The Twelve Steps of Pharma Social Marketers Anonymous The Path to Overcoming Your Fear of Social Media

By John Mack

MC Escher StepsWelcome to Pharma Social Marketers Anonymous (PSMA)! You are among friends.

Soon, you will take important steps on the path to overcoming your fear of social media. The first step is to admit you are powerless over social media and that your online life has become unmanageable.

Are you ready to take ALL 12 steps toward recovery?

Here are the Twelve Steps of Pharma Social Marketers Anonymous:

  1. I admitted I was powerless over social media — that my online life had become unmanageable.
  2. I came to believe that a Power greater than myself — innovative outside digital ad agencies — could restore me to sanity.
  3. I made a decision to turn my will and my online projects over to the care of the first social media agency that walked through my door and impressed me with their knowledge and experience, even if it all was with packaged goods and other lightly regulated industries.
  4. I made a searching and fearless moral inventory of my marketing practices and found they lacked social media innovation (sigh!).
  5. I admitted to my digital agency, to myself, but certainly NOT to my superiors, the exact nature of my wrong way of thinking about social media.
  6. I am entirely ready to have my digital agency remove all the defects of my character and my social media marketing plan.
  7. I humbly asked the digital agency’s creative director to alleviate my social media visionary shortcomings.
  8. I made a list of all persons I had called for social media marketing advice (including Pharmaguy), DM’d them all via Twitter, and said “Nah, nah! I got an expensive agency to help me!” I also included some suggestive photos.
  9. I made these posts to such people whenever possible, and I even did it in public posts when to do so would insult them or others.
  10. I continued to take personal inventory of my social media marketing projects and when I could not prove ROI, I promptly hid that shortcoming from my superiors.
  11. I sought through public hearings at FDA and comments to the Federal Register to improve pharma’s lot with the FDA as to social media marketing. I thought I understood that government agency and prayed only for knowledge of FDA’s willingness to help us and that Abrams would finally give his people the power to issue social media guidance.
  12. After having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, I carried this message to my colleagues at industry conferences, through Twitter, and at PhRMA social media “summits” urging all I met there to practice these principles — whatever they are (I have no idea) — in all their social media marketing affairs.

The Twelve Steps of Pharma Social Marketers Anonymous was inspired by this article (“Pharma Needs an Innovation Intervention“) in BusinessWeek written by G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton, principals at Maddock Douglas, an ad agency that has no pharma company clients (you can’t count Johnson and Johnson because they claim they are not a pharmaceutical company).

The article opens with the following AA type of rhetoric: “Are you struggling to break your addiction to a bad business model, or are you living in denial? Either way, admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward solving the problem.”

[This article originally appeared in Pharma Marketing Blog. Make sure you are reading the source to get the latest comments.]

Issue: Vol. 10, No. 11
Publication date: 21 June 2011
Word Count: n/a

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