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Pharm Exec's latest EAB meeting offered a frank exchange on this magazine's digital future.
MAKING FLAT WORDS SING should be the mission of every magazine. Ink and paper just aren't enough to draw the high notes from distracted readers used to having their content delivered in that single chord called te-di-um. As an editor, I find the first line of defense against complacency is to invite your critics into the chorus and ask them for advice in penning the monthly libretto. The best critic is a dedicated outsider, familiar with the fine print of the trade but objective enough to point out when and where the music falls flat.
Top L to R: Rob Dhoble, Mason Tenaglia, Bob Jansen, Clifford Kalb, Terry Hisey, Barbara Ryan, David Verbraska, Bill Drummy, Bruno Cohen, Brad Sitler; Middle L to R: Joanna Breitstein, Bernard Lachappelle, Rajesh Nair, Murray Aitken, Ian Wilcox, Ed Schoonveld, Albert Wertheimer; Bottom L to R: Charlotte Sibley, Daniel Kracov, Charlene Prounis, Peter Young, Fred Frank, Catherine Sohn, James Forte, Bill Trombetta
I'm pleased to say that we at Pharm Exec have assembled a full orchestra of 31 critics through an Editorial Advisory Board (pictured above) of real opinion leaders, from all key segments of the industry. It's our own little in-house symphony—a highly opinionated group, heavy on the brass and percussion.
Our most recent meeting of the EAB took place in the Pharm Exec editorial offices on Jan. 26. In addition to a frank exchange on where we needed to be in inhabiting the digital space, the group provided some interesting insights on issues ranging from the regulatory pressures on drug approvals to how to succeed in emerging country markets by being "more local than the locals." One of our board members, from SAS, posed the provocative question of whether the industry recognized the negative impact that indiscriminate outsourcing of key functions is having on the capacity to generate real customer insight—at a time when our traditional understanding of the customer has been turned on its head. The paradox is that just as data and analytics about the customer are becoming richer and more accessible than ever, using that information productively is impaired. Why? Because, in the effort to redefine this all-important relationship, outsourcing has the potential to relegate pharma to third-party status—the guest at his own family banquet.
Overall, our board emphasized the importance of keeping our message fresh and to furnish insight by tracking the diverse personalities that drive progress in this business. Individuals—not committees—serve as the stimulus for new technologies and products, and much of this innovation is starting to appear from sources outside the OECD. Stretching the mind means seeing things globally.
All of us at Pharm Exec value the embellishments of our in-house band of critics. And we want to continue to hear from all of you on how to build an editorial mission that delivers to our "C-suite" readers a combination of evidence, news, commentary, good sense, and grounded judgment—consistently—in the midst of market uncertainty. In print and online.
Ring our bell. Help us make good music.