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Conversations with Young Minds in Healthcare Communications and Social Media

An ideal Community Manager is a whole-brained thinker who communicates well, is curious and analytical, genuinely interested in people, likeable, and able to collaborate among departments and with senior management.  He or she understands the dynamics in relationships and is passionate about the industry and the community he or she serves. Their interest is in the exchange of ideas for the betterment of the community.  Always learning, the Community Manager must adapt well to change, have integrity, be levelheaded and realize his or her role is one of a facilitator.

Through Twitter, we’ve had the opportunity to engage with some bright, young minds in Healthcare Communications and Social Media.  An interesting aspect of Twitter is the exchange is “ageless.” The power of an idea has the ability to transcend age and status.  Those with really good ideas have the ability to influence change.

We thought senior executives in the industry might be interested in the ideas of two millennial change-makers making a difference in healthcare social media.

XAVIER BROCHART (@xbrochart)

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Xavier. I am 28 years old and currently, I live in Paris, France. I grew up in a medical family giving me early exposure to pharma marketing. However, I chose a different path and enrolled in a business school with a Chinese studies track. After living in China for six years for both studying and working, I moved back to France to pursue a master’s degree in healthcare marketing and communications. After a 10-month internship in the global digital business team of sanofi-aventis, I am now discovering independent consulting, while looking for other opportunities in healthcare digital marketing!

What is your view of the future of healthcare communications & social media?

Things are moving so fast that every industry stakeholder should start considering how to engage in these new spaces now. Speaking of social media, the community model is emerging and every stakeholder should find their position quickly to better interact between each other. In fact, innovation doesn’t lie in engaging in social media anymore, but in mastering them. And mobile will play a major part soon.

What would be one piece of advice you would give agencies in this space?

Re-imagine your job! They must evolve and become agencies of a new kind, not only providing solutions for specific client needs, but also to become real partners providing consulting, strategic planning, solutions and help for change management. Most healthcare industry people are afraid of the digital shift, and agencies have a duty to accompany them, providing them with insights and ideas from other countries, languages, industries, environments or times.

Please share some of your favorite social media tools and/or resources?

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are my favorite tools (as my iPhone), Hootsuite to manage them daily. Twitter Tim.es to digest easily my feed. Being a Google services fan (especially Gmail, Reader, Notes and Documents), I try to master Gmail following their Ninja techniques. My favorites social media resources are Twitter (for search), Mashable, ZDnet, AllThingsD, Gizmodo, Techcrunch (for news), LifeHacker (for tips), Digital Edelman (for perspectives) and Inner Digital Marketing Circle (for China digital news).

Whom do you admire and why?

For their visionary thinking, I love reading Jeremiah Owyang, Guy Kawasaki, Loic Le Meur, Connie Bensen and Brian Solis. For inspiration, I love Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferriss. In our industry, in Europe I had the luck to meet Denise Silber as she was my e-health professor, then Silja Chouquet and Andrew Spong, the master minds behind #hcsmeu. Berci Mesko is doing something great with Webicina. In US, I appreciate John Mack and Jonathan Richman for their respective approaches.

TIPHAINE de FRÉMONT (@TiphaineMF)

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello and thank you for inviting me on your blog! I graduated from Sciences Po Paris in 2009, and worked as Consultant in two French PR agencies, Fleishman Hillard Paris (http://www.fleishman.fr) and i&e (http://www.i-e.fr/) where I specialized in the Healthcare Blogosphere and generated real interest in Health 2.0 themes through twitter (@TiphaineMF) and a blog (http://blogulerouge.wordpress.com/). Currently, I am a Press Agent for a French public healthcare institution, PR Consultant and looking for new opportunities in PR and community management in Healthcare.

What is your view of the future of healthcare communications & social media?

With a short lag, compared to more commercial industries and dependant on the natural evolution of the web, the healthcare sector is reforming its identity. 2.0 tools and behaviours, by facilitating access and personalisation of information and flattening the barriers, modify the players’ relationships and roles. Pharma companies are heading towards a real service role; healthcare professionals are looking at new tools and improving upon limitations to their medical knowledge. Institutions are gathering citizens’ support (depending on their adaptation to the new behaviours). More than ever, the patients’ place in the centre of healthcare system is reinforced. Finally, the focus is on healthcare legislation, which I hope will fix these new interactions between patients, focus on transparency and certification of the information, and will probably evolve concerning communications points.

What would be one piece of advice you would give agencies in this space?

We share these four principles:

·      Transparency

·      Scientific advice

·      Respect of institutions and legislation

·      Listening

The final objective is for me to guide patients through information found on the net, in order to help him/her find more reliable and personalised resources (for his symptoms, characteristics, etc…) and to develop with him/her new behaviours and services.

Please share some of your favorite social media tools and/or resources?

My best resources are my web communities and their members! Every day, by sharing interesting links, unknown tools, innovative ideas, jokes and joy, I admire and thank them!

As far as tools, the list would be long, but I love twitter for its aggregation of information. I follow the great hashtags #hcsmeu and #health20fr (in French), a long list of HC tweeps, bloggers and institutions, and also community managers, digital experts and journalists.

Anything else you would like to share?

Today, three behaviours answer the Health 2.0 challenges:

• INNOVATION,

• ADOPTION/OBSERVATION and

• EDUCATION.

As I observe around me and with not-yet-concerned people, there is a real lack of knowledge about Health 2.0 and the possibilities, which is why I am particularly interested in education. To develop knowledge of e-health tools and engage awareness and conversation, we need to mix “existent” tools and new projects, i.e., focus on existing communities, associate patient bloggers in our campaigns, lean on HON (Health On Net) certification websites to communicate, develop web education tools with pharma companies’ medical reps and a lot more ideas …These high value-added services are expected by patients and stakeholders. Important benefits and ROI will concern all stakeholders: the company who acts in this area and its communications (not less than disease awareness campaigns), HCPs, the patients indeed, as well as serving the global development of healthcare & social media.

Thank you very much, Xavier & Tiphaine!

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4 responses to “Conversations with Young Minds in Healthcare Communications and Social Media”

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  3. Anyone reading this will understand why @TiphaineMF and @xbrochart were noticeable absentees during today’s #hcsmeu tweetup.

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