A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to be one of several volunteers on the PAAB Website Social Functionality Committee, which was chaired by Jennifer Carroll (Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board – PAAB). Members of this PAAB Social committee consisted of both agency and client stakeholders;
What prompted the need for PAAB social features?
One of the PAAB’s business objectives is to increase client engagement in a more timely and regular basis. What better way to do this than to allow ones’ stakeholders to reach out to the PAAB as well as to directly engage with other PAAB stakeholders online, whenever the need arises. To help with this objective, the PAAB decided to form a Website Social Functionality Committee consisting of multiple stakeholders to provide guidance and practical feedback on social features for the PAAB website.
The PAAB Website Social Functionality Committee was initiated as a result of these issues. The objective of the committee was to determine how to configure social features on the PAAB website with the following considerations in mind;
- How to promote client use of the social feature
- How to effectively manage risks associated with the social feature
- How to generate useful data and powerful insights contributing to PAAB’s mandate of continuous improvement
Juliana and I presented the final plan to the PAAB Board of Directors, which got approved. Yeah!! The PAAB has given me approval to publicly share insights about some of their website changes to come.
Proposed revisions to the PAAB website’s social features:
A PAAB staff member will be assigned to identify all similar documents throughout the PAAB website and group them in the same location to create sub-categories so that they can all be found more readily by the user. Whoever will be responsible for this assignment is going to be very busy!
New social features will be added to the existing website. Below are some of the key details:
- PAAB website users will be able to like, share and comment per document OR per sub-category
- Each document will have its own comments feed
- People can comment at a concept level or at a specific document level. So when you see the comment, you will know what it is connected to.
- Document comments won’t show up in categories, but if you’re on the category page, you’ll be able to see the amount of activity on each document, but it won’t assimilate all the comments. That could get too messy.
- You can also ‘like’ documents so users can filter a view based on popularity if they wish.
- There will be the option to share documents which will contain static and social content. This will prove to be a great coaching tool for marketers who need to know the PAAB code well. It will also be a useful tool for agencies who need to inform their client as to what can and cannot be done in their marketing tools, and why or why not.
Here’s a made-up example of what all this could look like for a single document and a sub-category of multiple documents.
NOTE: This is only a mock-up for descriptive purposes. The designs have not been finalized but we wanted you to have an idea of how it could look like :
Who can view, like, comment and share?
Anybody! There will be no limitation in the audience. In general, we anticipate that the audience will mostly consist of Canadian medical marketers or Canadian medical marketing agencies, but healthcare professionals, consumers and patients can also participate.
There will be no requirement that participants use their real names although this is highly encouraged.
Benefits for medical clients and medical marketing consultants and agencies:
The implications of adding social features to the PAAB website go beyond PAAB’s intent of increasing engagement with their clients in a more timely and regular fashion. And the
- There will be an opportunity to participate at your convenience, 24/7
- There will be an opportunity to learn (and coach) from the content generated by or in response to your peers’ comments
- You will have access to an efficient avenue to ask questions which are focused on specific PAAB documents or sub-categories
- You will have a streamlined mechanism to locate PAAB resources.
- You will have increased access to training and resource documents.
The PAAB will benefit from this as well:
- The PAAB will receive client insights on documents and sub-categories
- The PAAB will see open and transparent communication between users which will provide insight into additional learning needs
- The PAAB will be able to provide feedback as required which may answer questions from several people all at once, or for those who will come to see the document at a future time.
How does the PAAB plan to manage all of these comments?
You cannot have a social marketing plan without having a risk mitigation plan. Here are some of the high level risk mitigation plans that the PAAB is setting up as we speak;
- There will be an assigned PAAB staff member who will be responsible for continuous comment monitoring
- The PAAB will not be responding or commenting on all discussion threads. They will jump in if they need to respond to a question or if there is a comment that is perceived as being high-risk.
- Responses to frequently-asked-questions are already developed and will be used to respond to these typical questions which may now appear in comments.
- Comments which are considered to be high risk will be managed individually based on the PAAB escalation process.
When does the PAAB plan to launch the social features on their website?
At the moment, I am unsure. If we get an answer to this, we will update this blog post accordingly.
What do you think of the changes to come?
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”
― Roy T. Bennett
Thank you to the PAAB for allowing me to give you a sneak peek about the upcoming social changes to their website. Furthermore, I am grateful for the confidence that the PAAB has shown me by including me on both the committee and on the presentation team.
I would love to know what you think of all this. Are you looking forward to these changes? Are you a bit weary, and if so, why? Please leave me a comment below.