PR View by Mark Senak
For corporations, this presents both opportunities and risks. New media is self-generated media to which millions are turning. To opt out of that conversation means giving up on a growing portion of the population. But participating means losing control over messaging.
In a highly regulated industry, there are special risks involved. Participation must be creative. But consider: a video downloaded from YouTube can have a quicker and more targeted effect than mass advertising; a blogger's discussion of a company appears almost instantaneously on that company's Google Finance profile; mention of a blog on a company chat board on Yahoo Finance can drive traffic to the blog.
So what are the opportunities? Here are a few:
■ Clinical trial recruitment: Consider how much more potent than advertising a video on a trial site explaining the nature of a clinical trial could be. Connect them to ClinicalTrials.gov profiles of individual trials.
■ Think about the impact of video components on risk management programs, where a label not only has the written portion, but a link to a Web site where video can be used to demonstrate patient use of Rx and OTC drugs.
■ PSAs produced at great cost, then dumped on cable channels at 3am? Why not put them on YouTube?
These are a few of the ways that the industry can be participating in the new media revolution. But one thing is for sure: There is a mass communications migration into new media under way, and no one should be left out.
Mark Senak is a senior vice president at Fleishman-Hillard and author of the blog Eye on FDA