In a government-backed initiative aimed at encouraging business to do more online, Karen Winterhalter, former EMEA managing director of healthcare at Burson Marsteller, is to coach UK pharmaceutical companies in digital communications. This role supports the ‘Year of digital business growth’, due to be launched in 2011 by ecademy and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Combining her extensive UK and global communications experience, Winterhalter will work with pharmaceutical companies to help individuals or brand teams understand the true value of social media, develop their online presence and overcome some of the mindset issues that are preventing them adapting and communicating effectively online with stakeholders.
“In the highly regulated pharmaceutical environment that has traditionally been closed, controlled and selective in its communication, the use of social media may seem an impossibility,” said Winterhalter.
“To effectively engage in this environment and still remain within the regulations, companies need to adopt an open, random and support approach that moves away from the traditional ‘tell-sell’ way of communicating and that is where coaching is needed. Once they understand the why the rest will come easily,” she continued.