Today, Pfizer is in the news for completing its acquisition of Wyeth. It’s a big day for the company, marked with the standard press releases and all the usual communications methods.
The fact is, Pfizer has not been very aggressive with their social media presence. While they have a dynamic communications guy (Ray Kerins) who is shaking up how they relate to journalists and others, I’m not seeing a whole lot of progress on-line. Ray is a great guy; but I’m seeing other companies moving forward more purposefully.
Pfizer is a leading pharma company. They should be leading here, not trailing. What would I do if I was setting direction there?
- 1. Tweet in a more human fashion. The Pfizer twitter stream is mostly formal one-way communications, with the occasional clarification aimed at resident on-line provocateur, John Mack. Companies like J&J, Boehringer, and some others have gotten past the formal stage and are regularly interacting with other folks, putting a more human face on their companies via social media.
- 2. Fix the Twitter background. It’s not scaled properly for various monitor resolutions. And start using that sporty new Pfizer logo IMMEDIATELY. Shouldn’t there have been some announcement of that on-line? (I had to break the news of the updated logo, for crying out loud!)
- 3. Launch a company blog. Yesterday. Follow Marc Monseau‘s lead over at J&J. There’s a lot to talk about – start putting your voice out there in the relatively safe confines of a blog. Right now, with the new combined company, is exactly the time to do it.
- 4. Launch a YouTube channel. Next week. Start telling company and patient stories. Make interesting and engaging videos. You don’t have to have comments or ratings enabled. It’s safe and straightforward. Other pharma companies have already taken this baby step – why not Pfizer?
- 5. Show up more. Start sending people to pharma eMarketing/social media conferences. If you have a team with more than Ray, then start circulating. Trust is built that way. Communication is enhanced that way. I communicate regularly with pharma networkers whom I see both on-line and off-line. The off-line matters.
These are simple, straightforward steps that any pharma company should take, especially a market leader. This is Social Media 101 stuff – not the more advanced and interesting things that also should be underway.
There are much smaller companies who are being quite pro-active in this space. This would be a very good time for Pfizer to seize the mantle of leadership…
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