In just a few weeks, I will be announcing the recipient(s) of the 4th Annual Pharmaguy Social Pioneer Award at the Digital Pharma East conference in Philadelphia. As part of the ceremony, I will pass on the famous — or infamous, depending on your viewpoint — Hawaiian shirt that is a symbol of “standing out from the crowd.” Last year’s recipients — Dennis Urbaniak, Joan Mikardos, and Laura Kolodjeski (Sanofi US Diabetes Team) — returned the shirt and I just picked it up from the cleaners, ready for this year’s recipient(s). You can see the top 10 contenders in the image below (click on image for an enlarged view):

This is not a popularity contest. Those recognized will be chosen solely by Pharmaguy (me) based on my evaluation of merit.

[Update: This year’s Award went to Davide Bottalico, Marketing Manager Digital Area, Roche Italy, and the entire Digital Academy Team (see here).]

Jerry Matczak, Community Manager for the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation Team, is #2 on the list of top ten contenders. He was a guest on my Pharma Marketing Talk Show in October, 2012. The subject was “TransCelerating and Crowdsourcing Pharma R&D.” Listen to this Snippet from that interview in which Jerry explains how the Internet, transparency, sharing innovation, and engaging patients in online communities can change how pharmaceutical companies do research. Listen to the entire interview here.

Jerry Matczak, Community Manager for the Lilly Clinical Open Innovation Team.

What are the qualifications for this prestigious award?

First, a pioneer must have worked within a pharmaceutical, medical device, or biotech company or an agency when he or she was instrumental in launching a noteworthy social media project. Although some pharma social media pioneers have subsequently moved on to other positions in non-pharma companies, they are still eligible to receive the Pharmaguy Pharma Social Media Pioneer Award.

Second, this person (or persons) must have been a true social media pioneer. By that I mean someone who has been involved from the early days in marshaling the forces necessary to ultimately build a social media campaign. No matter if the campaign has been a failure. We often learn more from our failures than from our successes.

The type of social media activity is immaterial as long as it clearly was a “first” or advanced the use of social media by the pharmaceutical industry for marketing, research, or corporate communications purposes.