Expert panel helps patient advocates improve online engagement on sensitive topics

Jun 23, 2016

Patient advocates who attended the 2016 American Urological Association (AUA) annual meeting in San Diego had the opportunity to participate in a breakfast panel discussion on ways to improve social engagement around tough, sensitive topics. The panel, which was sponsored by Astellas, titled “Tackling the Tough Topics Online,” provided a forum and insightful discussion on challenges and solutions to uniting online communities around difficult topics.

The panel featured healthcare online influencers who, in their own right, have been successful in engaging audiences in the medical, oncology and urology space, among other sensitive areas:

  • Christian Sinclair, M.D., assistant professor of palliative medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
  • Michelle King Robson, founder of EmpowHER, Inc. and a nationally recognized women’s health and wellness advocate.
  • Charles J. Orlando, a self-established relationship expert, bestselling author, and TV personality.

“Topics that are most important to discuss may also be uncomfortable and sensitive in nature, especially in the online space. Our panelists offered terrific perspectives and insights that will help the advocacy organizations more effectively engage with patients online,” said panel moderator Margaret Long, vice president, business communications and stakeholder engagement at Astellas.

The panelists tackled a number of challenges and real-world scenarios related to palliative medicine, prostate cancer, women’s health, and sexual dysfunction. Attendees were given the following “Top 7 Tips for Tackling Tough Topics”.

  1. Entice your reader, but don’t give it all away.
  2. Worried your topic lacks appeal? Borrow interest.
  3. You don’t have 1,000 words in social media. Rely on visuals.
  4. Make your reader feel something.
  5. Give readers something, before asking something in return.
  6. Make your passion contagious.
  7. Keep thinking. Keep learning.

Another 7 bonus tips for online engagement can be seen in the video above.

Expert panel helps patient advocates improve online engagement on sensitive topics

Astellas Patient Advocacy is a function within Corporate Affairs at Astellas that focuses on creating, building and maintaining third-party relationships. We serve as a conduit between Astellas and external stakeholders to help improve patient outcomes, improve access issues and address patients’ unmet needs head on.