Social pharma faces: Andrew Widger

Paul Tunnah interviews Andrew Widger


This time on “pharma social faces” pharmaphorum speaks to Andrew Widger, from Pfizer’s EMEA communications team about his experience with the social web and how the nature of pharma communications has changed. Andrew has certainly been one of the more visible big pharma employees on Twitter and is an active participant in social media channels both personally and professionally.

During our discussion we explore how the social nature of the internet today is changing the very fabric of corporate communications, even within highly regulated industries such as pharma. However, in a frank and open discussion, we also touch on some of the challenges and lessons learned from trying to humanise pharma engagement with healthcare stakeholders and patients, plus how Pfizer reacted to the recent attack on its Facebook page.

In addition, Andrew shares with us his thoughts on what inspires him and his colleagues at Pfizer with regards to use of social media and his perspective on how the owners of social networks are pushing corporations to truly engage in two-way conversation, rather than simply broadcast controlled messages.

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About the interviewee:

As Pfizer’s Director of Media Relations EMEA, Andrew manages corporate communications across Europe, Middle East and Africa. With seven years’ previous experience leading publicity for international media company BBC Worldwide’s digital businesses, he has specialised in adding digital channels and social media activity to Pfizer’s public communications.

In the five years at Pfizer he has been instrumental in developing the award winning “Get Real, Get a Prescription” public safety campaign, as well as setting up the company’s first online consultation service, aimed at improving British men’s access to accurate health information. As part of his current role, he advises and supports global, regional and in-country online projects as part of Pfizer’s broad media and public relations efforts.

You can hear Andrew speak at the upcoming Digipharm 2011 event – Europe’s largest Digital Marketing conference for pharmaceutical marketing and communications professionals.

How can big pharma corporates achieve real engagement with individuals?