Cover Story: New Media … Same Strategy
“When we started monitoring it we realized, as is true often, the user-generated content was misleading, and it wasn’t really the decisions that we were making,” Music says. “So we immediately jumped in and started talking to people and adding our own information into the Twitter community so that people would not get the wrong information about the events that we were doing out on the ground.”
Though it’s dabbled a lot lately in popular social-networking sites, ACS has continued to create its own, internal social-networking sites, as well. Sharinghope.tv, for example, is a recently launched site where people passionate about the fight against cancer can upload, view, share and experience everything from short video clips to full-length films related to the disease, “much like the concept of ‘You Report’ that news stations use where people can actually log in video of things that they see
happening,” Music says.
The site was started by Neff and his team as a pilot program around Relay For Life to allow people to post pictures and/or video to communicate with each other in a more friendly, low-key environment than YouTube. After the site was launched, the organization quickly realized it had an opportunity to do something on a nationwide scale.
ACS also recently unveiled Circle Of Sharing (cancer.org/circleofsharing), a social Web application designed to help cancer patients, their families and their friends better coordinate support and cancer information as they move through treatment and beyond. The application enables users to share reliable medical information and resources from the American Cancer Society with a trusted circle of caregivers, family and friends for a more holistic approach to managing their disease. Patients can organize and access critical details about their diagnosis, medications, other treatments and side effects in a secure online location, making it easier to keep track of this information and share it with health care providers as they move through the different phases of treatment. In addition, as people record the details of their health, Circle Of Sharing personalizes articles it displays to match their situations and help them manage their care and prepare for what lies ahead. Patients can then share these articles with members of their circles. The tool also allows patients and loved ones to send messages to one another to share support and pertinent information.