As many of you know this is an intermittent series I’ve been writing on uses of new media by the pharmaceutical industry. So far, I’ve written about the use of Blog Monitoring, RSS Feeds for press releases and the use of YouTube as an alternative to PSAs. Today, we’re going to discuss Wikis. I love saying Wiki. Wiki, wiki, wiki. It sounds like a drink that comes with an umbrella.
The most famous Wiki is the Wikipedia. To use their own definition – "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia collaboratively written by many of its readers. It is a special type of website, called a wiki, that makes collaboration easy. Many people are constantly improving Wikipedia, making thousands of changes an hour, all of which are recorded on article histories and recent changes."
The utility of a Wiki is not just for the pharmaceutical industry, but for all large corporations, particularly those with large sales and communications capacities, because all of those people not only need training, but also need to be current and up to date. So, by developing a Wiki, a company can house the latest competitive intelligence, post glossaries of terms for staff, post "how-to" articles and the like. In other words, a company Wiki becomes the embodiment of the latest and greatest learning tools and provide on-going training. New postings could be screened and edited by one source in the company to assure quality control.
Just because the pharmaceutical industry has been relatively slow to embrace new media doesn’t mean that some in the industry are going to get there before others. There are noticeable gaps between companies and their sophistication in this area. The same is true for communications consultants that serve these companies. And, as we know, it is much harder to catch up, then to be a leader.