Worldcom’s Digital Health Monitor: Pharmaceutical multinationals continue to spurn the opportunity to connect via social media at a local level

by | Apr 14, 2023

NEW YORK (April 13, 2023) – The Worldcom Public Relations Group, the leading global partnership of independent public relations firms, released today The 2023 Worldcom Digital Health Monitor. The Report shows that the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies continue to spurn the opportunity to connect via social media at a local level. However, the use of apps almost doubled.

In Worldcom’s 2023 issue of the Digital Health Monitor, the third time the analysis has been run, Worldcom Healthcare selected 25 pharmaceutical companies based on their global reputation, their size and geographic presence. The report analyzes and ranks their online presence globally, and in 25 countries, across 11 digital channels, including apps, blogs, corporate and local company websites, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Top five overall rankings

2023 2021
  1. Sanofi
  1. Abbott
  1. Novartis
  1. Pfizer
  1. Roche Pharmaceuticals
  1. Abbvie
  1. Bayer (Pharmaceuticals Division)
  1. AstraZeneca
  1. Pfizer
  1. Novo Nordisk


Serge Beckers, chairman of Worldcom Healthcare, said: “While the use of social media continues to increase, pharmaceutical firms continue to miss out on local engagement. App use has increased but visual platforms like YouTube and TikTok and mainstream social media platforms like Facebook, remain underutilized at a local level.

The pandemic and other crises have raised expectations that companies should be more purpose-driven. Pharma companies are missing the opportunity to convey, at a local level, how they satisfy heightened consumer expectations around topics such as DEI and ESG. While there is strict regulation on commercial topics, the human issues relating to purpose present a significant opportunity for pharma companies to build emotional equity with consumers and influencers.”

Key findings from the Worldcom Digital Health Monitor:

  • Website

All the companies have a global website, not every country has its own website. The average number of local sites is 20, out of a possible 25 countries.

  • Blogs

While all but two of the companies have a ‘global blog’, local blogs remain hard to find. Sanofi makes most use of the opportunities blogs offer, scoring 40%. Lonza does not use the potential of this medium at all.

  • Apps

The use of Apps continues to grow. All companies in the study have ‘international apps’. On average, the companies have around six apps available in the 25 countries. Adding the ‘international apps’ increases the average number to around 11. Pfizer, Janssen, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, AbbVie and Takeda Pharmaceutical have at least 11 local apps available.

  • Social media channels

Facebook – All pharmaceutical companies in the study but two (Astellas and Merck) have international Facebook accounts. However, overall, Facebook is only being used to 10% of its potential, mainly due to the lack of country-specific accounts and content.

Twitter – International Twitter accounts have been set up by all companies but Astellas. Twenty-one out of 25 countries score lower than 20% for ‘efficient use of Twitter’.

LinkedIn – Global LinkedIn accounts are present in all 25 companies, but only two companies (Novartis and Roche Pharmaceuticals) achieve a LinkedIn efficiency over 20%. This relatively low overall score is mainly due to the fact that country-specific pages and local language content is not common.

YouTube – Local YouTube accounts are available in only a handful of countries, and the same is true for other channels with visual focus, such as Instagram.

TikTok – TikTok isn’t used at all. This highlights that these pharmaceutical companies may be missing an opportunity to engage and build trust with younger generations on platforms they use.

Worldcom Healthcare’s top five (of 10) recommendations to improve ROI from online communications:

  1. If you want to attract and retain talent, communicate your WHY – the value you deliver that you want people to believe in – and your HOW – the different and special way that you deliver your WHY.
  2. Communicate about the benefits of your products, not about the products.
  3. Don’t be afraid to show your expertise or authority. Express your opinion by means of longform content, such as opinion articles, blogs or podcasts.
  4. Make sure to be ESG and DEI-proof if you want to remain competitive and relevant, both as an employer and as an industry.
  5. Review your use of digital channels. Ask yourself if you want to be relatively invisible on many channels or make a real impact on a limited number of channels.

Download The 2023 Worldcom Digital Health Monitor Report and read all 10 recommendations from our experts.

Read previous Worldcom Digital Health Monitor Reports.

Additional information


The study covers 25 countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam and the United States.

Pharmaceutical companies

The 25 pharmaceutical companies included in the study are:

AbbVie, Amgen, Astellas Pharma, AstraZeneca, Bayer (Pharmaceuticals Division), Biogen, Bristol Myers Squibb, CSL, including CSL Behring, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Janssen, Lonza, Merck & Co., Merck KGaA, (life sciences plus healthcare revenue), Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Organon, Pfizer, Roche Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, UCB.

About The Worldcom Public Relations Group 

The Worldcom Public Relations Group is the world’s leading partnership of independently owned public relations firms, with 143 offices employing some 2,000 staff in 115 cities across six continents. In total, Worldcom partners reported combined revenue of US$300+ million last year from 3,034 clients. Established in 1988, the group was formed so that the strongest, most capable independent firms could deliver immediate impact and sustained value through the intelligent use of communications – wherever in the world a client needs support. Partners serve national, international, and multinational clients, while retaining the flexibility and client-service focus inherent in independent agencies. Through Worldcom, clients have on-demand access to in-depth communications expertise from professionals who understand the language, culture, and customs of the geographic areas in which they operate.

Connect with The Worldcom Public Relations Group on Facebook and LinkedIn

Bulldog Reporter
Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.


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