Social media can be a useful tool for a health and science company – everything from raising the company profile and connecting with advocacy groups, to offering another channel for disseminating news and updates. However, social media can also be a forum for naysayers to spread rumors, speculation and inaccurate interpretations.
With LaVoieHealthScience’s expertise in the management of life science IR, PR and social platforms, here are four tactics to tame the social trolls.
1) Be Disciplined. The first rule is do not engage. A disparaging comment may be difficult to ignore, especially if assumptions are incorrect or quoted data is inaccurate. However, getting into a social media debate is unnecessary, unprofessional and rarely works out for the company in question. Take the high road. You may address the issue, but not the person.
2) Kill Them with Science. There is no such thing as perfect data. This, of course leaves room for speculation. In these situations, simply reiterate the facts and science that got you where you are in the first place. Is your data positive? Did the FDA review your trial design? Is there precedence for your endpoints? Were the side-effects tolerable? Another way to deflate speculation is to acknowledge any inconclusive outcomes, followed by the facts and data that lead to the path forward.
3) A Little Help from your Influencers. If an item has a substantial impact on share price, you might want to call in the big guns, the covering analysts or the key opinion leaders. Chances are they have already read the piece and have been receiving investor inquiries. A rebuttal from analysts and key opinion leaders will reach your institutional shareholders and can go a long way in refuting the inaccurate interpretation.
4) Be Consistent. Having an active social platform can convey the perception of “business as usual.” Don’t let negative messaging derail the flow of news, advocacy and education. Reiterate facts, science, indication and support.
We would be more than happy to discuss your company’s needs for health and science strategic communications.