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Speaking with

David Rovira, 2.0 pharmacist

23rd November 2011 0

David Rovira, a retail pharmacist concerned with marketing management, is a pioneer in pharmaceutical marketing 2.0. In this interview he relates his personal experience with social networking and his collaboration with the Professional Association of Pharmacists, Tarragona to find a position among the social media.

What have your pharmacies experienced in the 2.0 setting?

Our experience in social networking is relatively new and short-lived. We started in the summer of last year with some activity, and little by little, we have carried out small actions, some occasional, always focused on spreading information on health and including what the pharmacy can offer in the 2.0 environment. Our goal is to make basic recommendations to the general public. Additionally, we try to support sales activities through marketing 2.0. An example of this work is a campaign we developed with Dentaid in February of this year.

What is the purpose of these initiatives?

Our strategy in social networking is not to increase sales, but rather to spread health using a communications tool that is increasingly used by all.

Which initiative is getting the best results?

Marketing 2.0 keeps the customers and patients that come into my pharmacy in touch with us. I am offering them a new communication channel. As I previously mentioned, one of the actions that worked the best was the oral health training whose marketing campaign was done through 2.0 with Dentaid. I carry out training sessions with the same group (approx. 70-75 people) on a regular basis, but that day, more than 100 people attended. It was interesting to see how mothers told their daughters to look on the internet because in the pharmacy they were told that a meeting about oral hygiene would be taking place.

Where do you suggest a pharmacist who wants to enter the social networking world start?

The fist step a professional should take is to know exactly what information s/he would like to relay and his or her communication style: business or health expert. If you enter social networking without a clear objective, in two days you will be a nobody. It is a real challenge to make a name for yourself and for people to confide in you. Ultimately, the 2.0 setting is a place to get to know people, work with them and establish a stable relationship. From the very beginning, we opted for the health expert, as opposed to the business, approach. But, everyone has to go their own way.

You also collaborate with the Professional Association of Pharmacists, Tarragona (COF). Where do you think their social media positioning is headed?

My experience working with the Association of Pharmacists has been and still is a very good one. When searching for information regarding health on-line, we find a lot of content, but not all of it is reliable. COF should be the sector model, because its information is trustworthy. This is one of the main issues that is addressed in conferences on health and 2.0. It is important that we understand that we are responsible for health on the internet. 

I think they deserve to be congratulated because not many Associations are willing to go to the lengths they do: get pharmacists and health authorities together to create a job well-done in on-line communication. Also, COF is not located in the centre of the province, meaning that not all pharmacists are able to attend their meetings; but thanks to internet, we can all get together and unite no matter the distance. In this respect, COF needs to position itself as a communication channel available to all pharmacists. The 2.0 setting will allow pharmacists as a group to work together without letting geography get in the way.

 
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