Having to endure an encounter with another dreary batch of lifeless communications about ‘multi-channel marketing’, ‘patient strategies’, and ‘market access’ isn’t the way that anyone working in the pharmaceutical industry should have to begin their day.
Nevertheless, it is precisely what is waiting in the in box of hundreds of thousands of professionals this morning.
Because this is the way pharma talks about itself, and allows itself to be spoken about by those who provide services to it.
The discourse industry publications utilise in order to describe phenomena of their own invention has over time become semi-autonomous, self-justificatory, and self-encapsulating.
What it hasn’t become is any more relevant to those relationships and states of being between pharma, patients, healthcare professionals and providers as they really exist.
Nobody talks about pharma the way pharma talks about itself.
This mode of expression is not the way that patients, healthcare professionals, providers, and the industry’s other communities of interest talk about pharma.
In addressing itself to the general public, pharma needs to find the language to describe the ways in which its work contributes to social good by improving patient outcomes and thereby reducing the personal and economic burden of disease.
In addressing engaged patients, healthcare professionals and providers, pharma needs to focus on the fact that the description of treatment options is only one part of a broader requirement on its audiences’ part that companies will also provide expert insight into every aspect of the symptoms, diagnosis and management of disease.
Many industries have struggled to understand and respond to the impact the social turn in communication has had upon the expectations of their customers.
However, the entities that pharma looks to to inform its thinking such as industry publications, industry-focused conferences, industry professional associations, and agencies fail it by merely further expanding and thereby ostensibly revalidating legacy concepts which are no longer relevant to connecting with customer groups — if, indeed, they ever were.
For pharma, the possibility of thinking about the significance of recently emerged, technologically facilitated states of communicative action requires new discursive paradigms
Pharma must abandon the language and the concepts that chain it to its past, and focus on helping the communities it works with to discover contextually relevant, balanced information about the products it produces. Pharma must help its readership undertand how those treatments work within the context of a complete programme of disease treatment and management. Finally, pharma must not overlook the need to provide relevant, honest, useful insights into its business using language that neither look nor read like a press release.
Who is going to provide them?