Some pharmaceutical and biotech companies just don’t know how to network. It’s time they learn.
Networking for our next job. It’s a familiar task for many of us. We reach out to our connections, both strong connections and our weak associations, creating if you will a radar dish. Our friends and associates listen on our behalf, hopefully sending us a lead on that next opportunity. In many regards, it’s like a friendly spy network, working for us personally. But in a spy network, money or other currency ensures that a person listens actively on our behalf.
But what is the currency in our own personal network? — social capital. Through reciprocity and helping others we are helping ourselves. By listening for other people, we create a virtuous community. Individually we understand this, yet large companies fail to engage communities well.
Companies that engage an entire community in a systematic and consistent manner will outpace their peers. Companies engaging only people that buy their company’s product is disingenuous, and we as consumers know it – whether the company markets peanut butter or medical devices. Engaging the community begins with understanding the community and then applying basic networking principals to work with the key movers and shakers.
- Burt, Ronald. (1999) . The Social Capital of Opinion Leaders. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 566, no. 1 : 37-54.
- Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends:” Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), article 1. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol12/issue4/ellison.html
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- It’s not trust. It’s social capital. (socialmediatoday.com)