Eli Lilly: Social Media in a Regulated Industry

Looks like the perfect situation, executive management supports social media. Full steam ahead on building the strategy and policy. Umm just a second, there are a few things to remember:

Click for video transcript

Welcome to the world of social media in a regulated industry. The Eli Lilly communications team took the lemons and made lemonade by focusing its efforts on public policy. Greg Kueterman of Eli Lilly describes what is key to connecting with their audience:

Click for video transcript

Simple and powerful. People care about people. Kueterman said this “ah ha” moment came when Lillypad  featured a Lilly employee-group produced video for the “It Gets Better Project”  This led to the company incorporating “Life at Lilly” as a key part of its communication strategy.  Video is an important medium for telling the story. Kueterman summarizes its benefits in social media:

Click for video transcript


1) What issues have you encountered in using social media because of your industry or profession?

2) How have you addressed the issues?

3) How have you used video to communicate with you audience?

4) How has video been received by your audience?

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your comments.

– Don Kincaid

Greg Kueterman spoke at the Indy Social Media Breakfast on October 27, 2011. See his full presentation courtesy of 12 Stars Media.

Video Transcripts

When we started down the road of a Social Media platform,  I was given some parameters:  uh, one was that we could not talk about any of our products; another was that we could not talk about any of the patients, that use our products; and the third one, was that we cannot talk about any of the diseases our products treat.  So, I spent a lot of sleepless nights wondering what I had done wrong to deserve this assignment.

It’s just a really good reminder for us, that even though our core mission is around public policy, that people care about people, and how things impact them.

Video’s great, because it really allows us to tell a very important message in a very easy way, and in a quick way, for people.  We really recognize people don’t have time to read blog after blog, same way they don’t always read newspapers anymore.   So, the more we can use video, I think, it’s going to be important for us to be able to get our messages out.


About donkincaid

Marketing | Customer Satisfaction Getting, Growing and Keeping Customers - Profitably www.linkedin.com/in/donkincaid
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5 Responses to Eli Lilly: Social Media in a Regulated Industry

  1. Don,
    I few years ago when I had a financial planner doing a radio show we found a loophole that allowed him to get around the legal department and this would probably apply to certain online platforms too.

    His 90 minute Sunday morning radio show we had to give him at no charge and have the paperwork show that this was a “public service” program. We made up the cost by charging him a premium for the paid commercials that he aired.

    The paid commercials had to be approved by the higher ups in his legal department and could take 30 to 90 days. Imagine how long it would take to have a 30, 60 or 90 minute radio program approved, after scripting it out.

    Audio copies were archived of radio shows as a back up, and the host did the proper disclaimers multiple times during the show.

    How can this be applied to social media?

    • donkincaid says:


      Thanks for sharing. Your client’s audio archives were a key part of his compliance efforts.

      In social media today, the financial industry is trying to get a grip on the FINRA/SEC data retention requirements. I believe it’s only been in the past few months since there has been some clarity on the issue (FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 11-39, August 2011). This uncertainty has kept many advisers from using many platforms as a marketing tool.

      I welcome feedback from others these issues in the financial industry.


  2. Don,

    Great post. I’ll take you up on answering your questions.

    For questions 1-3 I’ll direct you to an old blog of mine about a social media mistake that I made.

    3. I have used video two different ways. We regularly film customer testimonials that we post on our website and social media sites. Our sales guys direct prospects to them. Especially prospects who are less familiar with our company. I’ve also used videos for case studies. The sales person/system designer for a job will walk the viewer through the project step by step to show the integrated solution.

    4. Video seems to go over well with the audience as long as it’s short and to the point. All of our videos our filmed by us with a flip cam and little production. They’re honest – not staged, and people seem to appreciate that.

    Thanks again for a wonderful look at Lilly and a well thought out post.

    • donkincaid says:


      Thanks for sharing the “oops” story. It really hits home when you share the impact of what you think (at the time) is an innocent question.

      Your videos are powerful. I try and follow a similar strategy and style. One idea I’ve started using is adding closed captioning / transcripts of the video. It allows people who can’t play the audio to benefit from the information. Also, search engines use the information that would not have been “seen” if it was only in audio form.

      Have a great Thanksgiving!


  3. Pingback: Eli Lilly: Social Media in a Regulated Industry | Social Media in the News | Scoop.it

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