Tuesday, July 17, 2007

J&J Moving Towards "The Naked Pharma"

Johnson & Johnson's new corporate blog, JNJ BTW, deserves close scrutiny as Marc Monseau -- J&J's Corporate Communications Director and main author of JNJ BTW -- finds his "blogger legs" and continues to interact with other bloggers. It is truly an interesting experiment the like of which I haven't seen since the early to mid 90's when individuals within pharma companies launched and maintained their corporate websites with very little oversight from top management.

DISCLOSURE: I know Marc personally and have had several confidential discussions with him about blogging.
Recently, JNJ BTW was criticized by Jim Edwards of BrandweekNRX and compared to the Soviet era Pravda newspaper (read his post "J&J's New Corporate Blog: Is It Any Good?"). Marc not only responded to this criticism in a comment to Jim's post, but he also wrote a response in JNJ BTW itself (see "…And Speaking of Work") where he does a good job defending himself.

Not only is Marc responding to blogger criticism, he is also learning from it, I think. He agreed, for example, with my advice to include stories from J&J's rank and file employees (see "Advice to All Pharma PR Bloggers Out There"). Here's what he said about that:
John Mack also recently provided an assessment of JNJ BTW on his Pharma Marketing Blog. In it, he advised me and other corporate bloggers to try to bring in other voices from within their respective organizations.

Good advice. It’s actually something I’ve intended to do since I started JNJ BTW.

Just as there are “eight million stories in the naked city,” there are countless stories to be told by the folks who work at Johnson & Johnson or any corporation. I hope to soon have other people from Johnson & Johnson join me on JNJ BTW as guests to talk about some of the things they’ve been working on their personal experiences.
OK. I'll buy that Marc already had plans to do what I suggested. But I made this suggestion some time ago before I even knew Marc (see "A Primer on Pharma Employee Blogging").

Marc's reference to the noir film The Naked City -- which was inspired by 30's photographer Weegee (the photo above was shot by Weegee) -- is not only apt, but sheds some light on Marc's interests, which I know include films. It's apt because good corporate blogs have been described as "naked conversations" in a book by the same name. [Maybe Marc should rename his blog "The Naked J&J". Just kiddin' Marc!]

The Naked City movie is pretty gruesome as were some of Weegee's photos. Hopefully, we won't see JNJ BTW evolve into that dark realm.

I also hope that JNJ Blog doesn't go the way of pharmaceutical corporate Web sites. In the 90's not too many pharma C-level execs thought too much about the Internet and they were blissfully unaware that their companies even had a Web site. But they soon wised up and took control and what we are left with today are glossy online brochures without souls.

It would definitely be a shame if one day J&J did the same to JNJ BTW. I am sure there are controls already in place just as Marc says. I don't want to hear from corporate J&J. I like hearing from Marc, a real person who signs his posts and reveals snippets of who he is. I hope other employees at J&J will soon join Marc.


PharmaGuy said...

I wonder if the kids in Weegee's photo suffered from PLMS?

See "RLS Gene" as Genesis of New Requip Campaign

PharmaGuy said...

On second thought, I'm sure they had other things to worry about!