Sermo updates client offering

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Sermo launched an updated client center as part of a broader effort to tailor the social networking site's client offering to PR and marketing practitioners.

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Sermo launched an updated client center as part of a broader effort to tailor the social networking site's client offering to PR and marketing practitioners.

Daniel Palestrant, founder and CEO of the online physician community, said PR and marketing clients are the “fastest-growing areas of activity” for Sermo.

The updated Sermo Client Center includes an enhanced search capability that taps into comments and posts and a customized e-mail alert system.

Sermo was founded in 2006 as a social networking site for physicians to share information about drugs and medical products, disease categories, and other issues affecting doctors such as healthcare reform and practice management.

More than 115,000 physicians use the site, about one in five physicians in the US, said Palestrant. He added that community discussions often act as an “indicator of what is going to appear in mainstream media.”

Agencies use Sermo to gather information for a pitch or understand a marketplace. PR practitioners also use the community to understand how physicians are talking about a new drug or drug indications.

Edelman has been a Sermo client since 2008, said Emily Downward, SVP of digital health at the agency. She added that, while many pharmaceutical clients are still reluctant to engage in social media, agency staff can use the site to gather information that will provide better counsel to those clients. “It definitely influences what we do,” she said.

Last year, Sermo launched a program for agencies, corporate communications, and brand teams to gather feedback from physicians about communications materials.

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