Giving Legal a Seat at the Social Media Table

SWWhile marketers may be the experts at creative, our legal teams are experts at identifying and mitigating risks. Social media regulations that are placed on the pharmaceutical industry continue to evolve. Given the updated draft FDA guidance on the use of social media and the general uncertainty in the field, it’s essential that legal and regulatory have a seat at the planning table, to help creative ideas come to fruition. This level of involvement will be even more crucial as we get closer to July 9, 2014—the FDA deadline to issue the final guidance documents on social media.

Often overlooked, bringing the legal team into the creative process early is critical. Initial feedback can guide creative direction, send unfeasible ideas back to the drawing board and familiarize legal with the project in advance to ensure that they understand and feel comfortable with the social media strategy approach. Keeping in touch with legal throughout the planning and creative process is also critical so they are aware of any updates and can continue to provide counsel. Just as we pressure-test creative concepts with focus groups before going to market, we should do the same with legal teams to vet out any regulatory concerns.

Rather than thinking of legal as an obstacle in implementing creative social media ideas, look to the value that legal counsel can offer from the first planning session to the time of campaign launch.

  • Sam Welch

    A veteran marketer of some of the world’s most recognizable names in healthcare, Sam brings a broad perspective to communications as Global Group President for Discovery Chicago, Razorfish Healthware and the Saatchi & Saatchi Health brand families. Agency offerings include professional promotion, consumer communications, branding, customer relationship management, digital promotion, and government affairs. Previous roles within PHCG include President of Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Communications Group in the U.S. and Chief Operating Officer of PHCG. Sam serves on the board of The Child Center of NY, an organization dedicated to serving at-risk youth through education, counseling, and youth development services.