Tag Archives: social media

Is the science world sluggish to adapt to social media?

On Monday and Tuesday last, Trinity College @tcddublin hosted EISRI 2013: European Intersectoral Summit on Research and Innovation #sciencemedia #EISRI.Summit on Research and Innovation The theme of the summit was the role of media (and new media) in responsible research and innovation with discussions on important topics to the science community and the general public, including research ethics, open access and the role of science journalism. One of the stand-out talks of the day was by Alexander Gerber @InnoKomm, an information scientist and the Managing Director of Innocomm Research, which is a Berlin-based research centre for science and innovation communication.

Is There a Role for Social Media in Life Science companies?

Social Media in the Pharmaceutical SectorSocial media has had a rapid and successful adoption by companies in a number of sectors including telecoms, travel, entertainment, and not stating the obvious, IT and marketing. Its uses span rapid and real time customer service, competitive intelligence to enhance the consumer’s experience and brand awareness and activation. However, many business leaders wonder where the value lies in its use in the pharmaceutical, healthcare or similar scientifically based companies. A lot of people view it as frivolous and potentially damaging to their company’s reputation to be involved in such ‘social practices’. Furthermore, many fear the risks that may ensue from the open and uncontrolled communication between patient, healthcare provider and manufacturer which the platform could facilitate. In a highly regulated and controlled environment, which many pharmaceutical and life science companies operate in, such unregulated activities may seem terrifying.

Being Creative in a Tough Market

It’s a tough market for jobs. No prizes there. If you are as unfortunate as to be out of work at the present time, differentiation is the key. This can’t be stressed enough. As well as the usual advice you’ll be given (knock on as many doors as possible, follow up all contact, keep yourself busy and in good shape), there are other things you can be doing.

It can’t be stressed how much potential lies in the internet. IT professionals can get outsourced work, people can open ecommerce shops in minutes (eBay) and everyone and the uncle seems to be an “expert” at something or other (“social media guru anyone??!). However, if you are willing to dig deep and work harder than the next person, opportunities will come your way:

Get active on Twitter – e.g. one guy I know there works for a large scientific/healthcare company. This isn’t obvious from the outset, but were I a jobseeker I would get in touch with him and see who he knows, these things quickly snowball. How many examples are there out there of people in the same situation? It must be stressed that sitting on the net isn’t enough, there are lots of various meet-ups going on, from out of work professionals and entrepreneurs to carious networking events. You will only strengthen any relationships built online here.

Build an impressive LinkedIn profile – OK, so you may not have a huge amount of experience, but at least sell what you do have to the utmost of your abilities. Get in involved with groups (even start your own if you see a niche) and discussions.

Get in touch with old colleagues / classmates – many are working in other roles and pursuing other opportunities, they all have new and diverse networks. It may not be easy or come naturally to you, but ask for help and leads, people are generally very willing to help out where possible.

Learn new stuff – you mightn’t have the resources to do new courses. No problem, again there are almost endless resources on the net. Learn html; build websites, graphic design, whatever you’re interested in. You can find it here. And you can find hundreds of people with the exact same interest who will help you along the way. As the Bible says “Just as iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above and other ideas you have

-Brian (bhc at lifescience.ie)