The second dispatch from Marina Maher Communication’s healthcare guru Megan Svensen:
Itâ€™s the second day of the 19th Annual PRSA Health Academy meeting in Chicago and the morning has provided more valuable learnings. Ed Schipul, CEO of Schipul â€“ The Web Marketing Company, gave a great analogy in his talk: He says joining the blogosphere after a crisis is like saying â€œI didnâ€™t kill himâ€ as you stand over a dead body. And working in pharma, we know, eventually, there will be a crisis.
Iâ€™ve been having quite a few conversations with my pharma clients and friends about how best to join the conversation. Many of us are doing that through vehicles that allow us more control (and therefore less risk) over the content â€“ like podcasts and e-newsletters.
But engaging in the blogosphere requires a dialogueâ€¦not a monologue. As Ed mentioned in his presentation, you donâ€™t initiate a conversation by starting to lecture at someone. You canâ€™t control them or tell them to shut up. Itâ€™s scary, but we know ignoring it isnâ€™t making it go away.
PR is about managing relationships â€“ with media, advocates, patients, KOLs. I believe we need to do a better job of helping our pharma clients figure out how to initiate â€“ and then as importantly â€“ maintain an ongoing dialogue online.
Ed referred to PR people as Word Nerds â€“ writing in complete sentences and long paragraphs. (Loved that!) In our ever-changing communications world, weâ€™ve got to adopt â€“ and help our marketing and public affairs clients embrace â€“ the need to evolve our communication to tell better stories in the short, clear language of the social sphere.
Finally, we need to recognize that online communication isnâ€™t just about our words. Visuals â€“ whether photos, graphics or video â€“ are equally important in telling an online story to consumers, physicians, legislators and everyone else we are trying to reach. Ed said that if you canâ€™t give a visual, than you just donâ€™t care.
Tell me, do you?