August 31, 2012

#TwoBits from DiaTribe

I am a fan of DiaTribe. Kelly’s team writes detailed and thoughtful pieces. If you don’t subscribe to the newsletter, you should, just click here to sign up.

Kerri has a great piece about advocacy there.  She makes it clear that Your Advocacy May Vary (YAMV.) In fact, it should. Advocacy is a wide ranging continuum of things that boil down to taking a position and doing something because you care.

I love this part:
Every voice matters, and every person living with diabetes or caring for someone with diabetes has a unique way of sharing, connecting, and inspiring the diabetes community as a whole. Simply touch one life and you’ve made all the difference.  
To that I add don't just use you voice use your ears and share the great stuff you hear.

The NEW NOW NEXT article in this issue of DiaTribe is about new medications that can help folks with some diabetes complications. I freely admit I am no expert on meds for complications. With a master in health communications I do know a little about sharing industry information about them.

Lucentis (aka ranibizumab; manufactured by Roche’s Genentech) entered new ground with their communication practice. Roche were the pioneers in building relationships with diabetes social media with blogger summits. One of the outcomes of these relationships is Roche is starting to treat social media as a legitimate way to communication with patients. Roche reached out and asked if a bloggers, including Kelly Close, others and I, would like to attend an online media briefing for Lucentis by Genentech. A hand full of us accepted the invitation.

What is significant is that the DOC was treated like other forms of media. Writers were invited to a conversation, treated respectfully and given a chance to question Genentech researchers. I appreciate that they fielded question and responded in detail to social media. They followed up with information requested in the call.

Social media has a long way to go to build mutually respectful relationships with industry, regulators, researchers, care givers and the rest of the diabetes ecosystem. That system is complex, interrelated and necessary to keep people with diabetes well and chasing life’s dreams. The social media communication process is not perfect. What Roche and Genentech have started is significant, they didn't let perfect be the enemy of better

I hope other follow Roche / Genentech's example of treating social media as a legitimate communication method.


  1. Tamara Ragon-Gamble RNAugust 31, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I totally agree. Kudos for a diverse way of advocating. More will hear the message, as it can be more easily received, if heard in a way that one can relate too.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Bennet.