Corporate Use of Blogging – Johnson & Johnson and the Lawsuit

As noted here previously, the Johnson and Johnson blog launched by the company – JNJ BTW – is an unusual and bold experiment in new media and pharma.

Since its launch, the blog has covered a range of topics, trying I think to find it’s voice.  For example, the other day, they had a posting about the now famous Oscar the Cat – from the article in the New England Journal of Medicine about a cat with an uncanny ability to predict the deaths of nursing home residents.  It is an interesting story, but it has nothing to do with J&J.  That’s ok.  It is a blog, after all, and the nature of a blog is self-expression. 

But the real utility of a corporate blog came in this circumstance comes into full light this week.  J&J has filed a lawsuit against the American Red Cross.  If you are a casual observer to the news, you may instantly form a negative opinion about that from a headline – a pharmaceutical company suing a charity.

But J&J has used the blog to put out their point of view.  The past week has seen several postings on their own blog that explains the basis for the suit:

Just to be Clear – August 10

And the Coverage Continues – Also August 10

You’re Doing What? – August 9

Whatever you feel about the merits, it is very interesting from a communications point of view.  It is the type of story that many bloggers were talking about:  John Mack at PharmablogosphereEd Silverman at Pharmalot Peter Rost at Brandweek NrXSeth Godin at Seth Godin’s BlogGruntDoc – and the list goes on.  So, true to their own reason for starting the blog – "By The Way… Everyone else is talking about our company, so why can’t we?" – the company is talking about the company.  In other words, the conversation is not happening without them – they are in it. 

And that is the beauty of the corporate blog. 

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