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Roche Social Media Summit - Part 2

I have been batting around a post in my head about the ADA session at Roche and how awesome it was for Roche to use their connections to put in front of us a group that we have wanted to share our feelings and concerns with. The partnership that Roche is building with the OC is a wise one and I think appreciated. They seem to want to listen and learn from us. I still have my guard up but the people I have met and the things I have seen tell me that this is not some evil plot to take over the OC. That would never happen.

My idea for this ADA post seems to go back and forth. I appreciated Roche having them there, and I appreciated them sending some important people and not just PR people to see us. I was glad that we were able to speak openly and freely with them and all the time they never got defensive or upset. They seemed to recognize their shortcomings and also commit to change.

The problem was that it seemed almost too easy. Any issue we brought up they would say they understood and that they agreed. As if they knew all along and now that we were calling them out they were going to “do something about it.” Yes, but when? What? How?

I felt like this is all the customer service stuff that I use when someone is on the phone with me and is upset. I calm them down by first agreeing with them and identifying the problem. I then admit our mistake and say we will not let this happen again. But the one thing I do that the ADA did not do was tell them how I would fix the problem. “Doing a better job” seems like an easy response without really saying anything.

I really do not want to rip on the ADA. I doubt everyone feels the way that I do. I was not upset completely but I just felt like they missed a big opportunity to gain a lot more respect from us had they REALLY known all the issues they have then I think they would have shown up with some sort of solution or plan. Not just “doing a better job.”

The ADA still has a place in my heart because of all the things that they do. I just wanted something more. Something to say that they recognize the OC the way Roche does. That we are an important voice and that we deserve more than lip service. Maybe that is in the works. Maybe change is on it’s way.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Reader Comments (11)

I'm with ya bro. They seemed way too prepared. It was a great interaction, no doubt. A wonderful start. But someone there pointed out, Bernard maybe, that the OC is on internet time, what time is the ADA on.....

I am all about the NOW. We need action NOW for those in need NOW. Especially the left behind T1 adults.

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal


Sorry, but I TOTALLY 100% agree with you. The whole time I was sitting there I was like "well, this is great, but what are you going to DO with this." It just felt way to "yes ma'am" for me, not exactly lip service but a little bit. I just wish we could have been more active in creating strategies and tactics for getting things done, really brainstorming and creating opportunities rather than just having a bitch session and then having someone go "Oh you poor thing. We'll fix it. Eventually."

Sigh. Roche did a pretty good job fulfilling our wishes, what with their commercials and activities and stuff. But ADA? I dunno man...

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Blass

Well said, George! "I'll believe it when I see it." I think they understood change needed to happen, but how committed to MAKING IT HAPPEN were they really? That was how I felt afterwards...

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGingerVieira

I *hope* they work to change our perceptions of the organization, but I'm not expecting much.

It is truly unfortunate that the American Heart Association seems more committed to the cause of diabetes than the ADA...and they don't have consumer membership.

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Did you get any emails from them? Maybe you can send them a message asking that question...what's the timeline? What should we expect to see in 6mo, a year, 18mo....

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRenata Porter

I hear you loud and clear, and honestly, I left thinking the same thing. My questions were what, when and how, and whats more I also wanted to know they plan to keep the conversation going -- that this wasn't a one-time deal to try and smooth things over with a vocal group of people who (whether the ADA likes it or not) is influencing opinion of diabetes, diabetes care and all the related suff, and therefore opinion of the ADA as well. The AADE conversation struck me differently. First, they weren't really the organization that needs to address the issues of CDE shortages and whatnot, but they also came across sounding defensive and claiming they were powerless to address these issues -- not exactly stellar for an organization that claims to want to help the PWD community. Only time will answer all of these questions, let's just hope the ADA follows-through on it's promise to keep the conversation going.

July 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterScott S

George, as you know I was frustrated during both conversations (ADA and AADE). I think it was good for them to hear our grievances but like Allison I think more brainstorming and less complaining would have been more helpful.

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Seems like that's how pretty much all of us left those discussions.... I was encouraged by the collaboration between ADA and JDRF point, but again want to know more specifics and concrete answers about what they're doing - not just the head-patting treatment to console us. Anyhow, a good starting point (really, JUST starting???) that hopefully we can all build on.

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Hoskins


I agree! The ADA answered a few things but not enough. They left out when, how and how soon.. It's almost like they knew what we were going to say.

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCherise

thanks george. and also to all of you for bringing this out.
first i am not a ada fanboy.but as a life time member of the d club they are what we have.way back when i was young they did not help my mom(for me) and when i was older they did not help me either.just so we are clear i have no reason to praise them.
but im asking you all because you are the voice whether you mean to be or not to cut them some slack and see what happens(do i dare say roche?)
this is a huge opportunity.much bigger than the afore mentioned. we all know there are big issues.this you can impact without fda or any lawyer etc stuff.
like crystal i am a now person also. i dont want to wait years for a no brainer move to happen..
if they dont make any moves well than it was a pr move(do i dare say the r word) and a bad move on their part.and im not sure but i would not be opposed to someone taking the battle to them
we know we dont like them.they know they arent going to jump through this is going to take some time to pull together if it happens.
my pov?i would rather see you in bed with them than any least you know what you are buying.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdeanusa

You know, I think I feel optimistic about this. Maybe I'm still riding the high from my Red Rider experience.

They sent some big hitters, they listened. That in and of itself, especially at this point, is a big step for them. Agreed that it is not quite big enough for us - but we're free thinking radical bloggers, right?

We need to see what happens, and continue to hold our hand out to them, hoping that they will grab it and work more with us.

I think it is good for the skepticism to be voiced, because it is there, and shouldn't be ignored. But this was a big step for the ADA, and for Roche to leverage that access for us. We need to do whatever we can to keep working this.

July 12, 2010 | Registered CommenterScott K. Johnson

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