J&J Sues The American Red Cross: The Beauty Of Corporate Blogging

| About: Johnson & (JNJ)

As noted here previously, the Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) blog launched by the company - JNJ BTW - is an unusual and bold experiment in new media and pharma. Since its launch, the blog has covered a range of topics, trying, I think, to find its voice.

For example, the other day, they had a posting about the now famous Oscar the Cat - from the article in the New England Journal of Medicine about a cat with an uncanny ability to predict the deaths of nursing home residents. It is an interesting story, but it has nothing to do with J&J. That's ok. It is a blog, after all, and the nature of a blog is self-expression.

But the real utility of a corporate blog comes into full light this week. J&J has filed a lawsuit against the American Red Cross. If you are a casual observer to the news, you may instantly form a negative opinion about that from a headline - a pharmaceutical company suing a charity.

But J&J has used the blog to put out their point of view. The past week has seen several postings on their own blog that explains the basis for the suit:

Just to be Clear - August 10

And the Coverage Continues - Also August 10

You're Doing What? - August 9

Whatever you feel about the merits, it is very interesting from a communications point of view. It is the type of story that many bloggers were talking about: John Mack at Pharmablogosphere - Ed Silverman at Pharmalot - Peter Rost at Brandweek NrX - Seth Godin at Seth Godin's Blog - GruntDoc - and the list goes on. So, true to their own reason for starting the blog - "By The Way... Everyone else is talking about our company, so why can’t we?" - the company is talking about the company. In other words, the conversation is not happening without them - they are in it.

And that is the beauty of the corporate blog.