Johnson & Johnson: Engagement in a Highly Regulated Environment — Live from BlogWell

Coverage of this session by SAP’s Michael Brenner, who blogs at B2B Marketing Insider. Follower him on Twitter at @brennermichael.

3:50 — Bergen Anderson introduces Johnson & Johnson’s Director of Corporate Communications, Marc Monseau.

3:50 — Marc: The first opportunity is to encourage dialogue, and the second is to create relationships. The third and most important is to identify deep relationships with customers and key influencers. It’s a challenge to identify the right approaches and even harder to execute them.

3:53 — Marc: We started small and simple to prove the concept. We started with a corporate blog talking about the 120-year history of the company. This was viewed as non-controversial topics to help gain the confidence of legal and compliance areas.

3:54 — Marc: Then we moved into a more formal corporate blog to discuss current topics, and then finally moved into more complex channels such as YouTube where we could support our operating units.

3:55 — Marc: We have a YouTube channel, 4 Twitter handles, a Facebook page and 2 corporate blogs — all integrated by an editorial team to determine the appropriate channel.

3:56 — Marc: We built relationships with the influential bloggers and found this to be a new challenge based on the differences between traditional media reporters and bloggers. This required different approaches such as the track we sponsored at the recent Blogworld event on online health issues. We created a twitter stream called #sochealth to discuss relevant issues.

3:58 — Marc: How do we measure success? By being open, responsive and timely in our engagement online, we have been able to point to some real success. We used a corporate blog post with the Head of our Corporate Communications to explain in his own voice regarding a lawsuit we filed. The results were that his comments were picked up in a much bigger way than a traditional response may have generated.

4:00 — Marc: YouTube has allowed us to generate many conversations, specifically around the nursing topic. We have also seen tremendous community formed around our corporate blog with former employees and the history of our company.

4:03 — Marc gave some tips on “How to get started?” It’s important to understand where the conversations are taking place, who’s having those conversations, what they’re saying and why.

4:04 — Marc: Good policy can help you to establish a consistent approach across the many voices or brands of your company. You also need a streamlined approval process.

4:03 — Marc: Listening is such an important part of this. When we created a social media policy we were worried about 26 volumes. We have boiled it all down to 2 slides

4:07 — Marc: You need to set controls for managing content. My team has authority to post directly on some sites. Outside of our team we have a “guardrail” process, but for some situations, we need to go outside and get further approvals.

4:07 — Marc: In engaging with third party sites, we have a formal process for deciding what to respond to, when and how.


Q: Are there any drivers for connecting the social media efforts across your diverse brands?

A: Marc: This is a very fluid space but we do have a consistent approach and set of behaviors to create consistency. But the reality is that we operate across so many different spaces that we can’t always get there. But within the digital space, there is an opportunity to make this more of a reality. We still have a lot of work that can be done here.

Q: Where do you think this is all going in the next year?

A: I think we are going to see a greater need to address customer service issues across J&J. The online chatter is sometimes indicative of a desire for a response. We may see the emergence of a Customer Listening Officer like you see at Kodak.

Q: Do you find challenges in your highly regulated spaces?

A: We do engage consumers in some of these spaces but there are limits to what we can do that hamper engagement in those areas. We have to figure out ways to do this in a responsible fashion. We have tried to overlay our approach in these areas by moderating and managing the conversations. So we try to mitigate risks but this is a work in progress.

Q: Does your company truly engage in social media crisis communications?

A: Yes. It often depends on what area the situation arises but yes, my group is responsible for that.

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