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Month: May 2017

pharma getting creative with content

Creating creative content is key to driving readers and engaging with your audience. How can pharma get creative with content?

question 1: why does pharma need to work on its creative content?

  • creative content is what makes readers come and read your content and also engage with your content
  • companies are getting more sophisticated in their approach to content marketing
  • need to branch out from standard TV advertisement, we do not live in a push information society anymore
  • you need to work hard to engage with people

question 2: what are some common ways pharma is killing creative content?

  • continue to have the *we are different*, *we cannot do that here* approach
  • widespread belief that creativity does not belong in pharma
  • people are frightened to try new things
  • being risk-adverse

question 3: what are some of the biggest obstacles in pharma to becoming more creative?

  • internal approval processes makes it very hard to get work through
  • yes there are limitations but pharma can try harder to be creative (look at examples like alcohol companies and financial institutions)
  • creativity means taking risks, pharma is very risk-adverse
  • creativity seems to be hard to define and quantify

question 4: how can pharma create a culture of creativity?

  • start learning from other business sectors
  • pharma needs to change their attitude towards risk, from avoiding mistakes to taking a chance on success
  • do social listening so that you understand your audience
  • get your approval process in place and to approve quickly if something should come up so you don’t miss the opportunity

question 5: pharma content seems to cover similar topics, so how can each pharma company make theirs stand out from the rest?

  • people love beautiful images or photos
  • great videos, not long, are also captivating
  • get your employees to write content, they are experts in their field
  • get away from traditional PR press release messages, too boring, people want to see content that is fresh and trendy
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pharmaceutical content writing: getting your employees to write for you

 

Great content is what drives visitors to your website or blog and producing great content takes time and needs to be consistent. Pharmaceutical companies tend to be very large organizations with many employees. Just think if each employee could produce one blog post you would be set for the next year and beyond and budget wise probably have spent next to nothing.

question 1: why implement a culture of content writing in your pharmaceutical company?

  • no one knows your product better than your own employees
  • it allows for new insights: employees give unique insights, think of client interaction
  • it allows for a diversity of thought and subject matter
  • do not forget content creators are a critical and vital part of your website or blog & it allows to produce as much content as possible

question 2: so what needs to be in place?

  • good starting point would be to have in place a blog editor
  • start in small steps, for example, get customer facing employees to contribute (for example sales) they  have more client interaction than anyone else in the company
  • create an in-house blogging program or a blogging group:
    • excellent writers that collaborate on writing blog posts, will add content much faster
    • blogging group allows for a place to collect ideas and share learning experiences
    • blogging group allows for understanding metrics on how past post(s) performed and to plan better for the future

question 3: how do you encourage employees to write content?

  • your employees may feel uncomfortable about writing because they are not writers & this is where the blog editor or blogging group can come into play
  • an alternative could be to have content writers interview employees and use the information gained to create great content
  • make it easy for them, give your employees templates or outlines in order for them to get started
  • in the end, there is something exciting about seeing your name next to content on the web, a video, an e-paper or an e-book
  • thank them for contributing
  • convincing coworkers to contribute to blog writing is an ongoing effort

question 4: what kind of incentives can you use?

  • measure success of their content, use metrics and analytics, share these results, this gives them encouragement
  • view this as an opportunity, contributing to a company blog, also gives employees the opportunity to build up their own authority
  • it gives more meaning to their role, they will feel more of a sense of accomplishment
  • should it be made mandatory? no. An option could be to write at least one post per quarter or if your company is large one post per year

question 5: should you get your CEO to help in content writing?

  • Yes, there is something unique about content coming from a CEO, today people want to see the human face of a company
  • besides when employees sense that management is not really *in it* then employees are not truly invested
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pharmaceutical-sponsored clinical trials and recruitment through social media

In occasion of clinical trials awareness week #CTAW2017 I ask myself how can pharmaceutical companies use social media to increase awareness of and participation in pharmaceutical-sponsored clinical trials.

question 1: why use social media to recruit patients in the first place?

  • clinical trials were the second largest category after about support and prevention to be discussed online
  • patients today are more empowered, more informed and more demanding
  • there is a lack of awareness among patient and physicians that clinical trials are available
  • competition for patient recruitment is fierce
  • there is motivation to look into novel methods to recruit potentially eligible individuals in clinical trials
  • social media has the ability to narrow target audience of interest
  • social media serve as a promising solution to improve the public awareness and to support the recruitment

question 2: is there an opportunity to increase pharmaceutical sponsored clinical trials recruitment through social media?

  • the internet and social media provides an inexpensive and free access to potential research participants
  • social media is more cost effective when compared to other advertising channels
  • social media has the potential to work with traditional methods to increase awareness of clinical trials
  • online health patient communities and patient advocacy groups often have a very active social media presence
  • orphan indications have patients advocacy groups that are very engaged

question 3: how can pharma partner with online communities to raise awareness of clinical trials and enrollment?

  • twitter chats provide an excellent means of networking and disseminating information on clinical trials
  • do not state what type of patients you are looking for on social media / better to link web page where patients can get further details and information or direct patients to a call center
  • it is critical to protecting patient information at all times: HIPAA and privacy
  • consider your audience:
    • younger audiences tend to use Twitter / Instagram
    • Facebook, Google AdWords, and trial websites reach 30-50 year olds

question 4: what are some of the challenges for pharma of social media engagement in recruiting patients in clinical trial participation?

  • Internal Review Board (ethics committee) approval is needed / same rules apply as for traditional information to patients regarding clinical trial participation
  • pharma needs to make sure how information will be shared during the recruitment
  • geography needs to be taken into account: where is the clinical trial located
  • is the clinical site in a remote location or area with limited internet access, or limited social media adoption
  • difficult to reach low-income areas may be left out
  • remember many may not have a smartphone, people also use free access such as libraries for internet access
  • patients sharing information or their experiences about participating in a clinical trial, this could endanger the integrity of a clinical trial

question 5: what should pharma consider when rolling out an e-recruiting campaign online?

  • know the regulations:
    • FDA guidance documents on social media use / same regulations that apply to other forms of patient recruitment like TV ads and print material applies to use of social media
    • Institutional Review Boards respect to privacy and non-coercive content
    • regulatory approval of social media recruitment portals
  • have a social media recruitment strategy in place
  • understand the pros and cons of the various social media platforms and where your audience is
  • stay up to date on the trends of social media usage and troubleshooting
  • generate social media visibility, going from just posting information to more call to action focused on driving patient referrals
  • using organic versus sponsored posts
  • company accounts versus third party, which do you use
  • medical language versus lay language
  • when designing clinical trials take into account patients use of social media
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