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 Pharmablogosphere – Ed Silverman at Pharmalot – Peter Rost at Brandweek NrX – Seth Godin at Seth Godin’s Blog – GruntDoc – 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.