Our bottom line of media communications, no matter the technology or medium: The more things change, the more they remain the same.
The biggest change, of course, is that online media is an open and free 2-way conversation with consumers; you cannot fully control it. What remains the same is that your spokespeople and executives can manage the risks and opportunities if they understand and monitor the multimedia landscape, develop relevant key messages and are trained to weave them into honest dialogue and engagement.
Say Web 2.0, and many communicators think only of pro-active social media programs, interactive Web sites and online campaigns. For health care practitioners in particular, these types of outreach raise concerns about regulatory restrictions, especially with prescription pharmaceuticals and regulated devices. So they may be tempted to say, “It’s not for me.”
Yet your message has never been more important than in today’s real-time, all-the-time multimedia world. That applies whether it’s part of a planned campaign or not. Just because you aren’t in front of a TV reporter’s camera or being interviewed by a health care trade or mainstream print reporter, doesn’t mean you aren’t on the record.