Pharmaguy™ (aka me) has recognized pharma social media "pioneers" for the past three years by handing out the PHARMAGUY™ SOCIAL MEDIA PIONEER AWARD -- the coveted bright yellow Hawaiian shirt (see below) -- at the Annual Digital Pharma East conference.
Who will take home the shirt this year?
Rather than recognizing specific pharma social media sites or campaigns, the Pharmaguy™ Social Media Pioneer Award gives kudos to a pharmaceutical executive or team who has "pioneered" in the use of social media for marketing, research, or corporate communications purposes.
Pioneers overcome many obstacles to launch social media projects or promote social media within their organizations. We can learn a great deal from their experiences -- even if the end result was flawed or failed to meet its goals. Marketing campaigns and Web sites come and go, but pioneers move on to new positions and continue to spread their influence far and wide.
In 2010, Alex Butler received the award (see "First Pharmaguy Social Media Pioneer Award Given to Janssen's Alex Butler"). In 2011, Tony Jewell was the winner (see "AZ's Tony Jewell Receives 2nd Annual Pharmaguy Social Media Pioneer Award"). In 2012, the winner was the Sanofi US Diabetes team (see "Dennis Urbaniak, Joan Mikardos, and Laura Kolodjeski of Sanofi US Receive the 3rd PharmaGuy Social Media Pioneer Award").
What are the qualifications for this prestigious award?
First, a pioneer must have worked within a pharmaceutical, medical device, or biotech company when he or she was instrumental in launching a noteworthy social media project or who has championed the use of social media within their organizations. Although some pharma social media pioneers have subsequently moved on to other positions in non-pharma companies, they are still eligible to receive the Pharmaguy Pharma Social Media Pioneer Award.
Second, this person (or persons) must have been a true social media pioneer. By that I mean someone who has been involved from the early days in marshaling the forces necessary to ultimately build a social media campaign. No matter if the campaign has been a failure. We often learn more from our failures than from our successes.
The type of social media activity is immaterial as long as it clearly was a "first" or advanced the use of social media by their companies.
This is NOT a popularity contest. Those recognized will be chosen solely by Pharmaguy based on his evaluation of merit. Your input, however, will help Pharmaguy discover new candidates and your comments will influence his choice.
What's With the Hawaiian Shirt?
Around the time that the FDA announced it would hold a public hearing regarding regulation of pharma's use of the Internet and social media, I started appearing at conferences in a yellow Hawaiian shirt, which was left over from a Hunter S. Thompson Halloween costume (see "Pharma Social Media Crips vs. Legal/Regulatory Bloods: Call for a 'Peace' Conference" for a sighting of me in the shirt at the 3rd Annual Digital Pharma East Conference). I also considered wearing the shirt when I made my presentation to the FDA at the November, 2009 meeting (see "Fear and Loathing in Washington, DC"), but out of respect for the FDA and the audience, I opted for a traditional suit and tie.
Although I didn't wear my Hawaiian shirt at the FDA hearing, it became an emblem for standing out from the crowd, which is a necessary trait for a social media pioneer. I think a Hawaiian shirt motif befits, therefore, what the Pharmaguy Pharma Social Media Pioneer Award stands for. Read more about the award here.