First Follow Up – 2010 Roche Social Media Summit

Conference CallOn July 30th we had the first of what is to be regular, scheduled, quarterly follow-up conference calls with the group at Roche.

There were two scheduled conference calls that day, in the hopes that everyone could attend one of them.  I attended both calls, because I’m really interested in what everyone has to say around this “thing” we’re doing.  I was pleased with the turnout, and the frank discussion during the calls.

Post-Summit Direction

One of the common themes in both calls was expanding the reach to more people with diabetes.  George said, and I love this,  “getting diagnosed may suck, but there’s an entire online community that can help you make sense of it and support you every day.”

The bottom line?  How do we all give back what we have received from the online community, and how do we help more people.  We all want Roche to leverage their position in the industry to help us help more people.  I love that.

We talked a little bit about some sort of “Social Media 101” eBook or pamphlet that can be distributed and help get more people involved.  Something to help people feel more comfortable with interacting online, introducing them to the many “channels” that are available, and providing some “starting points”.

There was some talk of a centralized “blog roll”, but I have some concerns with this.  The phrase “Social Media” means so much more than just “blogs”, and all of us bloggers would do well to remember all of the other ways people are interacting online.  By talking “blogs” and “blog rolls” and “blog this” and “blog that”, we’re excluding a lot of valuable people, even if it is just unintentional language.

Summit Survey
About sixty percent of the attendees had completed the survey as of July 30th.  I was pretty disappointed to hear that just over half of us completed the survey.  How do we expect anything to come from these summits if we don’t provide ALL the feedback we have?  C’mon guys!  Let’s help Roche help us to help everyone!  Sixty percent?  That is pitiful.  I am calling you out here and now.  If you attended the summit and have not completed the survey you are not pulling your weight.

Todd (from Roche) compiled the survey results into a “Top Ten” list of themes:

10) More information about Roche products.  Don’t want an infomercial but more about what Roche is working on.
9) A clearer explanation of what Roche gets out of the Summit
8) Make sure future conferences are tied to one of the major conferences (ADA, CWD, etc.) and/or centrally located (Chicago, Indianapolis).
7) More transparency about who’s been invited and why they were selected.
6) More communication between Type 1s and Type 2s
5) More opportunities to give feedback regarding non-social media efforts.
4) More opportunities for collaboration with ADA/AADE.  Appreciate the first step, but want to work with them directly.
3) Looking for direct follow-up from ADA/AADE regarding summit.  Please make sure that this wasn’t a “one and done”
2) Don’t rush the schedule.  Better to fully explore one idea than rush through many.
1) More focus on social media at future summits

Looking at the survey results, I feel pretty satisfied.  You can see from the results that everyone who completed the survey (60% ?!) have good, honest, service-oriented intentions about where this goes from here.

World Diabetes Day

Roche has committed to leading a global effort around World Diabetes Day.  Roche has also committed to helping Manny and the Diabetes Hands Foundation put together an online video to promote diabetes awareness and World Diabetes Day.  Part of Roche’s involvement will include donating a relatively large number of test strips, tied to how successful this video is in the online community.  The details are still being worked out, but the better this video does, the more strips get  donated to people in need.

Next Steps with ADA/AADE

ADA: Director of Communications, Lois Witkop, who you may have seen on Amy’s Blog, is particularly interested in hearing from those of us with type 1 diabetes about how the ADA can be more responsive to our needs.  We are told that we will be hearing from her directly soon, but have also been given her e-mail address to help facilitate conversation.

AADE: Since the summit, AADE is working to add our information to their blog roll and also want to know if we would like to receive their advocacy e-mails.

Both: Roche has talked to both organizations about attending future calls when they would like to discuss a particular issue with us or they have information to share.  They could separately reach out to us, but value having an existing session to tap in to.  We are to look for them to attend future calls when it makes sense.

My take on the next steps?  I feel that we may be starting to earn the trust of Lois Witkop, and hopefully through her, also more of the organization.  I was pretty disappointed with the AADE steps, but that part of the actual meeting was a disaster too.  Maybe I was hoping for some show of desire to open communication more so we can find ways to help each other help more people with diabetes.

My General Conclusions
I feel good.  I feel that Roche is listening to what we are saying, and I feel that they are genuinely interested in taking steps towards a closer relationship between them and all of you.  Social media is such a scary place for companies, and I give Roche a lot of credit for being brave enough to engage with us.

I was very clear with them that there is huge potential for all of this to backfire if they don’t deliver some real tangible “good faith” substance through all of this.  They have read my posts, and all of your comments, and are aware of the tenuous situation.  They don’t seem to blame us for being skeptical, which I take as a good sign.

I Need Your Help!
I need to hear from you.  I need to know how YOU feel about all of this.  I don’t claim to speak for anybody but myself.  I feel that I have good intentions behind me, but I need to know what YOU want Roche to know.  They are reading this.  Here is a chance to have your voice heard.  Where do you want “this” to go?

Comment anonymously if it makes you more comfortable (you don’t have to fill in e-mail/URL info on the comment form).  Speak your mind, please.

If you say nothing, I hear nothing, Roche hears nothing.  If you say nothing now, but complain about something later, I will call you on it.  That’s only fair, right?

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10 thoughts on “First Follow Up – 2010 Roche Social Media Summit

  1. David, thanks for letting me know this. About Roche starting in Canada first. I still consider myself new to the OC, it wasn’t untill I was looking at getting my pumnp that I discovered DD. However since then I have become an advocate in my area and try and be somewhat of a ‘voice’ on this site and at times with my own little blog. I thank all of you who are out there getting things done.

  2. thanks again scott.your keyboard must be melted!!
    Post-Summit Direction
    as much as i love you all and i do a biog role would not do i think.first that would mean someone would always have to be manning it.second though i might read a lot of you there are many many who dont.
    you have to have a starting point?where and how is a good question.
    Summit Survey
    hmmmm. ah folks ,we , a lot of us depended on you.
    roche is not interacting with the common folk.with out you informing us we would have never known anything.
    if you are going to speak for us please do so.
    other than that it looks good.
    World Diabetes Day
    “we are the world”
    Next Steps with ADA/AADE
    im watching this.
    I Need Your Help!
    fair is more of a site i see plenty of this,the blame game.
    im still hinky.thats sad but thats the way it is
    nothing that has happened has affected me or anyone i know.because really nothing has been done.
    how long to make a phone call?over a year? at that rate i will be long dead before something anything that directly affects diabetics is done.
    my patience is wearing thin. id like to see them start getting involved where we live” the sites” or to start their own.
    the ada? you need to start making it clearer that you do not cater to the individual diabetic.
    and by publishing and linking everything in the news about d you are hurting yourself because its coming off your site so you are being associated with it.
    start treating us like we know something.we should not be a major source of funding for you.
    i have either said to much or not enough.
    thank you scott.and roche.and the ada.

  3. World Diabetes Day: More awareness about type 1 diabetes is always a great thing in my opinion. A unified effort by many seems to make a louder impact. What’s the goal of this unified effort? Personally, I feel strongly about getting the symptoms out there for type 1. There are far too many children and adults who are going undiagnosed ending in an emergency situation or worse – even medical professionals aren’t noticing and diagnosing. This is a problem especially with type 1 diabetes on the increase. I have tried to get our local newspapers to run articles on diabetes (and symptoms) to no avail. It needs to come from a larger media outlet.

  4. I’m sure I’m oversimplifying, but gotta dream, right? How about TV spots sponsored by Roche, that have a REAL citizen or two of the online community or two with diabetes speak to the diff that online support has meant to them, and then supply a link to a web page that would point people to TuDiabetes, Diabetes Daily, etc. The spot is all about the online community, but at the end a tag line for Roche name recognition (marketing people help me!)…”Roche, supporting the connections that make a difference in really LIVING with diabetes.” Legal disclaimers….yada yada. Would love to see Scott and maybe his landing the airplane quote as part of the spots. Maybe even a vlog left rough around the edges so it would be more real to people. Somthing like that would have meant the world to me early on in my diagnosis when I felt so alone with D.

  5. I was thinking about the Roche summit the other day (even though I wasn’t there), and wondering what they’re trying to achieve for themselves and for their current and potential customers.
    I work at an ad agency, and the whole Social Media thing is always a topic of discussion around here. For instance, I think it’s awesome that Roche is paying so much attention to what people with diabetes are saying, and I appreciate their approach, but I don’t use any of their products. And I probably won’t anytime soon, simply because my insurance favors Lifescan stuff.
    It seems like they’re trying to take all of this feedback and energy and package it into something that will help everyone. I hope it works!

  6. This is all great for everyone in the USA, what about the Canadians and everywhere else that is represented here? Are these efforts going to benifit and assist globelly? I realize that there does need to be a starting point, but what/ where is the final destination?
    Don’t get me wrong, I am very glad that they are doing something, I’m just interested in how far this is going to go.

  7. I’ve recently had similar discussions with the JDRF (topic of a future blog or two) so I am finding this to be very interesting. Lots of interest in the adult T1 audience seems to have appeared all at once
    Great write up, ScottieJ!

  8. Thanks for this, Scott. You rock. (As if we didn’t already know that…). I wasn’t able to make the calls on July 30, but had a chance to meet with Roche for lunch recently to get a wrap up and say what I wanted to say. I’m totally on board with all of the followup, as far as putting a 101 booklet together for the Diabetes Community who may just be discovering the wonders of the online universe. To me, one of the toughest things I find is exactly that point of surfing all the “channels” that are out there and being able to tie them all together in some meaningful way on my end, rather than re-creating something that’s already being done. (Example: JDRF and ADA mirror each other’s efforts often, and it seems as if we continually have new communities being created online – not to mention the ever-growing # of D-Blogs! Like many expressed on the call (or so I hear), I think WDD can be a way to connect some dots for one common purpose. I think a sort of “one-stop shop” for connecting people to resources like JDRF, ADA, TuD, CWD, DDaily, DSisters, blogs, Twitter (to name a few, not all) is the way to go. There was some talk of DiabetesLinks being some starting point, and also talk of how Diabetes Advocates is another starting point that can work to bridge that gap overall and hike awareness.