Firstly, the account offered its followers (or indeed anyone seeing the tweet) the opportunity to participate in the crowdsourcing of a theme for a new profile picture:
The result was definitive, but perhaps surprising (even to Roche):
These are some of the reactions which the link above to pointed at at the time of writing:
[Edit: the current picture is a ‘holding’ image in lieu of a Roche logo whilst a file is prepared. Sabine Kostevc explained that she ‘changed the profile pic first and asked for comments, which then triggered the poll’]
What I found particularly interesting was the way that the commentators at the top and bottom of the selection above are looking to the account as ‘an official communication channel’ focused on ‘representing [the] company as a whole’. This infers that the respondents view Twitter accounts (or at the very least, this Twitter account) as a channel for conversation (I really wanted to put ‘dianoetic reciprocity’ there. Should I have done? Perhaps I should have a poll :)), which is certainly not unreasonable in the case of Roche which is one of the major pharma presences with the most human of faces.
However, with these expectations come strategic responsibilities, and companies must feel that their status updating presences and the colloquy (a rather more formal term than ‘conversation’, signifying the import of the exchanges taking place) they generate and which they must respond to are tightly integrated into a broader plan.
The second project I appreciated was Roche’s attempt to introduce some of its employees (presumably having secured their prior consent 😉 ) who have Twitter accounts but whose connection with the company would not necessarily be self-evident otherwise:
I thought this was a great idea, and one that I would like to see other pharma Twitter accounts adopt.
What do you think of these initiatives?