February 12th, 2009

Fun at ePharma

Apparently there is something of a tradition at the ePharma Summit that involves the attendees of the Chairman’s dinner generating a list of words that the Chairman then has to work into his opening remarks the following morning. Silly, but true.

This year, however, while attending the meal that Google provided, I was also given the dubious honor of writing a post for JNJBTW that included these words. Perhaps it was the nice wine that I had over dinner, but I foolishly agreed. Let’s hope THIS doesn’t become a tradition. So here goes…see if you can find those “key” words that I was asked to include in my final thoughts on this event. (Serious readers please ignore and forgive the following poor attempt to seamlessly weave these words into my post…)

As the second day of the conferences came to a close, it was clear, even to those of us who are social media shrimps or gambas, that now more than ever companies in regulated industries like the pharmaceutical industry have to get more involved with the online communities that are discussing the products they make and sell.

That said, this year’s meeting had a distinctly more optimistic feel, which underscored the fact that more and more is being done in this industry. In the case of Johnson & Johnson, much has changed since last year’s meeting last year. Among the activities we’ve been involved in during the past 12 months, we launched the Johnson & Johnson health channel on YouTube and had several efforts to interact with people on Facebook. Like the tasty croquetas, boquerones or montaditos that comprise a meal of tapas, each of these efforts may just be a tiny mouthful, but they whet the appetite for more to come and provide some flavor of what the main course will involve.

As if underscoring the fact that this industry at last is starting to get their arms around social media, for the first time the meeting organizers liveblogged the event and encouraged participants to Twitter — a fact not missed by John Mack who described this as the meeting’s organizers practicing what they preach.


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