Basketball, Twitter, and Hearing Loss Awareness

September was a special month for me. As a basketball fan, I was eager to go home every evening and follow the Basketball World Cup in Spain. On September 9th, Slovenia was playing the USA in the second game of the quarter finals. Although I’m a supporter of the French national team, every basketball enthusiast looks forward to watching Team USA and its constellation of NBA superstars display their high-flying skills on the hardwood.

However, this time around it wasn’t the thunderous dunks of James Harden and Anthony Davis that caught my eye, but an unknown member of the Slovenian team who was wearing a headband. Wearing a headband isn’t anything unusual in our sport but in this particular case I was surprised to notice that it was helping the player hold hearing aids behind his ears. Something that wouldn’t have struck me prior to working for Phonak.

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FDA Social Media Guidelines: How We Comply at Phonak

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Just last month the FDA released their latest Internet and Social Media Guidance for Pharma and Med-tech companies. If you haven’t read it yet, have a look here.

With the rise and use of social media across all industries, Med-Tech was bound to adopt social media at some point, especially given the prevalence of customer usage and relatively cheap way of reaching customers and/or offering customer service via electronic means. The introduction of this document points out that its purpose is to illustrate the agency’s current thinking regarding communication of benefits and risks through social and online media. The hearing aid industry generally does not fall under the exact guidelines as indicated in the latest draft, however the overall suggestions and illustration of what the FDA lays out is obviously food for thought for any health care organization marketing to customers online.

In the U.S. the FDA generally recognizes two types of labeling; that which is required labeling (think approval labeling) and the second which is promotional labeling (subsequent marketing materials/labeling). They recommend considering the following when promoting products on social media and online mediums:

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Social media and the hearing aid industry

It’s been a year since I joined Phonak as Social Media Manager/Strategist. Previously I worked for a young, cool, and fun watch brand that was the perfect fit for social media. When I decided to change companies people asked me: “Why on earth would you leave your current job to work for the hearing aid industry?” My answer could be summed up in one word: engagement. The kind of engagement Brian Solis has so often written about.

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To me, it was obvious that the hard-of-hearing community would bring a deeper level of engagement than the “Wow, cool & nice!” comments that appear whenever a “cool” brand shares something on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. This community would be willing to bond deeper through social channels with the brands manufacturing the devices that truly impact their daily life.

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