Strategies Used by Pharmaceutical Companies to Manage Their Image Among Investors and Employees

--Guest post by Xiao He, American University graduate student.

Developments in Web marketing and social media provide new platforms and strategies for pharmaceutical companies to interact with investors. Among the important dimensions of a company considered by investors include profits and revenue, track record of innovation, and social responsibility.  

The homepage for Johnson & Johnson presents a leading example of how a company attempts to manage its image and reputation online.  Entering the Johnson & Johnson homepage, three pictures structure the interpretation of the company for visitors. Prominent images emphasizing social responsibility are labeled “keep children safe”, “Eliminating Pediatric AIDS”, and “stopping deadly infections."  The page also emphasizes the action words “help”, “commit”, and “donate” to structure visitor attention and navigation around a social responsibility emphasis.

Other points of emphasis at the page frame the company in terms of innovation. For instance, as Senior Director Patrick McCrummen tells visitors, he looks forward to seeing where the next five years takes Johnson & Johnson as they continue to look for innovative ways to reduce environmental impact and strengthen their corporate citizenship.

Johnson & Johnson also uses Twitter strategically, providing regular updates that relate to its social responsibility activities engaging with the community. Specifically, it often connects itself with health campaigns or public awareness efforts. As a result, when people think about the attributes of Johnson & Johnson, they will think of a company that dedicates itself to global heath services and socially meaningful activities.

Although innovation is an essential factor considered by investors, there is less emphasis across drug company web sites on innovation than on social responsibility. Eli Lilly is one prominent exception.  For example, as it prominently features at its web site, Eli Lilly defines itself in terms of innovation, emphasizing that "innovation is personal," an appeal aimed at recruiting top employees.   As the company also emphasizes at its landing page:

Familiar ways of working aren't working anymore, so Lilly is transforming to meet the challenges head on — from how we make medicines to how we talk about them. Throughout our organization, we're asking tough questions and discovering better answers.


--Xiao He is a graduate student in the MA program in Public Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. Read other posts from her course on Public Communication Theory.

Related Articles
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less