Here comes Pfizer's Twitter army

If comely sales reps don't succeed, let loose the dogs of social media!

By Andrew Leonard
Published July 28, 2009 12:11AM (UTC)
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From the headline to the kicker at the end, there is so much to love about Jim Edwards' post on the latest marketing exercise by Pfizer in his Pharma-industry watching blog that he immediately made a permanent home in my blog-reader.

Headline: "Pfizer Plans 100-Strong Twitter Army to Fight 'Bad Rap'; Impostor Poses a Problem." Bonus Related Story: "Pfizer Sales Reps Discuss Having Sex With Doctors."


In the world of Web-based journalism, whether you're doing straight news or bloggy opinionizing, nothing counts more than the headline, because if it doesn't grab readers, they will not click. HTWW is seething with jealousy. Just for fun, compare Edwards' headline with the teaser chosen by the original news outlet to report the story, Medical Marketing and Media: "Pfizer dips a toe in the Twitterverse." Which story would you be more likely to click on?

The original story, however, is also a must-read, as it includes such gems as "For now, Pfizer's media relations team is charged with controlling all corporate tweeting..."

As if such a thing was ever possible! Pfizer's going to learn very soon that once you let the tweeters out of the bottle, there's no stuffing them back in.


But back to Edwards, who knows not just how to begin a blog post, but how to end it.

One problem facing Pfizer is that its Twitter stream is at ""; someone else who appears to be unaffiliated with the company is tweeting at "" They appear to have gotten bored in April.

Here, I think Edwards puts his finger right on another major problem afflicting Web journalism. Somewhere on the Internet, someone is always getting bored.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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