For years, key opinion leaders (KOLs) have held a position of authority and respect amongst those working across the life science industry, be it a result of their expertise in a specific therapeutic area, notable experience working in a particular field, or their connections with researchers, decision-makers, and patients.
In a traditional setting, where face-to-face interactions are prioritised, identifying KOLs is relatively straightforward. These influential individuals could be physicians, hospital executives, researchers, or patient advocacy group members, who have established themselves as active members of the community using vehicles such as research publications or participation at industry events to demonstrate the value of their insights.
As companies move to explore more virtual spaces, new channels for KOL engagement have emerged, as has a new breed of influential figures: digital opinion leaders (DOLs). While this hybrid engagement environment may require companies to develop new engagement processes to suit different platforms, creating and fostering a positive relationship with these critical healthcare decision-makers remains an essential part of engaging with both KOLs and DOLs.
“Relationship building is at the heart of any good traditional or digital KOL plan, and while the tactics may be varied, the goal is the same – to understand KOLs on a personal and professional level,” explains GVP global head for Medscape Medical Affairs Christina Hoffman.
• Read the full article in pharmaphorum’s Deep Dive digital magazine
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