Career Advice: Why Social Media Can Make A Difference!

Posted in Articles, Career Advice, Social Media

Back in the old days, I scolded job candidates for having an active social media presence especially those persons who posted party pics or politically-charged comments on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc feeds.  However, the advent of fine-tuned privacy settings,Snapchat (where things go away without leaving much of a digital trace) and a broader understanding of the importance of social media for those entering job market or looking to transition to the next opportunity has changed the role that social media can affect a career.

While I can drone on about it here on my blog, I highly recommend an article that appeared this Sunday’s NY Times business section. The points that the author maker are valid and I recommend that new job candidates and experienced job seekers take a look at it.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!

FDA Announces Social Media Guidelines–Yawn!

Posted in Social Media

After a very long blogging absence, I decided that it was time for me to begin to write posts on things that continue to pique my interest.  The recent announcement that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally released its long awaited guidance on the use of social media in the life sciences industry including pharma, biotech and med. devices.

While words like long awaited have been used to describe this monumental announcement, I think nobody really cares anymore about what the agency thinks about social media!  Put simply, despite some interested starts and stops, social media is not an integral part of the life sciences industry and likely will never be.  In the beginning (about a decade ago) social media transformed a number of industries by introducing transparency and engaging stakeholders to improve their bottom lines. Unfortunately, the modus operandi in the life sciences industry, by virtue of it business model, is opaqueness not transparency. Further, life scientists and life science employees are not the most social individuals and their use of social media for business purposes is almost non-existent. Consequently, social media and the life science industry are not a good fit!!!! Finally, early players in the life science social media space including Novo Nordisk and J&J have already leveraged what they could using social media and have moved on.

In summary, while it may be a banner day at FDA because the agency finally released its social media guidelines, I do not think anybody really cares anymore. The trajectory of social media is on its downward slope and it is no longer fresh or new (except maybe in the minds of pharma/biotech executives).  In fact, social media is no longer new media and is now considered a standard staple of all communication platforms. While many industries benefited from social media it was never a priority for the life sciences industry and industry executives (and US regulators) did everything in their collective power to ensure that social media did not interfere with the secrecy and intentional opaqueness that dominates the industry.

Until next time,

Good luck and Good Job Hunting

Healthcare and Social Media

Posted in Social Media

I received this infographic from an organization that is promoting a Masters of Public Health program.  It is interesting and I thought I would share it with BioJobBlog readers.
Healthcare and Social Media
Source: Healthcare and Social Media

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!

FDA and Social Media: Much Ado About Nothing

Posted in Social Media, Uncategorized

Since the inception of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms, many life sciences companies, mainly big pharma, have been anxiously awaiting regulatory guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration on how to use them. Interestingly, FDA did issue some guidance in 2012 on it use last year but many drugmakers felt that it was insufficient and not detailed enough.  Despite the lack of clearly defined regulatory guidance, many companies took the social media plunge anyway. And according to a recent survey of regulatory actions and letters conducted by Mark Senak author of the fabulous EyeonFDA Blog the agency has done very little to thwart the social media strategies implemented by drug companies. In fact, there has been no obvious increase in the number of warning letters or violation letters regarding the use of digital or social media as compared with traditional media violations.

Senak drew this conclusion after analyzing 173 warning and notice of violation letters (advertising and media related) that were issued by the agency from 2008 to 2012.  Of the 173 regulatory letters that were issued, 675 violations were cited and only 43% involved digital media.  And, for the most part, most of the cited violation had little to do with the digital or social media vehicle used but more to do with the message being delivered. For the full report click here.

What does this all mean? While it is difficult to draw any firm conclusion, I believe that the bottom line is that the importance and significant of the long awaited FDA guidance on the use of social media has been overstated. Put simply, if you follow the existing rules guiding advertising and print media, companies ought to be able to craft a regulatory-compliant social media communication strategy without the fear of running afoul of the agency.  Those who violate the existing rules will likely be caught and have to clean up their acts.

The bottom line. Many drug companies have been able to mount very effective social media campaigns without getting into trouble with FDA.  The key to success is following the rules and implementing a digital/social media campaign that has passed internal regulatory muster to insure that everything is in order and regulatory compliant. Companies that have made the investment into digital/social media will be successful whereas others that jump into the game without taking the time to understand the rules of engagement will fail.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!

 

 

Back to Blogging

Posted in Social Media

Biojobblog has been dark since June 2012 for a variety of reasons mainly because my domain was snatched as a result of an administration error at GoDaddy.com (I do not recommend them for domain hosting or domain name registration)

Also, you may have noticed that BioJobBlog has a slightly new web 2.0 look!  Thanks to Exceptionaire Technologies.

I hope to be blogging regularly again.

Please spread the word and our new domain location  www.biojobsblog.com

Until next time,

Good  Luck and Good Job Hunting

Twitter and Pharma: Does It Work?

Posted in Social Media

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology have finally jumped on the social media bandwagon after sitting on the sideline for about 5 years. Initially, pharma marketers saw an opportunity to increase sales revenues by leveraging social media. But in the age of healthcare reform and concerted pressure on pharma to consider health outcomes rather than drug sales to development better and safer drugs it became apparent that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter et al. would not be the panacea that most pharma marketers thought they would be.

So this begs the question, how is pharma using social media? Mark Senak, author of the EyeonFDA blog and a recognized social media enthusiast provides some insights today in a post entitled “What Are They Tweeting? Uses of Twitter by Pharma.”

According to Mark, there are about 44 life sciences companies actively using Twitter. And, not surprisingly, different companies are using Twitter for different purposes. To that point Mark offers four common pharma uses for Twitter.

Product Information

Some companies have created Twitter feeds exclusively focused on the product that they sell. These feeds provide followers with product news, updates and in some instances customer service.

Employee Recruitment/Retention

Mark determined that no fewer than 26 companies are using Twitter to identify and recruit qualified job candidates for open positions at their respective institutions. The use of Twitter allows employers to interact with job candidates to determine whether or not they are qualified for certain positions and whether to invite job applicants in for face-to-face interviews.

Disease Information

Some pharma feeds deal with specific indicates or diseases to build awareness and also to help to indirectly promote treatments for them. These feeds provide information about the diseases, treatment options and connections to patient advocacy groups.

Advocacy

A few companies use Twitter to help to promote patient advocacy around certain therapeutic indications. While this is not common, there may be growth in this area as healthcare becomes more focused on outcomes and preventative medicine strategies.

I am certain that companies use Twitter for other purposes but these appear to be most common uses to date. While pharma and biotech companies are finally beginning to understand the power and reach of social media, the pharmaceutical industry is light years beyond other industries uses of social media. These will likely change in the not-so-distant future as the generation of children who were born and grew up with social media come of age!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

Mobile Healthcare Communications Conference for 2012

Posted in Social Media

Increasingly, healthcare professionals, patients and consumers are turning to and using their mobile devices for healthcare information. Further, development of mobile software platforms and associated are allowing patients to more regularly directly communicate with their physicians. To help sort out the growing complexity of the mobile healthcare communications industry, the Business Development Institute (BDI) entitled “Mobile Healthcare Communications 2012:Case Studies and Roundtables” will be held on Thursday, January 26, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM at The Graduate Center of the City University of NY (365 5th Ave, NY, NY 10016).

Registration fee for the event is $195 per attendee. BioJobBlog readers who wish to attend should use promo code BC for a discounted rate of $175.

Speakers and roundtable moderators include:

  1. Lance Hill, CEO, Within3
  2. Scott Hopkins, Executive Vice President, Anderson Direct Marketing
  3. Dr. Katherine Malbon, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital
  4. Talya Miron-Shatz, PhD, Marketing Department, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania 
  5. Jenna Mons, Consumer Product Manager for LAP-BAND®, Allergan 
  6. John Vieira, Daiichi-Sankyo

Event sponsors include:

BioCrowd, PR NewswireWithin3 ; Anderson Direct MarketingCinchcastJournal of Communication in HealthcareManhattan ResearchNew York UniversitySociety for Healthcare Strategy and Market DevelopmentPixels & Pills

For event related questions and registration, please contact Maria Feola-Magro at mfeola@bdionline.com or 212.765.8043.

For sponsorship/speaking opportunities, including pricing, please click here or contact Jennifer Brous at jbrous@bdionline.com or 212-765-8358.

For additional information, including registration, please click here to visit the event website.

See you at the conference!

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!

A Christmas Present From the EyeonFDA Blog: Who’s Who in Life Sciences Social Media

Posted in Social Media

The incomparable Mark Senak, author of the EyeonFDA blog and social media enthusiast, offers a gift this holiday season to those of you track social media use by life sciences companies. Mark has assiduously compiled a list of the life sciences companies that use social media and their platforms of choice.

It is a comprehensive list and must have for all of you pharma social media junkies out there!

Happy Holidays!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!

 

An Analysis: Big Pharma and Social Media Usage

Posted in Social Media

A study conducted in November 2011 by Cegedim Strategic Data, a market research and promotional audit firm analyzed the world’s top 100 pharmaceutical companies expenditure on traditional promotional (marketing spends) and then compared that spending with their presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Not surprisingly, Pfizer, Novartis and Merck (the world’s largest big pharma companies) finished in the top three for traditional promotional spending. However, their use of social media i.e. Twitter and Facebook varied widely. For example, Pfizer—the top promotional spender—was first in its number of Twitter followers and third in the number of likes on Facebook. On the other hand, second ranked Novartis was fifth in the number of Twitter followers and in seventeenth position for likes on Facebook. Finally, third ranked Merck was fifteenth in the number of Twitter followers (third for the number of tweets) and in the tenth position for the number of likes on Facebook (but has more pages than any of its Facebook competitors).

Other notable companies included:

  • Johnson &Johnson, eleventh in promotional spending and number two on the number of Facebook likes
  • Roche, number fifteen on the promotional spending list was ranked number two for the number of Twitter followers
  • Proctor and Gamble which ranked a distant 54th in promotional spending was number four on the Twitter follower list

What does this all mean? A whole lot of nothing because nobody can determine what effects the use of social media has on the bottom line for most pharmaceutical companies. Unlike other industries, where social media can be used to sell products, it cannot be used for direct promotional purposes in the life sciences industry. While most people will tell you this is because of the lack of guidance by FDA on the use of social media, the bottom line is that social media will never be allowed for direct-to-consumer advertising in the pharmaceutical industry. That said, pharma and biotech will have to find other uses for social media including clinical trial recruitment and retention, adverse event reporting, employee recruitment and retention and education and outreach.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Tweeting (and Liking)

 

EyeonFDA Blog: Why FDA Needs to Be Clear About Social Media

Posted in Social Media

Mark Senak, author of the EyeonFDA blog and a life sciences/healthcare social media enthusiast, wrote a fantastic piece yesterday that provides cogent ideas and insights into the need for FDA to expeditiously craft guidance on the use of social media in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

Here are the facts. First, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, social media has fundamentally changed the way in which we interact with one another and ushered in a new era of communication. Unlike the old, so-called “broadcast communication method”—information is continuously streamed from a static source, websites, television, radio etc, to perspective customers and stakeholders—the new paradigm requires that communications must be personal, portable and participatory for effective messaging. Second, the primary source of information sought by most persons who use the Internet is healthcare and medical information. While much of the content is accurate, some is not; which may put persons seeking medical information at great risk. In other words, social media is not just about marketing and medical education; it is also about preserving public health.

The agency has historically been unable to issue guidance on new forms of communication. For example, FDA held its first public meeting in 1996 on Internet use by life sciences and healthcare companies. Sadly, the agency has yet to issue any official guidance on this topic. In late 2009, FDA held another public meeting and promised that draft guidance on the internet and social media would be forthcoming by the end of 2010. Unfortunately the guidance did not materialize in 2010 and it has been delayed twice in 2011. Recently, the agency publicly reaffirmed its commitment to issuing the guidance but without a specific timetable for its release. Consequently, it is anyone’s guess when or if the guidance will be released.

Unlike many, I do not believe that FDA guidance on the Internet and social media is absolutely necessary. However, I will admit that issuance of said guidance will provide drug and healthcare companies with some of the assurances that they need in order to actively use social media to engage patients, physicians and other stakeholders. For this reason alone, FDA ought to issue the guidance (which is never perfect and always a work in progress) and end the social media stalemate that currently exists. Failure to do so may have serious consequences on the public health of many Americans.

Hat tip to Mark!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!