NEW YORK, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It is widely recognized that pharmaceutical companies have been slow to master effective social media engagement strategies compared to other industry sectors. Building on Socializing Your Brand: A Brand's Guide to Sociability research by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick in partnership with Forbes Insights, Weber Shandwick Health explored how global pharmaceutical companies are using social media today to engage key audiences.
The findings from the new study, Digital Health: Building Social Confidence in Pharma, identify a number of paradigm shifting conclusions. The most surprising finding is that regulatory restrictions are no longer the primary barrier to social engagement. While regulations are a critically important and persistent concern, pharma marketing and communications executives report that they are challenged to a greater extent by socializing their strategies internally, instilling social media confidence in their teams and aligning the right resources.
"Patients are increasingly harnessing the Internet to gain knowledge about health conditions and even self-diagnose, leading to a more empowered health consumer and more informed patient-physician conversations," said Laura Schoen , President Global Healthcare, Weber Shandwick. "In this new age of participatory medicine, pharmaceutical companies must start by understanding what health communities want and then use digital technologies to reach them with information that meets the demand and takes into account applicable regulations in their markets."The research consisted of 12 in-depth telephone interviews with senior in-house pharmaceutical executives responsible for social media decisions. Interviews took place in Europe, the United States, Asia and
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