Yesterday, I attended the first day of the ExL Pharma conference at Pfizer's headquarters in New York. It turned out to be a who's who of pharmaceutical communications, with attendees ranging from agency leaders and former media players to brand managers and corporate communications practitioners.
Regardless of the session or speaker, social media was the topic of the day. Even the morning keynote, Dr Freda Lewis-Hall, chief medical officer at Pfizer, talked about social media. While this focus is not new, especially in such a highly regulated space as the pharmaceutical industry, I did notice that the discussion was much more tactical and focused on "how" and not "why."
Another topic I heard in a number of discussions was ROI and whether investment could be attributed to successes in social media, reputation, and even traditional media relations. And, of course, much was said about an FDA guidance on social media and how it could shape the way pharmaceutical companies develop programs.