J&J and Social Media – How’d They Do It? A Conversation with J&J

Johnson & Johnson has gone far in establishing a digital footprint that has both breadth and depth to it.  The company's YouTube channel now has over 90 videos – not branded, but patient educational. That is more than SanofiPasteurTV, GSKVision and the AbbottChannel combined.  They have multiple Facebook pages that are geared to special audiences, consumer products and conditions.  They have a corporate blog – JNJBTW.  The blog was begun with the simple question that serves as a premise – Everyone else is talking about our company, so why can't we? 

Generally these media are linked to one another, driving traffic back and forth.  And the company is establishing relationships and communications with other stakeholders.  
There continues to be concern about a highly regulated industry like pharma becoming involved in social media.  The regulatory cultures of some companies are so conservative that employees aren't permitted to view social media.  Other companies, like J&J have tested the waters.  Curiously, no regulatory wires have been tripped solely for the reason of the medium.  

MarcMonseauRobHalper
Marc Monseau is the Director of Corporate Communications for Social Media at J&J and Rob Halper is the Director of Video Communications.  Just the fact that such titles exist at a company that makes pharmaceutical products is a testament to vision.  I have had it in my head for some time to get the opportunity to have them talk about their experiences in developing their company's digital footprint.  Yesterday, we got to do it.  We talked about what motivated them in the first place – how they began – and what they encountered along the way.  I hope you find it useful and informative.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
This entry was posted in New and Social Media, Podcast. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to J&J and Social Media – How’d They Do It? A Conversation with J&J

  1. Adam says:

    I’ve heard a lot about JNJ’s presence online. I find it interesting that their forward-thinking approach with online endeavors has so positively impacted my perception of their overall brand. JNJ BTW helps them appear to be more transparent then your traditional Pharma brand; and the YouTube page improves the perception of JNJ as committed to educating the public on important health issues. I work for a Pharma advertising agency and I wish more companies could appreciate that bravery here can result in important benefits to the company’s overall brand. Thanks for the interview Mark.

  2. Janelle says:

    I wonder how closely linked J&J’s engagement with the community through mediums like this is linked to their highly positive corporate reputation? (see Harris Interactive Survey 2007-2008: http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/mediaaccess/2008/HI_BSC_REPORT_AnnualRQ_USASummary07-08.pdf).
    Perhaps there are lessons here for all pharma.

  3. Nico P. says:

    Coming from Pharma, I’m impressed to see that a Social Media position can exist in such companies
    Finaly, Pharma will really make a move in their Customer Relationship. I’m waiting to see this in EMEA

  4. Ellen Hoenig says:

    Thank you for organizing these interviews. J&J certainly has made the greatest inroads to social media.
    However, I’m still hoping that pharma can figure out ways to more fully engage their consumers via valuable branded efforts, and also to more effectively use social media for the value of listening and learning from consumers, physicians and advocates…
    I also think the new AZ Symbicort patient stories on YouTube are pretty interesting. http://www.youtube.com/myasthmastory

  5. Steve B. says:

    I will watch with interest. From a small device manf. viewpoint, my concern would be the requirements of FDA’s expectations regarding social net participation.
    For example: could they try to impose a “reflexive” response: e.g. participation creates an obligation to actively scan for off-label uses and report them? (…impossible to do in practice if you can’t get to the originator to get accurate information).
    Even though speech between customers is not regulated, if you encourage it, what obligations from a regulatory, ethical and legal stand to you take on board?

  6. Ellen Hoenig says:

    Thank you for organizing these interviews. J&J certainly has made the greatest inroads to social media.
    However, I’m still hoping that pharma can figure out ways to more fully engage their consumers via valuable branded efforts, and also to more effectively use social media for the value of listening and learning from consumers, physicians and advocates…
    I also think the new AZ Symbicort patient stories on YouTube are pretty interesting. http://www.youtube.com/myasthmastory

  7. Bonnie Southcott says:

    I’ve been looking for good examples of social media implementation by pharma. You’re right. Hard to find. Some sites are designed to feel as if they’re engaging with the company (branded example: Gardasil.com; non-branded: cfvoice.com), but they still don’t embrace social media. Until the FDA figures out that it has to change with the times, I don’t know how pharma can come out and play.

  8. Rob Halper says:

    In response to Steve B’s comment in terms of obligations relating to consumer comments, we would need to react to any adverse event according to FDA reporting guidelines already in place. Being a non-branded site, however, this hasn’t occurred. The other guideline is common sense. We do have several disclaimers on the landing page. Off-topic, offensive or promotional comments will not be posted. And we are extremely careful never to dispense medical advice, or imply that the channel should be a source of treatment information. That being said, within those limits, we put up comments whether they are positive or negative reactions to the videos. I think one of the problems with having a branded site is that it will be much trickier to manage those comments, which is why I believe they are turned off on the AZ site. It’s too bad, because I find that the interaction with viewers is one of the most satisfying aspects of the jnjhealth channel.
    Rob
    jnjhealth

  9. Pingback: Pharma and social media - DigiPharm