Pfizer helps its employees better understand and use social media
A look at the Pfizer social media playbook which provides practical guidance for employees.
This article was published on my original blog, Marketing4Health.ca, on Jan 7, 2011. There are plans to update it as some of the content is quite outdated, but since some of the content might be relevant to some of my readers, I am publishing it as is for the time being. Stay tuned for an update.
I just read a great post on SmartBlog, “Andy’s Answers: How Pfizer created a practical social media playbook for employees“. I enjoyed learning about how Pfizer created their employee social media playbook so I wanted to share it with others as well. In Andy’s blog post, he attached a video clip in which Kate Bird (Director, Corporate Internet Communications at Pfizer Inc) talks about how Pfizer is helping its employees better understand and use social media for personal and business purposes. The video is a bit over 27 minutes, but it is well worth the watch. Here is the link to the video: Pfizer: Social Media Playbook: Practical Guidance for Colleagues, presented by Kate Bird from GasPedal on Vimeo. In case you don’t have time to watch it, I have pulled a few quotes and highlights from the video. I did not write down all the information that Kate talked about, so if you find the highlights below of interest, you should definitely take a look at the video. Note that the info is not all in chronological order of the talk. I took some of the info from the Q&A session at the end of the talk and added it to the appropriate category:
- “The conversation (at Pfizer) has changed from ‘we can’t do social media’ to ‘how do we do social media’ “. At the very end of the video, during the Q&A session, Kate suggests that a large part of this cultural shift may be due to the acquisition of Wyeth.
- What employees do on social media has significant impact on the corporate brand
- “We have clearly a role to play here (in social media channels), and a responsibility … to provide information to patients and customers.”
- “Build better relationships that ultimately will influence the corporate brand experience and reputation. … As people get to know us a little bit more, they like us a little bit more.”
- Share what you’ve already done within the organization. It reduces redundancy costs and helps build a more cohesive brand strategy
- Pfizer developed a global template for YouTube
- Truly understand why your program needs its own social media space (ie. FaceBook page). Could you build off something that already exists within the organization?
A bit about the Pfizer employee playbook:
- It provides tips on how to engage with various key stakeholders on social media (ie. consumers, vs. healthcare professionals, etc…)
- It is designed so that any employee should be able to find guidance on social media activities. The content is applicable to marketing, senior executives, assistants, etc…)
- It contains social media best practices that are specific for various channels; Twitter, FaceBook,YouTube, etc…(what is it, how do you use it, what are the best practices, what to watch out for)
- It shows steps that need to be considered to implement social media within Pfizer (consider legal, talk to regulatory, take a disciplined approach as to how you want to roll out your communication strategy)
- It highlights case studies of best practices within Pfizer and other organizations
- It will help connect people within Pfizer affiliates of various countries so that they can learn from one another
- It could act as a training book
Info on how the Pfizer employee playbook is being rolled out:
- Printed copies,
- Rolling it out at global communicators’ meeting, quarterly web master meetings (shared with web masters across various countries)
- On the website under ‘Company tools and resources’ section, alongside other digital and legal guidelines
- Quarterly social media webinars. Pfizer affiliates were asked to provide case studies for discussion at this meeting, where they will look at objective, target and lessons learned from the case studies. One of the case studies that has been submitted is the “Can you feel my pain” from the UK
- Other than the playbook itself, there is some social media training happening in different parts of the organization. For example, some scientists went through formal training and are blogging, and there has been robust training for marketers
During the Q&A, somebody asked about training for crisis management on social media. Part of Kate’s response was as follows:
Twitter is really … the most used channel for any type of crisis communication within our organization.
If crisis management on social media is of interest to you, you might find the Pfizer Canada social media response flowchart valuable.
Does your organization have a playbook set up? If so, what are some of your lessons learned? If not, what would you like to see as part of such a resource? Leave your insights in the comments below.