Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

A solid group of experienced pharma marketing and e-healthcare folks contributed chapters to this e-book, called Best Strategic Learning Investment in 2010 (your investment: a bit of time – the download is free!)

If you’re wondering how best to approach the on-line world of patient advocacy, communities, and social media, here’s your starting point.

Contributors include:

Ellen Hoenig Carlson, Consultant, AdvanceMarketWoRx (editor) (thanks, Ellen!)

Marsha Shenk, Business Anthropologist, BestWork

Dave deBronkart, ePatient advocate/blogger

Andrew Spong, PhD, Consultant, STweM

Steve Woodruff, Consultant, Impactiviti

Susannah Fox, Health Researcher, Pew

Jonathan Richman, Strategic Planning, Bridge Worldwide

Adam Cohen, Partner, Rosetta

Wendy Blackburn, EVP, InTouch Solutions

Phil Baumann, RN, Consultant, CareVocate

Fard Johnmar, Consultant, Path of the Blue Eye project

John Mack, Publisher, Pharma Marketing News

Angela Dunn, Director Social Media, Odom Lewis

There are helpful nuggets throughout. In my opinion, if you have time to only dig into one brief chapter, read what Susannah Fox wrote. Great stuff.


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This week, I attended two conferences relating to pharma and eCommunications/Social Media. The MDRx conference (sponsored by IIR) was in Philly, and the Social Communications and Healthcare Case Studies and Roundtable event was held in NYC.

Instead of writing my usual post-event description, I decided to just spill my guts a bit on where things are at with pharma and social media, having participated in these events and interacted with so many people this week. In short: we’re making progress! Let me take you on a brief retrospective tour, then give some current perspectives…


is this thing onWhen I started pharma-blogging three years ago, as a cornerstone of launching my consulting business, it was lonely out on the Internets. A handful or two of us were blogging pharma (and only a few of the original crowd have survived), there was NO participation by people within pharma companies, Twitter was a distant dream, and Facebook was not yet mainstream. Even a year and a half ago, when I first started on Twitter, there was hardly anyone on that platform with a pharma focus.

All that has changed.

Nine months ago, I ran into fellow networker Shwen Gwee at a Digital Pharma conference, when he turned to me in the back of the room and asked, “Are you tweeting?” At that point, I had just begun live-blogging and live-tweeting pharma events, which was a novelty way back in 2008. Shwen and I became fast friends and pharma conference collaborators. In fact, this spring Shwen launched the first Social Pharmer conference in Boston, where we experimented with a more informal format, and a number of those who are trying to do pioneer work in social media attended. Still, as of early 2009, it was pretty easy to identify and list all the active pharma bloggers and Twitter users (<–that link is a good starting point, by the way, if you’re just getting started in pharma social networking).

bdi_tweetup_smIt’s not so lonely anymore. In fact, spontaneously during the BDI conference, a bunch of us planned a post-event lunch tweetup, and about 15 came in order to get to know one another better, socialize, and brainstorm. And that is one of the main goals of social networking. SOCIAL. NETWORKING.

Now, it’s getting hard to keep track, because so many individuals and companies are rushing into the social networking space. And I say: FANTASTIC! Join us – and if you need some help getting started, here is an e-book I put together for just that purpose, loaded with links and resources (including a pharma-specific Appendix).


Ray_Kerins_smWe have a long way to go, but now, it’s not just consultants and agencies talking about it. Companies are jumping in, taking baby steps, learning. Ray Kerins of Pfizer (<–that’s him) gave a very encouraging presentation at the BDI event about the transformation going on in their global communications group. He’s someone to watch. Boehringer is using their Twitter account to interact, and Brad Pendergraph of Novartis is one of the most active and interesting pharma folks on Twitter.

In fact, if you want to know almost everyone who is doing stuff in social media, and where all the case studies are, leading agency thinker Jon Richman keeps a continually-updated wiki outlining the pharma social media space. Highly recommended.

One of the things to bear in mind is that, while the public case studies are still relatively slim, there is a lot going on behind-the-scenes with networked communications approaches that aren’t being much talked about. Internal blogs and social networks. KOL communities. Resource portals and discussion groups. Yes, we are all frustrated with the slow pace of regulatory comfort-level when it comes to new technology, and there’s a lot of fear abroad. but things are happening. We should start our considerations, not with ROI calculations and regulatory handcuff fears, but with two main questions: What are the needs of our audience? and, How can we add value?

I’ve seen all this before. There was the same slow uptake with Web 1.0 technology. And with eLearning. But eventually, we hit a tipping point where people stop asking “if?” and start asking “how?”

We’re getting there. We’re making progress.


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Twitter: @swoodruff

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Blogging – according to Fard Johnmar, no longer niche.

The 2008 Patient Adherence Update – chock full of stats, charts, and other good stuff on a very important topic. From MedAd News.

Are free drug samples the last best hope for sales reps? An interesting take from a recent conference (though I have questions about the relative authority of the speakers). From John Mack’s Pharma Marketing blog.

Also from John Mack, Prescriptions and Recession.

Allergan: great marketing, less PhRMA code? What about that Botox marketing…?

On-line video growing in popularity among physicians. From Shwen Gwee.

Marc Monseau (from the J&J blog JNJ BTW) with some thoughts on pharma and social media. From Shwen Gwee.

Various Web 2.0/pharma thoughts and resources from Shwen Gwee.

An interview with Mark Senak, the EyeonFDA blogger.

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Return on Whatever

Have you been bedeviled by the drumbeat of emphasis on ROI (Return on Investment)? Not so easy to show for training, is it? Well, it’s not so easy to demonstrate for a LOT of things. See my latest MarketingProfs Daily Fix post, Return on Whatever.

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Who creates a business model where you give away value? And still make a living?

When we help you find the best vendor-partners to meet your training needs, our preferred partners pay us a referral fee (since we’ve brought them new, well-targeted business without the cost of sales). What value-add does that enable us to offer without cost?

    This blog/newsletter – which takes hours of time invested each week.
    Consultative advice to you on vendors that will best match your needs.
    A Job Board (and some informal resume-forwarding and job matching, as a number of you know).
    A Lunch-and-Learn for your department on Vendor Selection (contact me about this – it’s been a great help to several companies already. For those outside the NY/NJ/CT/MA/Philly area, I’d need to charge only travel expenses).
    A constantly-growing network of people (from the client and the provider side) that I can tap into for you, and that you can tap into (via my LinkedIn network).

From the beginning of this business venture 2 years ago, I decided that Impactiviti would succeed based on adding value, sharing, and networking. Idealistic? Yes. Realistic? Yes!

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By now, you’ve heard all about MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, and other social media platforms. Maybe you’ve dipped a toe in the water by creating a LinkedIn or Facebook profile, and maybe you’ve even heard of Twitter, or rated purchases on Amazon. What’s the big deal anyway?

I was thinking of writing an overview article on this blog, but then found that someone else had done a really good job. Here’s the link to this helpful scan of what social media is, and how it adds value.

And, here is a brief post I did on my “other” (Branding/Marketing) blog, about how social media helped me this week in several tangible ways.

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Portal Update

Pageflakes has recently updated their portal software, and the interface is cleaner and slicker now. If you haven’t visited lately, take a fresh look at the portals we created to give you fingertip access to leading blogs, all in one place:

Pharmacentral (over 30 pharma bloggers, including news, training/marketing, gossip, and more)

Training Bloggers (over 50 blogs in the training/eLearning/Gaming/education realm)

Marketing Bloggers (over 100 marketing bloggers – marketing, branding, social media, technology, and more)

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