"Family caregivers often balance full-time jobs with caring for older family members," says Bill Sheldon, president of Eisai
and chair of the advisory council. "By helping community groups enhance or create volunteer caregiver programs, we can increase
the pool of skilled volunteer caregivers in communities to improve the quality of care for older adults-and the lives of their
families. It was the right thing to do."
Since January 2001, the manual has been available free of charge to qualified nonprofit organizations-those that already have
an administrative and program structure in place and a system for recruiting, screening, training and supporting volunteers
and have or, are ready to establish, a program for training volunteer support caregivers of older adults. Thousands of copies
have been distributed and requests are still coming in. The entire manual is also available online.
For setting that new standard for excellence in training, earlier this year Eisai and its nine advisory council partners received
the American Society on Aging's Brookdale Award for Best Practices in Human Resources and Aging. "Candidates for employment
are impressed with a company that would take on something like that on," says Sheldon. "So, it also has helped in our recruitment
Managing the Advocacy Network
Traditionally, pharma senior management has not supported the creation of centralized systems for reporting, maintaining,
and sharing information about advocacy relationships across functional areas.
Managers in marketing, sales, policy, government affairs, and public relations have tended to build proprietary networks to
meet their functional needs. Each has been reluctant to share allies with others in the company because of their need to maintain
control and protect those relationships. As a result, many advocacy relationships overlap, causing inefficiency and double
But a new trend is emerging. As more companies embrace a team spirit, they also are recognizing the value of public relations
and advocacy development across functions and the need to centrally manage and share information about those partnerships.
Pharmacia created a global web-based management tool called G.R.O.U.P (Global Resource on Organizations United with Pharmacia)
that stores advocacy information from of all of Pharmacia's divisions in one place.
"We track events, funding opportunities, and key contact persons, have a link to each organization's website, and a notes
sections where we document each transaction, interaction, and activity. That information is available to everyone in the company,"
says Berry, who manages the database. In the near future, more pharma companies are likely to use similar management tools
for reporting advocacy development. Greater collaboration, transparency, and efficiency also should make for stronger third-party
alliances and public relations at a time when the pharma industry needs all the friends it can get.