Listening, Dialogue & Organ Donation (more thoughts on Dr. Christopher Barry’s Blog)

This morning I read yet another thoughtful post by Dr. Christopher Barry, one of my favorite organ donor advocates. His post, “Search and Social in Organ Donation Awareness” makes a couple of salient points.  I agree with him, that the organ donor advocacy community (including both the official OPO community, well known organizations such as Donate Life and numerous smaller non-profits) talks abundantly but there is little dialogue regarding organ donation (OD) in “the real world.”

I like the suggestion that the OD conversation needs to be normalized.  Barry writes “One key tenet we have identified to increase organ donation awareness is to provide different environments for contemplation (other than the DMV and ICU). Such environments include estate planning meetings, primary care physician well visits, company retirement and benefits seminars, and college orientations and class registrations.”  There is quite a bit of academic research that supports this notion.  Primary research has proven the effectiveness of expanding venues of discussion.  My own secondary research led me to conclude the need for motivating churches to discuss the need for organ donation within Hispanic and African American communities.

Barry is motivated to marry the power of social media with the OD conversation to embed awareness of organ donation into our popular conscience.  I could not agree more!  One year ago I published some suggestions about how to achieve this.  

Over the last year, working in Social Media Services at Dell (yes, to be clear: #iwork4Dell) we encourage customers to think about social media in multiple ways.  We always encourage customers to LISTEN first.  There are two primary reasons for social media listening – business intelligence and engagement.  The first outcome of listening for intelligence is to understand WHO is talking about a topic, WHERE they are talking and WHAT they are talking about.  This leads to identifying natural language terms that resonate and SEO.  Engagement means talk WITH others and not TO others.

There is a seismic shift happening in how we share and communicate.  You’d have to be dead not to notice.  There are millions of articles out there to self educate on this subject.  The OD community can no longer afford to PUSH messages to the public.  We absolutely MUST listen and ENGAGE.  

So how about it?  OD advocates – let’s dialogue about these ideas.  An internal community discussion is a great place to start.  Are any of you using social media listening tools?  What are you finding?  What SEO terms do you suggest?


1 thought on “Listening, Dialogue & Organ Donation (more thoughts on Dr. Christopher Barry’s Blog)

  1. Yes, of course Wendy, LISTEN first! I hear the frustrations of transplant candidates waiting. These very real and heart wrenching frustrations need to be acknowledged and addressed with compassion. I hear the gratitude from countless transplant recipients for their donors. This deeply felt honor needs to be amplified and cherished. Transplantation works and it works well. Organ donation is a miraculous deed that leads to miraculous results.

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