What Pharma Can Learn from Livestrong.com

LIVESTRONGBy Kimberly Reyes (@CommDuCoeur)

In the spirit of this weeks storytelling theme, heres a familiar tale: January 1st rolls around, and you wake up with confetti stuck to your forehead and the faint odor of champagne from the night before. Your Facebook newsfeed is already 300 status updates deep with invigorated New Years resolutions: “stop eating sweets! or “spend less money! Of course, you follow suit¢‚Ǩ¬¶until February 1st that is, when the mood takes a sullen turn with “just ate an entire box of mini muffins and “blew this weeks paycheck on sample sale. Whats the problem?

Yesterday, DJ talked about how Lance Armstrong used his story to raise attention and awareness for cancer researchbut thats not all Lance wanted to accomplish. While continuing to provide knowledge and support for cancer survivors on livestrong.org, Lance created livestrong.com, a leading online health and fitness resource that helps its 2.1 million members live healthier lives. Through a collective list of “dares, keeping New Years resolutions is no sweat for the Livestrong community. Members challenge each other, support each other, educate each other, and engage in meaningful conversation. Something magical happened when Lance took his story from the physical world of bestselling books and symbolic rubber bracelets to a digital community: Livestrong became more than a brand, it transformed into a way of life.

Here are the three keys to livestrong.coms success:

1. Trusted Content

From relevant news and expert advice to healthy recipes and exercise routines, livestrong.com is the singular destination for valuable and original lifestyle content. Livestrong.com teamed up with ADAM, a leading provider of accredited, physician-reviewed health information to educate and empower the Livestrong community.

2. Interactive Tools

Users looking to adhere to specific diet can monitor their eating habits with MyPlate applications. A BMI calculator and mobile calorie-counting app help users stay in shape. Another application lets users map and share their exercise routes. And a symptom checker tells users whether or not they should self-treat or see a doctor.

3. Engaged Community

Members have plenty of opportunities to speak up and interact. The forums are active springs for fresh, new dialogue on almost 50,000 different topics. Various resource pages encourage members to post insightful or informative links to educate the community, making them the experts.

Pharmaceutical companies produce the medicines that are an integral part of our lives. They make our lives better, our bodies stronger, and some even save our lives. Like the Livestrong initiative, its time to make medicines more than a brand.

Think about your pharma marketing goals for this year. What are you doing to achieve them?

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