To Blog or Not to Blog…Is That the Question?


I got an e-newsletter recently from a company announcing that they had ‘entered the blogosphere.’ I thought this comment was odd because it was as if they started a blog just for the sake of starting a blog. This ‘on the bandwagon’ sentiment is common and likely in response to all of the hype surrounding social media and blogs.

You probably know that in general I believe that yes, companies should have a blog, and I’m usually happy when any life science or biotechnology company starts one, even if the initial intentions are misguided or vague. One of the catch-22’s of social media is that you don’t often understand a medium until you experience it, something we discussed in our Social Media for Scientists presentation to the SDBN. I do think that the above mentioned company will ‘get it’ over time. They’ll begin seeing a much faster-paced and informative dialog with their customers which will ultimately result in improvement of their products and the attraction of new customers.

However, because of the ‘chicken and egg’ phenomenon of social media, an overall change in perspective will take some time. It will probably be similar to the collective realization by companies that took place 12-15 years ago that they needed to have a web presence. Sometimes, as well, a company doesn’t ‘get it’ until they see an example, or see that their competitor is doing it. How do we ‘jump start’ this process? It begins by realizing that the answer isn’t simply to ‘have a blog’ but to understand greater driver that customers expect to be engaged with now and not broadcasted to. All around, we see examples of companies or even media outlets that are unresponsive, and failing as a result. Examples of those companies who ‘get it right’ do help, but unfortunately there are few in life sciences or biotechnology.

We’ve compiled a list of biotechnology companies with blogs below, and because the number from all sectors is so small, we’ve put them together, as disparate as they may appear. Let us know if we’ve missed any, and we’d love to see this list grow! There are so many valuable ways that a blog or social media can be used, and we are lucky that in biotechnology, there is a wealth of information for us to share. ‘Whether ’tis nobler in the blog to suffer the slings and arrows of social media, or to take arms against the status quo…’ You get the picture.

We also suggest that you look at successful social media examples and blogs in other industries. Also, as the title suggests, consider that blogging may not be the solution for every company. A newsletter, forum, or even starting by making your website more dynamic (web 2.0) may be the right next step. Indeed, companies such as Stemgent have a wiki and a forum, giving them an ‘honorable mention’ in this post.

Need help? Contact Comprendia, we specialize in social media strategies designed to help you engage your customers and grow. We’ll make sure you ‘get it’ from the start by setting up a ‘social media charter’ which will guide and integrate your efforts. We’ll also be covering issues on blogging and social media in our Biotechnology Marketing 101 series, sign up for updates!

Life Science, Biotech & Pharma Companies with Blogs

Company Blog Sector
23andMe Personalized Genomics
Accelrys Research Tools
Anal Tech Research Tools
BioData Research Tools
Bio-Synthesis Research Tools
deCODE Pharmaceutical/Personal Genomics
Emerald BioSystems Research Tools
Eton Biosciences Research Tools
GSK Pharmaceutical
Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical
ManRos Therapeutics Pharmaceutical
Mendeley Research Tools
Monsanto Ag/Biotech
Navigenics Personalized Genomics
NextBio Research Tools
novoseek Research Tools
Open Helix Research Tools
Pathway Genomics Personalized Genomics
Plectix BioSystems Research Tools
Promega Research Tools
Ribomed Diagnostics
Rosetta Design Group Research Tools
Sigma Research Tools

Special thanks to the friendfeed Life Scientists room for helping me compile this list.