Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CNTO411: We'll Meet Again, Don't Know Where, Don't Know When

Remember Centocor's corporate/disease awareness blog, CNTO411? A few weeks ago I predicted that this blog would soon be taken down because Centocor cannot find anyone to take the place of Michael Parks, Centocor's former Vice President of Corporate Communication, who was the heart and soul of the blog (see "CNTO411 Blog to Go Dark").

Well, I was wrong. Something MUCH WORSE is going on: Centocor is playing footsie with loyal followers of CNTO411 -- if there are any loyal readers left!

Yesterday, Kassy McGourty, VP, Communication & Public Affairs at Centocor, posted an "Update" in which she said "some of you may have noticed recently that we've been on well... a bit of a break.. and I thought it high time to let you know what's up with CNTO411."

She blamed the "break," which began October 8, 2008, on internal consolidation of business units. Yawn! Who among your readers really cares about that?

Surprisingly, McCourty condensed and possibly restated the mission of CNTO411 this way: "to offer perspective about our business and the biotechnology industry."

Melissa Katz, who worked with Parks at the time, posted these objectives in her "Inaugural [CNTO411] Blog Posting":
  • Give Centocor a voice in the blogosphere – to have a point of view in the conversations already taking place.
  • Be a credible blogger by speaking the plain truth and providing my personal opinion about news, events, and situations relevant to the business.
  • Be a responsible steward of my industry by communicating in a balanced way, sharing my point of view on the innovations, and putting a balance on things that impact what we do.
Melissa also mentioned "engaging in a dialogue with John Mack" and others in the Pharma Blogosphere. McCourty does not mention dialogue with outsiders -- ie, bloggers and journalists.

McCourty pointed out that in "our inaugural post we said that '...we like to think of ourselves as pioneers.' We still do as pioneering new treatments is engrained (sic) in the fabric of our culture. And we will continue to provide patients and physicians with innovative medicines, the latest treatment information, support services and quality care."

She closed with this less than hopeful statement: "We’re taking a break but not exiting indefinitely, so we hope to have the opportunity to chat with you again the near future."

I can forgive the spelling errors, but not this slow, painful death of a blog! Are you blogging or not? Hard to tell. Should I bother to come back tomorrow, next week, next month, next year to "chat?"

"We'll meet again. Don't know where, don't know when. But I know we'll meet again some sunny day."

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