Government launches comms drive for Pharmaceutical companies to use digital media

The Government is launching a nationwide initiative to help pharma companies work around strict comms regulations and use digital media more effectively.

UK digital coach for the pharma industry
UK digital coach for the pharma industry

The Year of Digital Business Growth is due to be launched in April by the Department for  Business, Innovation and Skills and small business soc­ial networking site, Ecademy.

As part of the Government’s wider drive to boost business growth, Ecademy has trained a number of digital coaches to provide companies with the skills to use social and digital media.

Karen Winterhalter, MD at Onyx Health and former EMEA MD at Burson-Marsteller and Weber Shandwick, has become the first UK digital coach for the pharma industry. She will work with pharma companies to help individuals and brand teams develop their online presence and overcome industry regulations.

In the highly regulated pharma environment, which has traditionally been closed and selective in its comms strategies, digital and social media have proved a challenge for many companies.

‘While many pharma companies have emb­raced digital comms in the sales environment, few have taken advantage of social media and the opportunities they offer to brands, corporate reputation and internal comms,’ said Winter­halter.
She added: ‘There needs to be a change in mindset to enable companies to use social media rather than a change in the regulations... Companies need to adopt an open, random and support app­roach that moves away from the traditional "tell-sell" way of communicating.’

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