JNJBTW received a shout out the other day from one of our nation’s leading newspapers. But it wasn’t the kind of mention of the blog that I felt all that good about. The article concerned how pharmaceutical companies were turning to social media as a way to reach their customers, and listed JNJBTW as one of many examples of how companies were on the social web. It's a trend we've noticed as well, and given the growing number of people who go online for health information, one that will continue. (Note to the Washington Post – Johnson & Johnson isn’t a “pharmaceutical” company – we have substantial medical device and consumer businesses as well. ) According to the paper:
Johnson & Johnson also hosts a blog (http://www.jnjbtw.com) that is largely self-congratulatory about what the company is doing (see "Giving Back Image of the Week"). But it recently had a couple of interesting tidbits, including a J&J expert on the value of corporate wellness programs and a series of tips on keeping kids safe from injury.
I’m glad the writer found the tips from Dr. Isaac and from Safe Kids to be of interest, but I was disappointed to hear that she found the blog – and in particular the Giving Back Image of the Week -- to be “self-congratulatory.”
Through JNJBTW I had hoped to provide some of those folks in the corporation who are usually silent an opportunity to be heard and to engage with others online. I’ve encouraged people to use it to tell their stories, share their perspectives on different topics that are of importance to them and try to connect with others online. I don’t think the folks posting on the blog meant to give themselves a "pat on the back," but were instead posting to share their experiences with others.
The same holds true for the Giving Back Image of the Week. When Shaun Mickus and I discussed his interest in posting the photos, I know he felt it was more about highlighting the efforts of the charitable organizations we happen to partner with than talking about our company's support. I think our hope was that we would encourage others to learn more about the activities of these organizations.
Clearly there is room for more “interesting tidbits” and other useful information on corporate blogs like JNJBTW, but I also think there is space for people at companies to blog about what they are doing and who they are working with.