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Communication Through Community
BRAND Kuvan CLIENT BioMarin Pharmaceuticals
When it comes to social media, the pharma industry is more talk than action. Instead of tweeting aimlessly, BioMarin Pharmaceuticals chose to build a community where patients suffering from phenylketonuria (and their caretakers) can interact freely and share their experience without fear of heavy moderation or outside intrusion.
FROM LEFT: Trista Walker, VP of operations, Amanda Seelig, senior account executive, Kristin Keller, executive VP, Joe Gruginski, project manager
"We wanted to provide a resource that was as sophisticated as possible, but had the right information," says Kristin Keller, executive vice president at Compass Healthcare. "It is a closed community in which patients can participate in topically driven discussion boards and 'friend' each other in our version of Facebook. They can create groups and events and share photos. Local chapter organizations can use it as a tool to draw members together."
The site doesn't have the feel of a traditional unbranded pharma site. Instead the community drives the look and feel of PKU.com. BioMarin simply moderates for adverse reactions (which are removed from the site) as well as any stalking or indecent activity.
"BioMarin gets it," Keller says. "When you truly are authentic and not trying to control the conversation for your own benefit, and if you try to be a partner with the community, you get an excellent response."