Finally! We have a real-world example of how pharma can engage with social media. Last week, J&J launched a health channel on YouTube featuring short videos on a range of health topics. NBC's chief medical guru Nancy Snyderman used to work at J&J and created many of the videos that will appear on the site. J&J spokesman Marc Monseau, who also blogs at JNJBTW, commented, "There had been a number of videos produced when Nancy worked in our corporate communications office. We were tasked with figuring out how to use these, and we realized that they would be very useful online." So they chose YouTube, which I think is a wise move. Go where the action is. With 80 million users, YouTube is a major destination and information hub. Plus, every imaginable (and some you'd never imagine) health topic already exists on YouTube in video form. I've used it to learn about conditions and love hearing from real people about their experiences. J&J's videos will clearly be different - better quality, expert-led (via Dr. Snyderman) opinion pieces - but I suspect they'll find an audience.
J&J was among the first healthcare companies to create a corporate blog - JNJBTW (mentioned above). They seem genuinely interested in engaging health consumers online. I was a bit surprised at the topic they chose for their YouTube debut: teenage gastric bypass surgery and related obesity. Not that it's a bad topic, just not very J&J (IMHO). Nevertheless, it's a start. Good for you, J&J.