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Bringing Oncology Data to Life

ASCO 2017

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This month, Edelman teams were in Chicago for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, one of the world’s largest congregation of oncology researchers. Every year, ASCO brings together more than 30,000 cancer researchers and healthcare leaders to discuss the latest science and advances in this area. The entire city is geared for ASCO—from advertisements at the airport, to billboards along the road from the airport to the convention center, to signs on the sides of buses and taxis and to hotel lobbies. The data presented at ASCO is promising, the halls are packed, the exhibits are busy, and the excitement is palpable.

Amid all this excitement, a key challenge to many leaders in oncology is to ensure their data breaks out beyond the exhibit hall. Here are the Edelman team’s key takeaways to amplify data and media outreach efforts:

Data is kingbut a strong toolkit takes the crown: When clinical trial data is strong, developing robust supportive materials such as infographics, MOA videos and study backgrounders can really help place the data in context in the coverage and amplify its reach. This is especially important if the data is covering a new disease or a new stage of the disease that hasn’t been really explained earlier among reporters. In addition to standard data press releases, companies would do well to create a robust toolkit featuring multimedia assets, study backgrounders, images and other resources that further contextualize the information.

Feed the appetite for social contentIncreasingly, scientists, physicians and media alike turn to social media to chat about data and seek additional information. Compared to Twitter, LinkedIn remains largely untapped for data announcements and medical meetings. Complementing the character-limited messages shared on Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn can be leveraged to share more detailed messaging, ranging from short-form posts, to meeting wrap-ups, to longer commentary from executive leadership highlighting key research milestones.

Engage your internal cheerleaders: As the Edelman Trust Barometer has shown, employees are companies’ strongest and most trusted spokespeople. Rather than falling into a brand silo trap, data publicity plans should include employee engagement and empowerment to ensure that all audiences gain a full perspective on data presentations—especially what the research means to patients. Tactics like dynamic, man-on-the-street style videos of on-site executives and internal newsletters issued before, during and after the meeting can help transmit the excitement from the convention floor to a global employee base.

Medical meetings are a whirlwind of data presentations and technical press releases. But these can also present huge opportunities to move beyond data announcements and explore ways to tell a larger patient impact story and convey excitement to wider stakeholders, such as advocacy organizations, investor community, and importantly, employees back home.

Sangita Viswanathan is senior vice president, Health, New York.

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