Just when Centocor thought it successfully maneuvered into the Pharma BlogosphereTM by launching the CNTO411 blog (see "CNTO411: Centocor's Groundbreaking Blog"), we learn that PharmaGossip's Insider has set up a shadowy blog on the Blogger server called "CentocorGossip (ie, cnto411.blogspot.com)."
[Whoops! Looks like Centocor forgot to register "cnto411.blogspot.com". I also cannot find a trademark registration for CNTO411. I guess the lesson is: when you launch a Web site with a unique name, you also need to register as the owner of the blogspot name to prevent critics from potentially hijacking traffic or using the same name to launch a counter-offensive blog!]The first -- and maybe the last -- posting to CentocorGossip is titled "Helping Centocor with its blogging" and states:
How, you ask?The rest is an old post from PharmaGossip about off-label marketing of Remicade, Centocor's potent treatment for rheumatoid arthritis plus a link that searches all of PharmaGossip for posts about Centocor.
By letting readers find all of PharmaGossip's posts about Centocor in one easy to find place.
To paraphrase Thomas Paine: "Those who expect to reap the blessings of Web 2.0 must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
In its opening post to CNTO411 Melissa Katz, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Centocor, stated her blog's mission:
"Many pharma companies have been reluctant to jump into the blogging space because of potential or perceived risks. We have started this blog because there are so many interesting things happening at our company, in our industry, and especially around immunology – the area in which we play. Although you can read about these things in the news or on other healthcare blogs, we want to join that conversation, because we have much to say."Centocor must now undergo the fatigue of supporting the blogging tradition and its own blogging mission by engaging in a conversation started by PharmaGossip. Hopefully, Melissa et al have anticipated this in their contingency plans and will be able to respond in kind. I will definitely ask her about this in my upcoming podcast conversation with her:
P.S. We can all watch how the pioneers at Centocor handle this, but what other pharma companies can learn from it and apply to their own case depends upon their own unique corporate culture, regulatory risk-taking attitude and knowledge of the Web 2.0 world. To find out more about your readiness to engage in social media, you may want to use the "Rate Your Social Media Marketing Readiness Survey/Tool" developed by Pharma Marketing News.
I will be interviewing Melissa in a Pharma Marketing Talk podcast on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at 2 PM. To learn more about this and get instructions for listening in and participating in this podcast, please click here.
P.P.S. Thank you Insider for alerting me to your new blog!