Pfizer Plans 100-Strong Twitter Army to Fight "Bad Rap"; Imposter Poses a Problem

Last Updated Jul 27, 2009 2:34 PM EDT

Pfizer has launched a Twitter account and wants to see an army of 100 execs contributing to its tweet stream. If that happened, it would be reminiscent of an idea floated by a consultant to Johnson & Johnson in 2007. That consultant urged J&J to give all of its 120,000 employees their own blog. (Thus far, J&J has had two blogs, one of which died.)

Pr chief Ray Kerins told was quoted in MM&M:

I would love to have by the end of the summer 100 people, from medical to public affairs, who have been anointed by the company and who can go out and Twitter.
Pfizer is a little bit behind the Twitter-wave, which became trendy in February. So far, its tweets are well within the envelope:
Pfizer Reports Second-Quarter 2009 Results; Increases Full-Year 2009 Adjusted Diluted EPS(1) Guidance

@jonmrich: Pfizer Twitter is real and official. Thanks for inquiring!

Why is this happening?
"We're trying to become transparent, but we're doing it slowly and cautiously," said Kerins. "For us to jump in with two feet would be stupid. The first task was to get the communications team cleaned up because we've had a bad rap in that area."
(For more on Pfizer's efforts to rehab its image with the media, see here and here and here.)

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