I’ve written before about the ABPI digital guidelines. These kind of guidance updates are always helpful and interesting for those of us working in digital communications with the pharmaceutical industry. We all understand that social media is a challenging area for regulated pharma for a whole host of regulatory, business, ethical and other reasons. But is this situation sometimes made more complicated than it needs to be?
It’s quite right for pharma to expect a sound rationale and business case before embarking on a digital project. It’s important to be clear about ROI. We need messages and an informed understanding of our audience needs. There’s no programme without a decent strategy and sound objectives. And it’s essential to comply with all the relevant regulations, be transparent and ethical in everything we do. But arguably every organisation ought to be taking this approach.
So to try and answer my question, it strikes me that concerns about “digital” might be primarily because it’s “digital” we’re talking about. Yes, there’s understandable concern about doing something new. But if something’s not appropriate offline then it’s fair to suspect it won’t be appropriate online either. Hopefully we can do digital if we take the view that normal rules apply.