DigiRedo’s New Media session at FECAVA congress – follow us LIVE!

Currently we’re in Istanbul at the FECAVA congress, an international veterinary congress. FECAVA is the Federation for European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations. Most of the congress is about clinical subjects like dentistry, internal medicine and radiology. But also the veterinarian needs to realize the importance of communication and the impact of new and social media. And the opportunities they bring.

This afternoon, starting around 2pm, one of the sessions will be entirely dedicated to new media and what the veterinarian can do with it. Together with FECAVA we’ve organized this session, which exists of three presentations: I will start with a presentation with an introduction on new media followed by Susie Samuel from Vethelpdirect, who will talk about how you can use new and social media in the veterinary practice. After the break Erik will talk about online communities. The session will be closed with an open discussion with the audience, a bit unconference-like, where everybody can share their opinion, thoughts and doubts about the use of new and social media for the veterinary practice.

In the meantime we will encourage people to use Twitter (#fecava11). The session will streamed live and can be followed live here.

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Twitter + Video Broadcasting = TwitCasting

“Late last year, Ustream and qik launched iPhone applications that let you stream videos from the iPhone to the web and allow others to watch them as they’re being recorded. And now there is an iPhone app called TwitCasting Live (iTunes link), which offers the same basic functionality, but is – as the name suggests – much more deeply integrated into Twitter”, writes Serkan Toto in an article on MobileCrunch.

“When the recording begins, you can automatically tweet out a specific URL for the broadcast (“I’m live on Twitcasting!”) to your followers who just need to hit the link to watch the live stream on the web or even on their iPhones (iPhone users won’t hear sound though). The app comes in especially handy during events, for example. After the broadcast, you can choose to save and archive the recording on the TwitCasting website.”

Original article here.


Twitter in Pharma – Interview with John Pugh (Boehringer)

At the last DigiPharm congress we spoke to John Pugh, Director Corporate and External Communications at Boehringer Ingelheim. John is well known for bringing Boehringer into the Twittersphere, and has quiet some success with that initiative. Using Twitter to communicate with journalists -his primary target in his role as External Communicator- he “can establish a dialogue with them”, according to John himself.

John started in the new/social media space about ten years ago, the time that websites were still written in Comic Sans. You could call John a real internet veteran, in that respect. During DigiPharm 2009 he shared his vision of the future of pharma, and the role new media will have.

In our interview John talks about his passion for new media and the challenges pharma is facing when deploying new media into their communication mix. John is a firm believer of new media and focusses in the opportunities rather than the threats, like we see way too often around us. We need more johns….

 

Blogworld 2009: Human Business and a Guinness World Record

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Social Media has definitely grown out of its infancy. Although, according to all the geeks that attended the first integrated edition of Blogworld and New Media Expo in Las Vegas. More than 2500 bloggers, podcasters, consultants and other new media mavericks visited Sin City for 3 days to talk about and share experiences on Social Media. Close to 300 speakers gave dozens presentations and panel discussions on a large variety of subjects. Without going into detail of all of them, I will give you the highlights of the conference.

Twitter rawks

If there was one subject that was mentioned in almost every discussion then it was Twitter. With great passion Twitt-lebrities like Laura Fitton (@Pistachio), Robert Scoble (@scobleizer) and Aaron Strout (@aaronstrout) shared the power of Twitter. “The power of unisolating people”, according to Laura. “And it’s not about the writer, it’s not about the number of followers you have but it is about the message you share. People are made to socialize, also in business. For that it is important to surround yourself with inspiring people. Twitter is a great tool for that.”

Guiness World Record

Thanks to Twitter a Guinness World Record was set during Blogworld. The highest number of social network mentions within 24 hours. And last Monday the record was confirmed by Guinness World Record: a total of 209,771 social network mentions of #beatcancer in one day via Twitter, Facebook and blog posts. As a result eBay/Paypal and MillerCoors offered a donation of $70.000 to four non-profit cancer organizations (Spirit Jump, Bright Pink, Alex’s Lemonade, and Stand UP to Cancer). As the campaign continues, you can still donate and help promote this initiative via Beatcancereverywhere.com.

shoe4africa

Shoe4Africa
More good causes-support from eBay/Paypal. Their booth was completely dedicated to this theme. One of the good causes was Shoe4Africa, a non-profit organization aiming at ‘empowerment through sports and education, creating unique health initiatives, and promoting AIDS awareness.’ Cornerstone project is the development of a children’s hospital in Kenya, which will be the first public hospital in Kenya and the largest children’s hospital in Africa. The project is supported by Anthony Edwards, who sat in the keynote Celebrity panel. Although not yet very active in Social Media, Edwards understands the difference he can make as a celebrity using Social Media to spread the word around this project. So at Blogworld, he lost his Twitterginity and made his first tweet. Follow him on @anthonyedwards4. We also had a short interview with him which will be published shortly.

Dutch presence
And of course we ran into Vincent Everts, a webexpert and trend-watcher. Vincent presence at Blogworld was to promote yubby.com, a video aggregator the collect videos from over 30 popular video sources. Previously known as Dik.nl, but you can imagine, not a name that would work well in the US (although, flickr didn’t change its name for Holland…) And of course, Vincent not only did his upmost for yubby, he also worked on his own brand. Being very present at various sessions and as member in one of the panels, the success of his quest was confirmed to be successful during the closing keynote. When one-time talk-show host Guy Kawasaki asked the audience who has not heard of Jenny the Blogess, Vincent raised his hand as one of the few. Guy looked at him and said ‘oh, that’s that guy in the white suit’. An interview with Vincent will be launched shortly.

Chris Brogan

If there is one Social Media guru that is reaching superstar status without losing it, it’s Chris Brogan. I think he is the most mentioned, quoted, RTweeted and appreciated speaker of Blogworld 2009. And true, Chris is a very sympathetic and respectable person, but moreover, he is a visionary and true knowledge expert in the field. His keynote on day one was for me the most inspiring of all sessions. ‘Stop tapping each other on the back, but get out there and start working. There is so much to do out there’. And he is right. Social Media has grown out of its infancy. As much as we liked the pioneering atmosphere at New media Expo 2007, those days seem to be over. Social Media is becoming true business. Moreover, we shouldn’t call it Social Media anymore. It’s Human Business.

For more details go to Chris’ blogpost on his keynote. Here you can find the entire keynote (and all other keynotes).

Trend for 2010
On the exhibition floor, there were several companies that demonstrated applications based on aggregation of content. We already mentioned yubby.com as a video aggregation site, but aggregation goes beyond video. Zemanta is an application that helps you look for content related to the blogpost you are writing. While you’re writing, it ‘looks over your shoulder [..] and gives you tips and advice’. It analyzes your content, suggests keywords and related articles. With Zemanta, your blog becomes more visible and generates more traffic.
Regator goes even further in aggregation. There is an enormous amount of content available within the blogosphere. Regator ‘gathers the world’s best blog posts and organizes them in a way that’ makes it easy to find the things you need’. This selection is not purely done through some fancy algorithm, but through a team of editors. Yes, real people that search the web for valuable content. In fact, they decide for you what’s valuable or not. Regator uses criteria like regular updates, topical, well written, originality and whether or not your blog is ‘awesome’ based on which you can be added to the selection. The last criterium is rather vague and subjective, but that’s admitted by Regator.

Content is still king in new media. But finding the right content becomes like a monk’s job. For that we need aggregation, and we predict aggregation becomes the trend for 2010.

Audio Bummer
Was it all highs in Vegas? No, there was definitely a bummer. As there were more than 5-6 simultaneous tracks, you had to make up your mind what session to attend. Obviously, that was challenging as interesting presentations were scheduled at the same time. At New Media Expo in the past all participants were given the opportunity to download the audiotracks of all presentations. For free (or better, at no additional fee). Blogworld changed that policy: audiotracks are now available for $15 per session. Not funny. I can’t split myself up in 6, but feel that I have paid close to 1200 bucks to make all these sessions possible. Therefore I plead that all participants should have access to all recorded sessions (at least audio). And I was not the only one complaining about that. Organizer Rick Calvert should make up his mind or consult Tim and Emile Bourquin, former organizers of New Media Expo.

Another disappointment was that there was not much on the use of New Media for internal communication, in our view the way to learn what New Media is, to gain experience and in addition, to improve your internal communication, which in many organizations is underdeveloped. Truly win-win. A separate track should have been developed for this topic. Hopefully the organization considers this for the next edition.
Further, there was a strong focus on blogging, too strong to my liking. New Media is more than just blogging and Twitter. The focus overall was too much on the technology. There was hardly any attention for the development of a New and Social Media strategy. If we really want to go out there and help companies adapt New and Social Media, we need to understand that this is key to success. From that perspective I didn’t really hear anything new in these three days.

Conclusion
Conclusion for Blogworld and New Media Expo 2009: a lot on technology (and then mostly blogging) and too little on strategy. A lot of panels, some good and some which had a tendency towards too much ‘incrowd’. Some very inspiring speakers, a good atmosphere and at night awesome parties. Overall, a more than average event. Rick Calvert only has to solve this audio issue and I will certainly consider attending Blogworld and New Media Expo 2010.

people blogworld


Pharma on the Move – DigiPharm 2009

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Rules, Compliance, Regulatory Affairs… There are many reasons why Big Pharma should not engage in Social Media. But apparently the Web 2.0 fever has hit hard in Pharma Marketing as well, since most, if not all congresses deal with this subject. And rightly so, since the change in behavioral patterns of patients and Health Care Professionals (HCP) are profound and can not be neglected anymore.

DigiPharm 2009 was such a congress, organized by Health Network Communications in London, from September 22 till 25. We were invited to present as well, so off we went to the capital of Great Britain. The event started on Tuesday with an interactive preconference workshop (“European Regulatory Strategies for Digital Marketing”), followed by the two day congress and finished off with a postconference workshop (“Strategies for Successful Marketing to the Digital Healthcare Community”). The workshops were attended by about 20 people, the conference approx. 85 people (excluding 15 speakers). A pretty high number I must say, given the time we’re in now (and also related to the various -rather aggressive- phone calls I got to participate in congresses). In this blogpost I will focus on the conference itself.

Digital Media, Social Media and Regulations
With more than 20 sessions it was a full program. It’s important thought to realize that one should make a clear distinction between Digital Media Marketing and Social Media Marketing. The latter, in our view, is about a dialogue, being transparent and authentic, and let the customer (be it a patient or HCP) in the driver’s seat. Digital Media could be an eDetailing without any ‘social stuff’ around it. It’s more a one way communication, rather than a dialogue. Although the importance of Social Media is now fully recognized, still Digital Media plays an important role in the communication strategy of many companies. Four years ago on a similar congress we concluded that Pharma is by far not ready yet because all presentations were about Digital Media (eDetailing, nice Flash sites). This time, at least half of the presentations were dealing with Social Media aspects within the communication mix.

The congress kicked-off by a presentation of Isabel Silva, Director Global eMarketing from Merck, who took us through the landscape of digital media and the new reality pharma is facing. She was focussing on the opportunities rather than the threats and stated that a “Digital environment could be the way that Pharma business can reinvent itself….to create an open dialogue with customers”. Easier said than done, was the common denominator in the audience. And what about regulations? Don’t they stop us at every digital initiative we deploy? “Not true”, said Heather Simmonds, Director of the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA, making ‘the Code’). “Of course there are rules to follow, like there have always been, and will be. But within those rules there is a lot possible. Clause 24 deals with the internet and in our Code of Practice Review Number 53 we even have an article about blogging for example”. “Let us know what you want and we’ll come back with a position”, she advised the audience. She went through a whole list of social/new/digital media tools and elaborated on the fly. She even discussed Wikipedia, which she had personally visited only once….

Hey! Somebody is interviewing US - for a change...

Hey! WE are being interviewed - for a change...

Multi-Channel
So if their are possibilities, we might consider using a multi-channel approach towards pharma marketing. Paul Dixey from BlueLight Partners states very clearly in one of his slides: “The Push Model doesn’t work anymore”, according to Paul. Too many changes which result in a more informed person on the other end of the deal. He identifies 5 main areas to deal with when implementing new channel approaches: Speed (pharma is not known for its speed), Knowledge (which company will have the best, up-to-date knowledge), Processes (can you handle to change your processes?), Resources (will you have sufficient resources to implement new and innovative channel approaches?) and finally Culture (is your culture open to change?). Paul suggests Multi-Channel Directors as a new function within pharma, preferably “empowered” according to Steve Jadhav from Astellas, who gave a presentation on team efforts in relation to successful campaign management.

Communities in pharma

Communities are no doubt one of the hottest things since Kotler came up with his 4 P’s, but most companies have trouble either

Yep, that's me, speednetworking

Yep, that's me, speednetworking

understanding, building or monetizing them (or all three). The same goes for Big Pharma, where legislation offers yet another potential deal breaker. So are there any success stories? May be there are. Hospira, a global specialty pharma and medication delivery company developed ‘Haemanet.com‘, a platform for hematologists to share knowledge on their profession and thus improving treatment in all hematological-related diseases. “For hematologists, the current communication methods are not ideal”, says Joseph Talanges Jr, Marketing Director at Hospira EMEA. “Journals reach a wide audience but yet the response to comments is slow, sometimes a few months. E-mail is quick, but it’s limited to what you know and is mostly a one to one communication. Congresses happen only ever so often and their only a few websites available”. I would say this is not only the case for hematologists, by the way. Haemanet jumps into this gap by offering a global, 24/7 expert platform. So far so good, because since June they have about 233 registered users from 55 different nationalities. Mind you, this is an expert community, so the absolute numbers are low.

A community from a different type and size is PatientsLikeMe. This patient-driven community collects and shares experiences of patients with certain life-changing diseases (ALS, fybromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, MS, Parkinson, etc). “The first real patient-centered management system”, in the words of co-founder Jamie Heywood who gave a vivid presentation at DigiPharm. “The ability to connect with others, the ability to understand the impact of treatments of the disease is an insight which was surprisingly absent

Jamie Heywood - from PatienstLikeMe

Jamie Heywood - from PatienstLikeMe

in online healthcare”, he continued in our interview we had with him. He started together with his brother and an old friend from MIT in 2004, after his other brother was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). “We had so much advantage in managing his disease because all the people we knew, we wanted to hand that over to other people”, Jamie said. And it certainly is an advantage, given the 50,000 members and 10% monthly growth of the platform. Growth which didn’t go unnoticed by pharma companies, such as UCB Pharma which recently partnered with PatientsLikeMe. So what’s in it for them? Jamie: “For them it’s a way to truly understanding the disease (epilepsy – EZ) and giving patients a tool that reflects their commitment”. Interestingly Jamie was clear in his message to the audience: “Patients who’s life is at stake want to hear from the pharma industry. They feel better knowing that Big Pharma is listening to them, working on their disease”.

Let’s tweet!
A clear message from Jamie, and pharma companies are looking for tools to open up these communication possibilities with patients. Take Twitter, for example. The ‘Social Media Darling’ of 2009. With a stunning growth of 1,382% earlier this year Twitter seems to be unstoppable as the new tool for some forms of communication. I say ‘some forms’, because 140 characters

Tweeting away!

Tweeting away!

seems to be a bit short for your company’s brochure or CEO’s shareholders preso (though in many cases the latter one would be better if it would fit 140 characters). Although used in many conference (such as this one, see the Twitter feed here) more and more pharma companies starting to explore the possibilities of this platform. “Novartis, Boehringer and J&J belong to the top 3”, according to John Pugh, PR responsible for social media at Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH and together with Shwen Gwee crowned ‘Twitter kings of pharma’. So what do they tweet? “Headlines linking to approved press releases, links to digital resources and relevant media articles, dialogues, questions and answers”. And there it becomes tricky. What can you say in your answer, and what can you certainly not say?

Since it was time to get some answers from the audience, we decided to do just that during our 30 Minutes of Fame. No presentation, just debating on 4 statements. See our previous blogpost for more information. In the near future we will be diving much deeper into the outcome of our little survey.

In conclusion
Overall we went home with a positive feeling. Of course, still many things to do in order to go home with an absolute Wow-feeling (for example, don’t let the conference just fade-out but end with a big bang, a presenter which people won’t forget) but I think DigiPharm 2009 was worthwhile attending. Good venue, good program, professionally organized and great line-up of speakers (duh! ;-)). We see a clear shift in the audience towards a more open and transparent way of communicating with their customers. Also authorities seem to understand the changing landscape, although I have the feeling that a lot of education still needs to take place. Not only at the level of the authorities, but also within the pharma companies. “We are preaching to the converted” was said many times during the congres. And in a way true, I guess. Despite some great initiatives shown to us by the various speakers, how many of us went back to the office, switched on their computers (IE6, no doubt), made their traveling report and dove into the hundreds of e-mails awaiting? Before you know it DigiPharm has become a nice memory, with hopefully some LinkedIn and/or Facebook connections. Who is going to make a difference? How are we going to organize ourselves to take pharma marketing into the 21st century?

We have interviewed Paul Dixey, Jamie Heywood and John Pugh. Stay tuned for these video interviews. Also, once the organization of DigiPharm has released the video of our presentation we will of course share this.

Who is using Twitter?

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Last week during one of our New Media Masterclasses somebody asked me what kind of people are actually using Twitter. Although I do have a hunch, I have not seen any demographics, so I owed the person an answer.

It’s funny how the little things in life sometimes can be pretty amazing. This weekend I was reading the ‘Intermediair’, a Dutch magazine for working professionals in which I found a small article entitled: Twitterers are mainly ICT people and marketers’. Well, well…

According to the article the group using people still is a very small niche which can be identified as ‘Online Network Pioneers’. More than half of the Twitter-users is active in Information and Communication Technologies, marketing, sales, advertising or consultancy. Other job functions can hardly be found. About 75% is male, between 30 and 40 years old. Seventy-five percent has a higher education (bachelor or higher).

Still I have the feeling that Twitter is becoming more and more mainstream in the Netherlands. You see it on TV and hear it on the radio. Many celebrities have a Twitter account which they use to stay in touch with their fan base. We even have a few politicians fanatically tweeting about their thoughts. Don’t know if Twitter is here to stay, but it is certainly moving something. What about Twitter in your country?

Source: Intermediair, June 12 2009

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