Our New Media Masterclass

So we went to Paris, to give a New Media Masterclass for a pharmaceutical company. Our program comprised of a 45 minutes presentation on the Rise of New Media, 45 minutes presentation on the effect of New Media on business, and finished with a 45 minutes panel discussion.Some findings:

  • About 75% of the people wants to continue with podcasting (we did a series on product introduction there)
  • Either you ‘get’ new media, or you don’t. Some people were lost, for most it was an eye opener
  • Difficult to see where it’s going and what the effect on the pharma business will be
  • The company will organize a workshop to identify 5 subjects on New Merdia they want to explore. Good news and compared to other pharma companies pretty innovative
  • The average score of the New Media Masterclass was a 7.8, significantly higher than the standard program

See the presentations for yourself here:Part 1: The Rise of New MediaPart 2: The Effect of New Media on the Business

Experience is the new reality

Travel with us to 2050, where Prometeus is a result of the new media revolution happening today.

Very cool…

Our interview ‘New Media: hype or trend?’

We were asked for an interview in a personnel magazine of a pharmaceutical company for which we are doing some New Media activities. Read it for yourself:


New Media is hot. All around us we are confronted with New Media jargon: Web 2.0 and blogging, RSS and podcasting. It all started some years ago on the consumer side, but more and more companies are now also investigating business opportunities in new media. We spoke with three people who are currently broaching this brave new world of communication; Luke Bragg, Erik van der Zijden and René van den Bos.

Before we delve into the topic of new media, René puts the evolution of the past decade into perspective for us. “We just got used to the internet revolution of the mid 1990s (also known as Web 1.0) when the New Media revolution started. Web 1.0 gave us access to an incredible amount of information, just a click away. However, this was actually just a one-way street and very much driven by commercial opportunities. Anyone who developed a website was able to provide its visitors with information, but it was not possible to respond to that information other than sending an e-mail to the owner of the site. These responses were not accessible for other consumers, so opinions could not be shared. Nowadays, the internet is much more consumer driven; anyone is able to put any kind of information on the internet without having to pay a cent. The web has become a two-way street, called Web 2.0. We can compare it to our new third generation global intranet, which allows collaboration, content management and document sharing.”

Erik adds: “Simply put, Web 2.0 provides platforms on the internet where communities are created between users with the sole purpose of sharing information in the broadest sense. New media also brings new opportunities to business and organizations. It offers them a better understanding of the needs of their customers and a better alignment of the services they provide. It offers a platform for discussion with customers and employees. New Media enable people to talk with each other and with organizations and businesses.”

Create awareness
As a true eBusiness manager, Luke is very enthusiastic about the possibilities. “Take podcasting, for example. A podcast is a downloadable audio or video file, in itself not a very new thing; we have been able to download files for many years now. What makes podcasting so unique is that you can subscribe to a series of podcasts using a technology called RSS. This technology allows computers to ‘speak’ to each other and periodically check to see if a new podcast has been added. If so, the podcast is automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player and can be played when and where you like it.”
A lot of the tools mentioned above can also be used for internal communications. That is why they have started a pilot project for using internal podcasting as a new communication tool. The objective was clear: to create more awareness about a product and increase understanding of the different roles departments play during product development.

René explains: “Developing pharmaceutical products is a very specialized process involving many departments. Although we would like to be seen as a transparent company where we all know what other departments are doing, in reality this is not always the case. Podcasting can be used as a lively tool to improve our understanding of each other’s role in the process by letting the people tell their own story in their own words and share these experiences digitally.”

Real people telling real stories
Key processes involved in the development of the product, such as R&D, Production, Marketing and Sales, were identified. The next step was to organize interviews with the people responsible for those processes and record these conversations on video. A platform on SharePoint was created where the video files would be stored.

“Up to now, we have put 4 episodes online: Introduction to Podcasting, Branding, The Toolkit, and Research and Development. By the time you read this, we will have also completed the Marketing and Introduction in the UK episodes,” Erik elaborates. “The nice thing about the podcast series is that it really gives a sneak preview of what happened behind the scenes at a particular department. Real people are telling real stories. Of course we cannot show everything in only 8 minutes, but at least it gives us a starting point for future discussions. The reactions so far were very positive, certainly an incentive to rollout this tool for other events.”

“We also developed a training podcast for another pharmaceutical product,” René adds. “In this podcast, we filmed a sales rep visiting his customers in order to show them how to position this product against other products in this range. We also hear the sales rep and the veterinarian’s stories and start to understand them better. And then we can help our sales people by optimizing the positioning of the product against its competitors, which should lead to more successful sales visits.”

In conclusion, Luke says, “Although sometimes seen as hype, I am convinced that new media is here to stay and will have a great impact on both our personal and work life. Many new media tools have the ability to convey ‘voice’ and ‘expertise’. For companies, where openness and expertise are traditional strengths, many opportunities lie ahead.”


YouTube catching bad guys


YouTube is not only for funny stuff. Police investigators have discovered this new media tool to catch the bad guys. Take the surveillance camera footage and put it on YouTube.

See, New Media is making the world better…

Here we go again


Just back from Blognomics and off we go to the next symposium. This time it’s called ‘Me the Media’ and it’s organized by Vint (freely translated from Dutch: Exploration Group New Technology).

Interesting congress about empowering the individual by new media. Impressive line-up of speakers. Check the agenda yourself here.

Blognomics 2007: First Impressions


So we went to Amsterdam to participate in the third edition of Blognomics, entitled ‘Media 2.0 have arrived’. Well, was it worth it?

The program was pretty packed, and since we’ve got only half a day there was not a lot of time for discussion. The program started with a keynote from Paul Molenaar (COO Sanoma, CEO Ilse) who explained to us the current situation regarding blogging. Growth is declining although the activities of the bloggers are increasing, thus the influence they have as well. He explained the difference between people in their twenties (grown up with computer technology, not afraid for it) and people in their thirties (discovered PC by themselves, value ‘real life’ friendship first before going online). Key message was that companies should adapt not only the content of their messages, but also the medium itself, enabling them to reach their target audience.

The program continued with a presentation of Jetse Sprey (Partner Versteeg Wigman Sprey Lawyers) who gave us a (very) brief overview of all legal impliations of online publishing. It was a pleasant and entertaining presentation. The guy knew what he was talking about.

…which I can not say of the next presenter, Stef Kolman (CEO Bliin) who tried to explain me what his company, Bliin, was doing. After he finished his rather philosophical introduction about our existince in a ‘divine space which will transform in a narrow passage’ where we have to ‘float like angels, seeking for connection with earth’ I thought I ended up in a sales pitch of some kind of neoreligious gathering. He desperately tried to explained his business model but it was only after a clear question from the audience that it became a bit less fuzzy. A pity that his demonstration was not working well either…

Next up was a panel of blogging politicians. I won’t go into detail about the political parties they represent, only that I had the feeling they are kind of ‘stuck in the middle’: they want to blog as much as possible, but they can’t due to regulations. Some high ranking (successful) political bloggers don’t blog themselves, but have ghost writers instead. We even found out that the Hyves (= Dutch MySpace) account of our Prime Minister is not for real! Bad boy…

Just before the break Gabe Mcintyre of Xolo.tv presented his ideas. Finally a subject closer to our heart. The guy presented well (he’s right, New Media does sound better in English). Check out his website for more info.

After the break the program continued with a panel discussion entitled ‘Did the mainstream media incorporated new media’. A lot of discussions related to ‘Dag‘, the new crossmedia free newspaper in the Netherlands. There was (of course) also a reporter from Dag asking the opinion of the panel about the concept.

Skoep.nl was the next topic on the agenda. In an unconservative way the anarchist Michael Nederlof (Managing Director Skoeps) explained the exciting business model of Skoeps. Skoeps is a concept whereby news in made by ordinary people. Have a camera and see an event? Shoot it, send it and if Skoep sells your picture to mainstream media, they’ll split the money 50/50 (and even give it all in case you ask ;-)). Very interesting…. Check their site.

The program continued with a presentation of Olger Smit (OMD), a media communication agency. He explained the use of new media in their communication mix (new media still small compared to traditional media). Funny story about how they worked with Tweakers.net on the Playstation 3 introduction. Also, to eveybodies utmost surprise, he openly indicated that many big blogs which are being ‘sponsored’ by large companies adapt the content to the liking of their sponsor without indicating it. OK, blogging is clearly growing up now….

Almost there. Up next a presentation from Peter Olsthoorn (P7 en Netkwesties and chairman Dutch Bloggies) about what makes a good blog. Nice presenter, critical towards the audience and the subject. He also participated in the last panel: ‘From blogs to mainstream media, how do you get a position?’.

Overall a good conference. From a organizational point of view some remarks (please make sure you have coffee when people registrate themselves at the beginning, give everybody a program on paper and if networking is important, just make sure you have a participants list to hand out). Most of the subjects were OK, with some of them even getting close to excellent (then again, some close to or surpassing ‘bad’). It’s a small world, the Dutch blogging world (about 50 top bloggers) and that was obvious (sort of clan I would say). The other 150 people were just there to absorb the information.

We’ll try to cover more in detail the several subjects in later posts, so stay tuned

Let’s go Blognomics!


This Thursday we’ll join the Dutch blog- and new media society in the third edition of the Lowlands own new media event: Blognomics.

The main topic this year will be Media 2.0 has arrived. During the congress, four aspects will be discussed:

– Integrate existing media in new media
– New media and new business models
– New developments within the media
– Politics embraces all kinds of media

It appears to be a full and interesting program with a plethora of speakers coming from a variety of disciplines.

Stay tuned…

Mac users more on Web 2.0


Investment analysts at ThinkEquity Partners LLC are reiterating their Buy rating on shares of Apple this week, citing recent studies that show Mac users are twice as active in the Web 2.0 ecosystem and purchase better technology than their PC counterparts.

“This Mac OS market share is higher than our estimate of an approximate 5 percent market share of the total PC market,” the analyst told clients. “However, Net Applications’ survey is based on usage, and the results appear to indicate that Mac users spend more time online and/or visit more Websites than Windows users per session.”

In his note, Hoopes also pointed to a recent analysis of a Forrester study conducted by Ars Technica, which found that over 20 percent of Mac users, or twice as many as Dell users, are “Creators” involved in the production of Web 2.0 content.

The study also concluded that Mac users are also more likely to be critics, spectators and participants in social groups. In all, the study found that only 35 percent of Mac users are “inactive”, versus inactivity levels around 55 percent for Dell users, who are also less likely to be involved in the Web 2.0 ecosystem.

“The results support the idea that a higher percentage of Mac users overlap with the younger Web 2.0 crowd,” wrote Hoopes. “This group has higher demand for computer functionality and performance, and are more likely than average PC users to purchase better technology to support their activities.”

The ThinkEquity analyst said it’s his opinion that Apple has established a premium image with a less price-sensitive group.


Kotler’s advice

Found in the program of a Kotler seminar at the Nyenrode Business University on September 4:

“11:30 hrs
Finding New Ways To Communicate
Companies must supplement their traditional communication approaches with the new communication media such as cell phone marketing, blogs, podcasts, webcasts, social networks and buzz marketing if they are to get passed growing customer resistance to advertising”

Well, we all know it’s true if Kotler says it…


Web Attack 101


Nice article in the BusinessWeek about what corporations should do in a case of a nasty blog attack (Dell Hell, anyone?). “Most companies are wholly unprepared to deal with the new nastiness that’s erupting online”, writes Michelle Conlin in her article. The article continues: “Millions of dollars in labor are being spent discussing whether or not you should respond on the Web”.

Like it or not, there is always a change that people start blogging about your company, your products, your services, or all of this at the same time. Companies have two options: ignore and hope it will go away, or respond to the attacks.

“Companies such as Lenovo, Soutwest Airlines and Dell have have specialist dedicated to engaging or co-opting their critics”. A whole new industry is emerging , with companies like BuzzLogic providing services to scan the internet to find bloggers and social media which are important to marketers.

In the article, 5 tips are provided for companies managing the menace of online mobs:

Engage critics
Create a blog so you can strike quickly. Establish ground rules, and filter nasty, anonymous comments.

Be vigilant
Hire a team of media experts to troll for bad news and trends. Know what influencers are saying about you at all times.

Jump in and open up
Address anything that could turn into a bonfire immediately. Replace ‘no comment’ with transparency, candor and humility.

Don’t overreact
Let tiny spasms of venom go. They’ll dissappear under the relentless pileup of new information.

Stay professional
Respond to personal attacks for strategic reasons, not psychological ones. Don’t use the Web for therapy.

Source: BusinessWeek, April 16, 2007

DigiRedo take: May be also a good read for the pharmaceutical industry. When we asked last week in Berlin which companies have a policy in place how to deal with cyber attacks it stayed pretty silent in the audience….

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