As a healthcare consumer, marketer and advocate, I went to SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) looking for the holes in my communication on all fronts. Beyond wearables and technology on the horizon, I was eager to learn what best practices I could put into place immediately.

Optimize. Convert. Metrics. I heard these over and over. And while they are great reminders of the transaction involved with any brand, I was looking for more.

Back at the office, a majority of my day is spent developing messaging. I am a communicator. It is essential that I understand both the brand and consumer. After all, my goal is to bring these two together to develop a relationship built on trust and service.

If you have not been to SXSWi before, each day is full of a variety of panels available to all with an Interactive badge. You can only gather so much about each panel from the event description and speaker bios. Some a drawn to a panel by the topics, while others are eager to hear specifically from one person.

A panel titled “
Finding a Breast Cancer Cure: What Needs to Change” sparked my interest. Having a family member recently diagnosed with breast cancer and going through screenings myself, I did what not many at SXSWi have done before – attended a session after 5PM.

To my delight, a majority of the?conversation was focused on semantics. Whether you are crafting a?Facebook Ad or outdoor billboard, how we speak to (and about) patients and caregivers is critical. Using the correct terminology not only means that you are steering clear of offending the masses, but more importantly, it means you are listening.

Before I share the thoughts captured throughout the panel, take a look at the questions below. Quiz yourself. What is your gut response?

  • Do patients thrive on “battle language”? Ex: Survivor, Won/Lost, Battle

  • Is Stage 4 part on the overall oncology discussion?

  • Should funding still focus on awareness?

  • Is it time to tell the not-so-glamorous Stage 4 story?

  • Is their one voice for the breast cancer community?

  • Is it cure or cures?

  • Do patients feel empowered enough to speak up about their treatment?

  • What is social media’s role in empowering patients?

  • Is the right data available?

  • Are clinical trials only a last resort option?

Now take a look at the conversation highlights:

?Read the entirety of the? panel live tweeting?here.

What did you learn? What did you already know? What do you have to share? Let me know via Twitter @MeganEliseOrtiz.

To the ladies and gentlemen of Room 201-202, thank you for having me. I enjoyed meeting a few faces from regular
#BCSM Twitter chat community and look forward to continuing this much needed conversation.