companies because their content typically only pushes press releases and is not about engaging in conversation. She and Brett agreed that a catchy headline is most important when determining what content they view on the channel, and the speed of news has dramatically increased so it is about getting a story posted and making updates rather than posting a more detailed story later in the news cycle.

Debra and Brett concluded that through Twitter, a company could tell its story more personally and engage key audiences more intimately when the handle is an employee speaking on behalf of the company because the conversation feels more genuine. One simple way to achieve this is by using photos of the employee managing the Twitter handle to represent the account instead of the company logo.

The day finished with an engaging discussion of best practices in the biopharmaceutical and other industries. Today we're looking forward to hearing what the American Medical Association is doing with social media and discussing, in more depth, PhRMA's priorities for the rest of the year and beyond and how we can help member companies and stakeholders.

Stay turned here or follow on Twitter @PhRMA. We look forward to your thoughts and ideas.

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