Friday, February 24, 2006

Grassroots PR Force of 8,000

Advertising Age carried an article earlier this week about plans that pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is making to win over a skeptical public. It plans to “deputize” its 8,000 sales representatives as “public relations ambassadors” to respond to the criticism of and the negative perceptions held about the pharmaceutical industry.

Michael Pucci, GlaxoSmithKline’s vice president of external advocacy, created the program which he is calling the ”Value of Medicine.” Sales people will be asked to talk to their families, Rotarians, Elks, Lions Club members, senior-citizen groups, weekly newspapers, schools and other community groups.

Armed with talking points and answers to tough questions, the sales force has been asked to go out and speak to Rotarians, Elks, Lions Club members, senior-citizen groups, weekly newspapers, schools and every community group they can think of. And Mr. Pucci said GSK has enough sales reps to cover every county in every state in the country.

The key message include:

  • Affordability of prescription medication;
  • How today’s medicines fund the next generation of blockbuster drugs;
  • Access to state and federal programs that offset drug prices; and,
  • Common misconceptions about direct-to-consumer advertising (such as television drug ads)

This grassroots PR effort, which aims to capitalize on research that shows people trust information if they understand its source and if they know the communicator. Katie Payne and also Robert at InfOpinions write about the Glaxo plans.

1 comment:

2005 Fairings said...

GlaxoSmithKline has a branch here that produces I guess some medicine but the branch is huge!! so maybe that tells us a little about their production and good management.