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A Conversation To .. Engage With Grace

11/25/2009

It's not a revelation that social media occurs in the digital conversations of the Internet. However, some find it strange that conversations with people who might be more of an acquaintance than one we might call a "friend" often lead to important ideas.

It can be easier to open discussions in the world of blogs, tweets or Facebook where your thoughts fly into cyber space. Sitting across a table, where body language and facial experssions can immediate challenge your views, before words are even spoken can be a big risk.

On this day before Thanksgiving, when the smell of turkey roasting evokes memories of loved ones who broke the wish bone or split the last piece of pumpkin pie with you,  I'd like to suggest a topic of conversation for you to consider. It's the type of discussion that we often shy away from because it brings our vulnerability into play. But it's a conversation that shows how much you care. It's a conversation we need to engage in with grace and caring sooner than later.

Paul Levy, Running A Hospital, once again asked if I would join in the Engage with Care blog rally. This one hits home for me so it is with deep respect for the work of Alexandra Drane and Matt Holt who launched EWC to honor Za Vandenberg that I tell you the ..

Engage With Care Story

Last Thanksgiving weekend, many bloggers participated in the first “blog rally” to promote Engage With Grace – a movement aimed at having all of us understand and communicate our end-of-life wishes.

Over 100 bloggers in the healthcare space and beyond participated. The timing was purposeful since it coincided with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these tough conversations – our closest friends and family. 

The original mission – to get more and more people talking about their end of life wishes – hasn’t changed. At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation started. They’re not easy questions, but they are important

However, sometimes it's uncomfortable to start this type of discussion so it might be easier to begin with a bit of levity. To help ease into the tough questions, and in the spirit of the season, here are five parallel questions that ARE easy and fun to answer: 

  Engage with grace _2 jpg

Silly? Maybe. But it underscores how having a template like this – just five questions in plain, simple language – can deflate some of the complexity, formality, and even misnomers that have sometimes surrounded the end-of-life discussion. 

The five questions from Engage With Grace follow. I encourage you to think about them, document them, share them. 

Engage with grace

Some of the stories that the Engage With Grace people have heard are heartfelt. One man shared how surprised he was to learn that his wife’s preferences were not what he expected. You might have a similar story. At the very least you'll know what your loved ones want to do.

I'll end this post as I did last year ..

Toby -
Proud sister of Susan Ellen, proud daughter of Anne and Lou.
Believer in the Power of Conversation.

Max and I wish you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving.

Follow on Twitter #EWG

Social Media Spins Into Specialization

11/24/2009

Wordle: social media

Recently I was explaining social media to a friend and I had an ah ha moment. This business feels as specialized as well .. healthcare. Consider ..

Consultants ..

Social Media Consultant - Generalist

Social Media Consultant - Specializing in Verticals e.g,., healthcare, real estate, nonprofit, etc.

Social Media Services Add On - The Agencies: PR, Advertising, Consulting

Social Media Enterprise Structure - Focus on Internal Business Structure; Enterprise 2.0

Social Media Monitoring

Focus on Blogger Relations

Social Media Niche Communities

Social Media Community Managers

The Lawyers

Social Media and Government Regulations

Freelance Content Authors

Add to that companies that are bringing us ..

Social Media Conferences and Workshops

Add to that the ad world ...

Social Media Advertising Networks

Social Media Blog Networks

Focus on Facebook or Twitter advertising

Add to that

Technology end from social media platforms, widgets, apps and well .. just take a look at the Conversation Prizm by Brian Solis and JESS3 ..

Conversation prism

 This industry grows more complex by the nano second.

Note: 451 Marketing created a list of over 50 Top Social Media Strategists To Watch in 2010. Be sure to check comments for more talented people. I'm included .. and although a list is a list is a list .. still it's nice to be acknowledged.

Power To The (e) Patient!

11/16/2009

Patient Power blog Hundreds of thousands of digital voices are taking medicine to the virtual streets. There's a new cause being fought in social media communities. Not unlike the grass root movement of the '60's this will also influence change but this time in the world of healthcare.

As we've seen with consumer and business brands ePatients are using the Internet for research and social media for peer-to-peer support. On the other side of the street some healthcare providers (physicians, nurses, physician assistants, etc.) are doing much the same. Blogs, social networks, Twitter, along with gated communities like Sermo -an only for docs world- are finding their way into the process of daily communication.  

However, the healthcare eco system is complex and goes beyond those two populations to include government agencies like the FDA, Pharma and point of care providers (hospitals, medical centers, out patient facilities).

Simply put .. here lies their social media dilemma .. how to authentically (with no marketing spin) participate in the social discussions while maintaining public safety, patient privacy, transparency .. not to mention ensuring conversations are "people talk." From a lay person's perspective it sounds fairly simple; however, especially for pharma the social landscape can be a slippery slope. 

Last week the FDA held a Public Hearing on Promotion of FDA-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools. To their credit the FDA made the 2-day proceedings available to the pubic through live streams. The goal of the back-to-back 15-minute presentations from marketers, pharma companies, government agencies and media companies was to educate by responding to a series of predetermined questions from the FDA. 

While some people seemed a bit self-serving, others presented carefully researched conclusions; and others offered specific solutions from creating a task force to developing widgets for adverse events (AE) to designing online advertising. Running in the background were people tweeting the hearing.#FDASM  The commentary, often couched in humor (I learned a new buzz word from Mark Tosh : Data Smog), was as valuable to me as the formal proceedings.

From a marketer who has worked in healthcare, as well as, from a personal perspective here are my takeaways:

Monitoring
Some people felt pharmaceutical companies should be responsible for monitoring misinformation and AE comments .. according to pre determined guidelines. Others strongly felt that monitoring should not be mandated or as @rohitbhargava tweeted that brands should not be "cyber sleths." However, if Pharma does come across inaccurate data or patient concerns what should be the response protocol?

Customer Service and the ePatient
How to manage service relationship is an important issue that was addressed only slightly. Perhaps it was outside the scope. Consumer brands are setting expectations for fast, online responses to questions and concerns.  My instincts tell me that this will be the next big area for digital/social media healthcare. There are many issues to be explored from: What does digital healthcare service mean? to: How to address questions in public forums. How are AEs addressed and misinformation corrected?  Where to address those issues and when to participate in social networks.

To encourage patients to report AEs they must feel as though they are getting value back. How to encourage engagement and what constitutes "value" is critical to understand. All who are involved in caring for and serving ePatients must realize that it is not about the technology but developing a productive collaboration. Whatever means are used must be simple. Social media is about a new set of digital behaviors that begin and end with trust based on transparency.

The social media service relationships between ePatients and healthcare providers will grow in importance .. watch for it.

Physician/Patient Relationship
Most U.S. physicians like the idea of empowered patients who are knowledgeable about their conditions
Patients are utilizing digital resources, including social media, for pre treatment and post treatment
Docs remain the most trusted source of medical information

Pharma
Docs want information when they want it. Consumers want customer service. The big challenge is to correct misinformation without a self serving spin. Seems sad that would be an issue. I can't help but wonder if/how the social media culture will influence the culture of pharma.

FDA
Step into the social media world. Open a page on Facebook so the public will have easy access to information. Don't expect people to search to find you .. go where they are online. A benchmark for success should be sharing experiences vs. filling out forms. The FDA should take the lead in creating a participatory culture.

Consumer education will be critical to the success of this undertaking. Pharma could help with the out reach as could other providers. If creating consumer awaremess and understanding is not an integrated aspect the best of plans will fail.

Keep in mind that regulations should not get in the way of expected interaction (between pharma and customers and pharma and physicians.

Healthcare in social media has certainly come a long way (with miles to go) since I facilitated sessions at the Healthcare Blogging and Social Media Summits 2006-7.

The post about a conversation I had with a doc I met on a flight about blogs seems almost surreal. It went something like this .. The doc said to me - I don't want to give them that information. There's too much on the internet already. Great opportunity to make sure they have correct information, I replied. The old school doc volleyed a last remark, "I don't practice medicine that way."

My response back, "Perhaps you need to change the way you practice medicine. If I were you I'd keep on eye on blogs." Wonder if he changed his mind.

Sidebar: Thanks to Jean-Ah Kang, PharmD, Special Assistant to the Director for her gracious eMail. - There will be transcripts posted approximately 30 days after the conclusion of the public hearing, and the docket will have copies of the presentations/oral testimonies that can be requested from FDA.  We would welcome any comments you would like to provide on these issues as our docket is open until February 28, 2010 - please consider submitting comments!

Resources


Spreadsheet of presentations


Story of Two ePatiens by Dr. Val Jones

hcsc - weeklytwitter chat on social media and healthcare

Marci Roth for the illustration

Update 11-18-09 Webcasts of the FDA hearing on the Internet and Social Media are available for next 30-days.

Social Media or Advertising Campaigns?

11/12/2009

Just Thoughts for a Friday the 13th afternoon ...

Over the past few years I've asked hundreds of people what they thought social media meant.

  • Duncan Wardle's, VP Global PR for Disney, response was typical of most. - "Creating dialog with consumers."
      Women_whispering

Spent the last 2 days at social media events in Atlanta. Blogwell, complements of Gaspedal, and Atlanta Interactive Marketing, sponsored by an alphabet soup of Atlanta marketing groups: AiMA, AMA, AAC, BMA, PMA. The format for both was case studies which always makes for great learnings. I had the opportunity to see work from some big brands in a space that we mash-up and simply call "social media."

Although fun and creative, several of the strategies shared were not traditional social media in the sense that Duncan described. Let's call them Consumer Engaged Digital Events. The goal didn't seem to be for people from the brand to develop relationships with their customers but to provide a playground for customers to upload their own media photos, videos. Of course there was the proverbial for popularity voting and social bookmarks included.

Although these elaborate campaigns wrapped around peer-to-peer available conversations options, social media channels like Facebook and Twitter were used more as a vehicle to present messaging than conversations. Social media tools became the back drop to play against not the focal point. Think of it as putting social media in the role of as a support character. Ethics 2

Are these mash-up or hybrid campaigns "social media?" Are they digital WOM? Are they new media advertising campaigns? Does it matter?

Just Thoughts for a Friday the 13th afternoon ...

Consumer Engaged Digital Events

Nikon D500

Honda Musical Road

2010 Olympic Advertisers

Tide

Social Media Marketing Plan _1

11/03/2009

Halloween-candy 2 A thought inspired by too much Halloween candy. 

From social media networks to blogs, widgets, tweets and hot mobile apps marketers are faced with more choices than we ever could have imagined.

It seems every day brings a new shiny toy to try .. and to confuse. Add a few traditional tactics .. PR, email, advertising and search and the job becomes overwhelming. Overlay that with an internal structure  where functions are silo-ed by departments and you have a frightening disjointed marketing program.

One of the benefits that social media brings to the enterprise is a critical need to ensure cross functional communication systems are in place. As we're seeing social media does not live only in PR or Marketing or Customer Service.

Over the next few days let's take a dive into creating a Social Media Marketing Plan. The first step is to align internal stakholders and understand the landscape. What I call the P-I-E-C-E conversation is a process that helps develop a foundation for The Social Enterprise and sets the stage for developing an integrated marketing plan.

PIECE Conversation
Step 1: Prepare: educational component. as it relates to social media: competitive analysis, customer activity, industry trends
Step 2: Invite people who perceive they have a stake: C-suite, marketing, legal, technology, customer service
Step 4: Encourage people to talk openly
Step 5: Confirm and prioritize issues (including objectives/goals)
Step 6: Engage next steps create a Red Flag Memo

Red flag memo