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Let Your Moral Compass Guide You

Posted by | 11:41am on Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Having your moral compass in the right direction is always a good social media strategy 

I get inspired every Wednesday during the pharma marketing and social media tweetchat by the insightful and succinct comments. But this past Wednesday, Angela Dunn tweeted something so simple and brilliant that it inspired this blog post. (Learn how you can join the #SocPharm chat.)

We were discussing the recent Johnson & Johnson recall of Children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. Angry parents had been using social media to react  and the group was tweeting about how J&J could best respond. Unfortunately, this is the second recall over the past few months and the revered J&J brand is rapidly losing trust. The consensus was that the company needed to quickly use all the communication tactics at their disposal. It is essential to be honest and transparent about what had happened at the plant and communicate how they planned to respond to concerns.

Angela, Director of Social Media at the healthcare marketing executive search firm Odom Lewis, tweeted: “Having your moral compass in the right direction is always a good social media strategy.” And I just thought that this common sense advice pretty much sums up how organizations should handle not only social media, but communications overall. Especially in times of a crisis, it’s important to stop and ask yourself, “What is the right thing to do?”

No More Hiding
With the 24/7 media cycle and citizen journalists everywhere blogging and videoing, there is almost no way an organization can keep a dirty secret. It’s better for everyone if mistakes are acknowledged, apologies made and a plan of action is communicated so customers can rest assured that the organization is working to fix things.

Consumers are increasingly rewarding brands for good behavior. A Context Marketing study found that 8 out of 10 consumers give greater trust and loyalty to brands they see operating in a virtuous manner.

No Trolls Allowed
On a personal level I also think this is good advice. Much of the social media space is anonymous which can be incredibly liberating. This freedom can be both good and bad. People feel free to share information and support, but they also are free to share harsh judgments and offensive opinions.  I try to not to write anything that I’d be embarrassed to say in front of my mother. That helps me steer my moral compass while using social media.

To read additional comments about this topic, check out the entire Tweetchat transcript at Social Pharmer. I encourage you to join the free community if you aren’t a member. And join us one Wednesday on Twitter for #SocPharm.

This post was contributed by Eileen O’Brien, Director of Search & Innovation for Siren Interactive. You can connect with her on Twitter at @eileenobrien.

(Image courtesy of geebee on Flickr)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

16 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    11 May 2010 at 7:05pm
    Let Your Moral Compass Guide You in ...
  • Lindsey Donges
  • 11 May 2010 at 7:05pm
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  • Angela Dunn
  • 11 May 2010 at 10:05pm
    RT @EileenOBrien: Let Your Moral ...
  • Colleen Young
  • 11 May 2010 at 11:05pm
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  • Daphne Swancutt
  • 11 May 2010 at 11:05pm
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  • 12 May 2010 at 9:05am
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  • 13 May 2010 at 11:05am
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  • Kathi Apostolidis
  • 09 June 2010 at 3:06pm
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  • Stewart Gandolf
  • 10 June 2010 at 1:06pm
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  • Julia Briggs
  • 10 June 2010 at 1:06pm
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  • John Briggs
  • 11 June 2010 at 11:06am
    For Q2 "Having your moral ...
  • Odom Lewis
  • 11 June 2010 at 11:06am
    RT @odomlewis: "Having your ...
  • Colleen Young
  • 17 June 2010 at 8:06pm
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  • http://inthecrowds.wordpress.com Coreen Tossona

    Hi Eileen, I agree with your points and I’m surprised at the number of companies that still don’t get it. A sincere, meaningful admission of a mistake and apology, followed by decisive, transparent corrective action, inspires customers to brand loyalty as much as, and sometimes more than a positive service experience.

    Nice post!

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  • http://odomlewis.com Angela Dunn

    Hello Eileen,

    Thank you very much; I was very honored to be included in your blog and wanted to share a story. Recently, a client I had been working with was forwarded this very post. The person forwarding was not even in the healthcare or pharma industry and did not know the client knew me. Your message is spreading far and wide, and another example of how social media makes the world a much smaller place! I thought you would enjoy knowing “good” news spreads, too.

    Thank you, again!

    Angela Dunn
    Odom Lewis

  • http://twitter.com/eileenobrien Eileen


    Thanks for letting us know about this. There are so many blogs and such a large volume of information being shared that it’s nice to know that people are paying attention.


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