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Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

One of the recent trends at cancer conferences that I have noticed has been the creative use of social media by some cancer and urology Society organizations such as AACR, ASCO, AUA and ASH to promote their events and communicate with attendees before, during and after conferences.   It’s not all American organisations either, with some European societies also becoming increasingly digitally aware, including ESMO, EAU and EHA all gradually building an online presence beyond their websites.

With SoMe, we have also seen an uptick in digitally savvy attendees using tools such as Twitter to tweet snippets from different conference sessions, drive traffic to their posters, meet up with others at different sessions and generally engage in scientific or clinical discussions around various hot topics.

Last year, the American Urological Association (AUA) started nicely with baby steps, setting up Twitter and YouTube accounts and a fledgling Facebook page, although only the Twitter account was really active at the 2010 annual meeting.

Following on from that successful experiment, this year they are much more active on Twitter and Facebook, announcing events, press briefings, running competitions and responding promptly to attendees queries.

A bunch of us at a satellite society at the Grand Hyatt found ourselves without heat or wifi on Saturday, so we tweeted under the conference hashtag to alert the organisers over at the convention center.  I personally was delighted that the temperature improved in the afternoon of the Society for Basic Urological Research (SBUR) meeting, as the frozen Tundra-temperatures shed an icy pall over the excellent morning presentations from Dr. Charles Sawyers and others.  Tweeting polite feedback does bring results!

Here’s the AUA Facebook page, which is actively managed, with photos, news, links and other interesting snippets:

AUA Facebook Page

There are also light booths around the convention centre advertising the Facebook page:

AUA 2011

Another first was a training course over the weekend for physicians on how to use social media to market their urology practices was held for interested attendees. I thought this was a great idea and this is one area I expect to see grow as more urologists get involved with social media and incorporate the tools into their business marketing – engagement with people and potential patients can pay off in the long run.

Eventually, I think we will see more social media develop for learning opportunities especially in the CME environment or incorporated into more skills training, for example, to YouTube videos to explain surgical techniques and aftercare for patients.  The start is a good one, but we’re only just seeing the tip of the iceberg begin to emerge.

Meanwhile, thanks to Wendy and Dana at AUA for a job well done on social media at the 2011 annual meeting in DC!


4 Responses to “How AUA have embraced social media in 2011”

  1. Making the Most Out of Medical Meetings and Social Media | Eye on FDA

    […] On Friday the 13th, the super smart and really nice Sally Church at the Pharma Strategy Blog indicated on Friday that she would be aggregating tweets from the AUA and on the 16th, she noted how creative some medical societies were at AUA in their use of social media – see How AUA Have Embraced Social Media in 2011. […]

  2. Dudley Atkinson

     The AUA is working very hard to keep their membership informed and up to date.  The social media aspect can be helpful to direct people in directions they might not otherwise have noticed.  It also can help heighten awareness of important issues.  The convenience of it all will make it successful, even if the actual application used will likely change with time. 

    • maverickny

      Thanks, Dudley.  Personally I was very impressed with how AUA have worked hard on their communication strategies, not just for the members, but also for the media.  No doubt there will be more in store on the back of the successful meeting this year.

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