Getting Personal with Social Media!

>> Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Last Thursday, I was in San Francisco, speaking – and listening! – at the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) Industry Leader Forum - Putting Listening to Work , held at the beautiful Bentley Reserve. It was a great day, packed with interesting speakers from Toyota, Kraft, Vitamin Water, and many more.

I was there to talk about how pharmaceutical companies can – and do – engage in social media. As you probably know, one of the biggest issues holding pharmaceutical companies back in social media is the need to report adverse events. To help create some perspective around the problem, I quoted a statistic from Nielsen BuzzMetrics – saying that only 1 in 500 posted comments qualify as reportable events.

Here’s what happened next: cue the twittersphere!

@cdny (in attendance) writes: Did I hear that correctly? 1 in 500 conversations on pharma is an adverse event?

@ wmartino (our own William Martino, following the tweet feed from our office in New York) replied to @cdny: According to the study by Nielsen, yes 1 in 500 was "reportable" (meeting 4 key criteria).

@ MelissaKDavies (also following from a remote location) also replied to @cdny: 1 in 500 online HC msgs contains reportable AE. I ran that rsch for Nielsen. View whitepaper at

A question was asked, answered and reviewed in the course of just a few minutes, pinging from the back of the room to our office in NY, to Melissa Davies -- the author of the study! -- and back again to San Francisco.

I found all this out at the end of my talk -- still standing on the stage -- when Joel Rubinson, The ARF’s Chief Research Officer, asked for the room's attention and read the entire exchange aloud.

As Joel said, “let me show you how social media is working right now.”

Cool, yes?

I’ll be posting more about my speech, and the rest of the conference, soon.

Hope this finds you well!



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