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What Ever Happened with the GSK Blog?

Posted by | 2:43pm on Monday, February 1, 2010

Overall, the blog is a nice corporate communications tool for GSK, but they need to promote it so that it gets traffic and generates more comments. 

Saturday morning I had a brunch with some social media evangelists including Valeria Maltoni (writer of the popular ConversationAgent) who mentioned the GSK blog. I’m embarrassed to admit that, while I’m a reader of JNJBTW and was aware of the GSK blog, I don’t have it in my RSS reader.

The GSK US blog, More than Medicine, was launched in May 2009, however it started internally in January 2009 and includes content going back that far.

What’s the point?
Their stated purpose for the blog is:
…healthcare is about more than medicine.  It’s about trying to make sure that patients have access to the best care, treatment and medicines available. It’s about doctors and other prescribers being able to match the right patient with the right medicine.  It’s about each of us doing our very best to lead healthy lifestyles. Healthcare is about preventing people from becoming ill; managing diseases when they become sick; and continuing the search for better treatments and cures.

That’s why GSK started the More Than Medicine blog.  Our goal is to encourage an open, productive discussion about a range of topics related to the US healthcare system and how it can be improved.

Blog post authors are identified by their first name and there is little information provided about them.  Even the few posts by the CEO were submitted by “Andrew”.  The exceptions? Tennis star John McEnroe and singer/actress Mandy Moore who blogged about prostate health and cervical cancer awareness, respectively. The editor is identified as Michael M. and, like him, most authors appear to be employees in the corporate communications or public policy groups. There is one employee who posts from the point of view of “a busy mom”.

Reviewing the posts, there are a few of the corporate communications genre, i.e., GSK is a great place to work and a wonderful community partner. There are several posts about the need for healthcare reform and disease prevention. There are also posts on the need for transparency, which I think this blog helps to provide.

Why aren’t people commenting?
What’s striking is the lack of comments to the blog posts. What’s nice is that most comments with direct questions do receive a reply.

As of today, here are the number of blog comments (not from GSK employees or replies) broken out by month:

Month # of Comments
May 2009 14
June 2009 5
July 2009 2
August 2009 3
September 2009 2
October 2009 4
November 2009 0
December 2009 0
January 2010 3

It’s clear that after the launch in May, engagement has tapered off.  Looking at these numbers, I’m not sure that GSK has achieved their goal of encouraging an open, productive discussion. Overall, the blog is a nice corporate communications tool for GSK, but they need to promote it so that it gets traffic and generates more comments.

The posts address timely and interesting topics, so the blog should be generating attention. At least I now have added it to my RSS feed.

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

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

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    01 February 2010 at 8:02pm
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  • 02 February 2010 at 9:02am
    Nice to see GSK blogging but ... ...
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  • 02 February 2010 at 3:02pm
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  • 03 February 2010 at 5:02pm
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  • 03 February 2010 at 6:02pm
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  • 04 February 2010 at 9:02am
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  • 14 December 2010 at 7:12pm
    [...] In February, I wrote about the lack of comments to GSK’s More Than Medicine and they responded with a post indicating they are pleased with ...
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