Inspiration Exchange Diabetes Moments Episode 1: Introducing the Inspiration Exchange Diabetes Moments Podcast with Shelley and Todd
In Episode 1 of Inspiration Exchange Diabetes Moments, Cherise had the opportunity to chat with Shelley Landes and Todd Laderach from Roche Diabetes Care Customer Marketing team about peer support, new strategy and more.
- Get to know Shelley and Todd from the Customer Marketing Team
- Evolution of Roche Diabetes Care US social media content and engagement
- The motivation behind the Inspiration Exchange
- Importance of peer support and why Roche Diabetes Care US is hyper-focused on peer connections and resources
- What’s next for Roche Diabetes Care US social media
Cherise: Hello and welcome to inspiration exchange, diabetes moments podcast, a collection of inspirational stories brought to you by Roche diabetes care. I am your host, Cherise Shockley, and during this podcast, we will focus on stories of inspiration and peer support while on the go. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the show.
Cherise: Hi everyone. Thank you for tuning in. I am your host, Cherise Shockley. Today I am excited to have Shelley Landes and Todd on the line. Hi Todd and Shelley.
Shelley: Hi, Cherise.
Cherise: How are you all doing today?
Shelley: Great, how about you?
Cherise: I'm doing well. Thank you so much for asking. So before we get started, I know who you are, can you Shelley or Todd, start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Todd: Sure, I can start. My name is Todd Laderach, and I worked at Roche Diabetes Care in our marketing department. I have the privilege to lead our Customer marketing team. Let's see if you want some personal stuff. I am married and have a four and a half-year-old son. He keeps us on our toes. We enjoy doing a lot of outside stuff, so we try to weather the storm through winter as best we can until the weather warms up and we can get outside and have some fun.
Shelley: I'm Shelley Landes. I'm born and raised in Indiana. I've worked for Roche Diabetes Care for coming up on five years. I have two boys who have kept me on my toes. One is 20, and one is 17, so I am coming up on the empty Nester Syndrome. I have mixed feelings about that. I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a little bit more than a year ago. I think I just had my year anniversary.
Cherise: Welcome to the club that no one wants to be a part of.
Shelley: I appreciate that.
Cherise: You're very welcome. It's, it's cool that there are so many resources out there. When I was diagnosed, we just had Web MD no personal stories. Now there's starting to be more and more stories shared on various social media platforms. Welcome to the club! Thank you so much, Todd, for telling us a little bit about yourself.
For our listeners to get an idea on, you know, Shelly, because she was just recently diagnosed and tired. You didn't mention any connection to diabetes. So most people in the diabetes space, in the diabetes community, they, I'm sure they're curious to why you, why did you choose to work for a company that helps people with diabetes?
Todd: Yeah, so I will start. I initially was attracted to work in diabetes. I had always been in the life sciences, medical device, biotechnology kind of space for most of my career, but most of the stuff I had done focused a lot with solutions that we had had for healthcare professionals, and in turn, by providing those solutions to them that had a downstream effect to help patients. I was attracted to work in diabetes there was an opportunity to be much closer to the actual consumer, to the actual person with diabetes and be able to impact how are our solutions can impact their lives. So that was what initially attracted me to work in diabetes.
Since I started working with Roche, I have learned so much more about diabetes, about people living with diabetes, whether that was through coworkers, I have met patients, I've talked to healthcare professionals that we've spoken to, and what keeps me motivated is understanding how living with diabetes affects people. As you mentioned, I don't have diabetes, and I don't live with diabetes. However, I can appreciate the fact that it's a nonstop part of your day. I look at my day, and I think I have a very difficult day or there's a lot of stuff going on. Managing work and family and all this stuff, and to then put on top of it, managing my diabetes every minute of the day gives me such profound respect and appreciation for people that do have diabetes and motivates me to want to continue to find ways to make that easier for people.
Shelley: I came from a world of publishing. I was a National Account Sales Manager for many years, calling on retail accounts. The opportunity to work within the consumer marketing group came up for me, to manage email campaigns for our customers. So coming in actually it was drinking through the fire hose. I had minimal knowledge about diabetes. I had a couple of friends, lifelong friends that were diagnosed as type one. The only thing I knew about diabetes at that time was my experience with them and as kids. It was kind of the last thing on our mind specifically as I've gotten into learning about diabetes, both type 1, type 2 and apparently with a diagnosis of my own with type 2, it's become more of a reality for me specifically, but as Todd mentioned, working with colleagues that are living, living well with type 1, type 2 diabetes. Again, just a huge respect for people living with diabetes, and having to manage that, the grind, it can be such a grind, and I say that from my own experience, living with that day to day, but doing it well and doing it with grace has been really amazing to watch and, and honestly learn.
Cherise: You know, you touched on a couple of good points, you said you are coming up on five years. So my question to you is what's been the evolution of Roche Diabetes Care, their social media over the past three years?
Shelley: Great question. When I started a Roche Diabetes Care, the primary goal was around identifying and engaging with people with diabetes and understanding from a company perspective, if you will, listening and taking in what people are dealing with on a day to day basis, living with diabetes. Not only did we want to understand how people were living with diabetes, but we also as a manufacturer wanted to understand what are we doing right? What are we doing wrong, where are, where are our opportunities? That was our strategy for about four years. We would continue to listen and make sure that one and one to one engagement was occurring with people that were engaging with us on social media. We also went down this path of content, lifestyle content, creating lifestyle content that not only hopefully provided some value, but also was educational in some circumstances and even entertaining. We did that with a fair amount of success. When I say success, the goal has always been to engage with our customers, are potentially soon to be customers and caregivers. The lifestyle content route was pretty successful for us for a while.
I will let Todd dive into this, but we had an aha moment when we were at AADE this year, and the theme around AADE and a lot of the sessions that I sat in was around peer support. While the healthcare providers do such a fantastic job from a clinical standpoint with patients, but there were some gaps that we were hearing from the healthcare professionals which was really around peer support. I can show them how to manage their diabetes on a day to day basis, but past that. Where else can I get resources? So, Todd, I'll let you jump into that.
Todd: Let us take a little bit of a step back and talk about the evolution of social media. Shelley, thanks for doing a great job in which she didn't tell you is that she was the one that really started and brought our social media presence forward about three years ago and worked to drive the evolution. Then Cherise joined our team. We continued to do great things in social media. Why I love social media is that it gives such an amazing window into the diabetes community and the people that are out there that live with diabetes and you know, as marketers and salespeople, we can always talk to the patients. We can do market research, and we can read studies and articles, but, nothing is as good as real, live raw in the moment feedback that comes in through social media, whether they're engaging directly with us, whether we're just seeing what's going on in forums and conversation threads that have started. It helps us to get a good sense of what's going on, what are the needs and how we can do a better job as a company to help serve people's needs. So that's what led us down this route of wanting to focus in on peer support. Shelley mentioned that this was a very hot topic at the American Association of Diabetes Educators meeting this summer that we attended. Which caused us to start doing a little bit more research and depending upon the research that you see in some of this data might be a little bit more skewed towards type 1, but, about 98 to 99 percent of people with diabetes management over the year comes from self-management.
That means they spend one or two percent of their diabetes management time with their healthcare professional, and that is a result of you live with it every minute of the day. Where we wanted to go was, we know that, okay, if you don't have a strong network of people, it is very difficult to manage this solely on your own. We know especially in the type 1 community, there are some fantastic peer resources that many people are plugged into and that's great. However, within the type 2, there's, there's a gap is as Shelley had mentioned, and so it's not that there aren't resources out there, but there's a gap in, in helping to connect people with those resources.
So you've got a big group of people. I usually whiteboard and draw this out when I explained this to people, but, over a podcast is touch, see if you can follow along here. You've got to a group of people that have diabetes and are out there needing support whether they know it or not it's there. Then you've got another group of people that are out there that are willing to lend support, whether that's through an organization, whether that's through just a personal passion for what that is, but there's not always that strong connection between the two. So that's where we wanted to make a stand and be a leader in helping to connect people that are affected with diabetes to those that can lend support from a peer standpoint and in all drive for better outcomes. So that's what got us wanting to get into this area of peer support.
The other thing that I think is very important to mention is not only can peer support help from the standpoint of expertise, but it can be much more relevant to the person. Not everybody can connect with their healthcare provider on the same level, whether that's due to ethnicity, whether that's due to socioeconomic factors where you might not make that personal connection. If you can connect with somebody that you feel a stronger connection to and can relate to more, the data is out there that does improve outcomes, and that does help you to be able to get the support and the information you need from people that you can connect with and relate too.
Cherise: Shelly, is this why the Inspiration Exchange was created or was this something that you had a good idea based off of the knowledge and information that you've learned over the past three to four years, working in US social media market is that the meat in the foundation of the inspiration exchange?
Shelley: The foundation for the Inspiration Exchange came from the thought and that we want to be connected to our customers. We know that everybody has a story. I think you said it, Cherise, not everybody's journey is the same, your journey with a type 1 is different than, than anybody else that, you know, in the community. My journey with type 2, while there are a significant, similarities with, with some of my fellow community members, our journeys are all different. Everybody has a story. As Todd mentioned, there's so much information out there regarding peer support and different resources. There are various websites out there with different stories and this idea around community and story storytelling. I think the great thing about the Inspiration Exchange is the people that we have up on the Inspiration Exchange are real people. They are not celebrities, and they aren't paid and in any way shape or form. These are real people telling their stories. We just wanted to provide an outlet for people to, if they're having a bad day somewhere to come and maybe get a spark of inspiration or perhaps something amazing happened to them along their journey with diabetes, or there is this fantastic revelation, and they want to share that with us.
In some cases, you know, the stories aren't all pretty, you know, diabetes is messy, and some of the stories on the Inspiration Exchange is messy. We just wanted to provide an outlet for people to come to get a little bit of inspiration, maybe share a little bit of inspiration through their own story and their personal experience. I will tell you as a relatively new person diagnosed, the type 2 diagnosis in the United States ( predominantly) there's a lot of shame and there's guilt. For me, my type 2 diagnosis was mostly self-inflicted. There is no genetics, no history of type 2 diabetes in my family. Upon that diagnosis, I immediately felt shame for what I had created for myself. It was amazing to be able to go out into the community and just search for people that had been diagnosed, that are living with type 2 diabetes that have live well and sort of reversed some side effects. I think storytelling and sharing is such an important part of a self-managed chronic condition you need.
Cherise: So this goes back to our discussion about the Inspiration Exchange. We talked about evolution and going into the strategy for 2019. What are some of the other resources Roche will provide or how are they connecting people to their peers or health care professionals?
Todd: I'll answer this one, Cherise, and the answer is I'm talking with one of them right now, that's you. I'm going to answer this question by turning this back onto you to answer your question and let our audience know what some of the things that we are doing to provide those resources.
Cherise: Okay. So this is, this exciting, you can hear the pitch in my voice rise just a little bit because I don't think Shelley and Todd truly understand how excited I am to be in this space, not even only as an employee, but as someone who lives with diabetes being able to merge both worlds. The cool thing is that we've taken a lot of the things that we've learned over the past couple of years and said, okay, you know, we know that there are people out there who are floating in social media land and there's no one responding. What we're doing is going out to find these people. I'm going to point them to peer resources or a resource like AADE, American Diabetes Association or JDRF, or to someone who is living with it that may be able to provide some support to let them know that, that they're not alone. So that's one of the things right now that I'm excited about because sometimes it's not about, you know, spending much money to reach people. There are people out there that need us, and if we can be that support system and point them where they need to go, that's what I'm excited and glad that is what we're doing.
Cherise: For Roche Diabetes Care in the social media space, so we got the inspiration exchange and just curious. I know you probably can't tell us all the, all the good stuff at this point, but can you, can you tell us a little something?
Todd: Sure. So I can start with this, and I'll say we don't know a part of the beauty of the social media space is that as I mentioned before, by seeing what's going on and being present in the moment, that helps us to understand what the needs are and what we can do best. Shelley talked a lot about the inspiration exchange and how that came to be. How that idea started was by looking at social media and looking at what we previously did in social media.
We've provided some really good and relevant content and tips for things like healthy eating and exercise. While people found that valuable, what we started to notice was the conversation going on within our posts and unprompted, or maybe they were, maybe somebody felt like sharing how they liked the recipe or whatever led to it. People started telling their stories, they've told their stories about diabetes or how they overcame a challenge or maybe how one of their children has diabetes and, and then that caused someone else to react to that and whether that was a word of encouragement whether that was them saying, wow, thank you for sharing your story. That helped inspire me. It's helpful to know that I'm not alone. By looking at the interaction on social media, we said there is something here and that people like to tell their stories. People love to hear other people's stories, and that can help inspire others. There's a place where other people, people want to go to be inspired, and that's what drove the evolution of the Inspiration Exchange. Which then has now morphed into one of our platforms that we are using to be that leader in peer support that the next evolution for that, I think you're hearing it right now is we're doing podcasts. We've never done podcasts before, but what an amazing way to help provide support and whether that comes with getting to know other people in the community or talking about some helpful tips or whatever that might be but just another way to help broadcast that there are so many resources out there. So many people out there that want to come together in the form of community and, and we can help bring that to life.
Shelley: I couldn't agree more. Everything that Todd said times 10. I think this is an exciting time for Roche Diabetes Care. I think it's a critical time for people living with diabetes. We plan to engage effectively and provide important resources that people don't know are available and provide some opportunities for people to meet and greet each other online and find their way together.
Cherise: So this is the first episode, and there could be many critics out there, this is something new for us, taking this leap and zigging away from the norm. What are your feelings? Are you nervous? Like what is, what is going through your mind?
Todd: I think it's a good sense of nervousness. I think if you don't have a sense of nervousness, you're not doing worthwhile enough. We're taking a little bit of a risk, which I love and as Shelley and Cherise are very well aware because they're on my team, there is no such thing as a failure. We can't fail with this. The only way we fail is if we don't learn from any mistakes we may have made. We're going to make some, and that's okay. However, ultimately our goal, our vision is set on being that leader that is helping to connect people that are affected with diabetes to resources that can help them. If we stay a genuine and authentic in our quest to do that, we learned from our mistakes than there is no failure. I think that we can get in our way that's getting complacent or getting scared. I know we've got the right people here that don't know what those words mean.
I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses and grows.
Shelley: And to tag into what Todd just said. I think yes, this is sort of new territory for us. As marketers, the idea around this organic and unique touchpoint is so much different than anything that we've done before. I think Cherise you as a person that has been in the diabetes community for some time and a well-respected leader within that community-I have all the confidence in the world that we're absolutely on the right track. We always talk about patients first within Roche Diabetes Care, and we are putting the person with diabetes first. Everything that we do, that's what we focus on is the person with diabetes first. I think this speaks directly to that mantra and the belief that our patient is always going to be first.
Cherise: Todd, you keep mentioning the word leader. Are you saying the leader in the diabetes manufacturers space? A leader in the patient community space? I want to make sure we clarify that for those out there who are listening, who may be thinking, oh, well we've been doing this for a very long time.
Todd: So when I say that, I don't know if I think it's agnostic of leader and who, but the difference is for folks that may be out there saying, hey, I've been doing that for a very long time. What we want to do is acknowledge the community and help make more connections. That's what we want to be the leader in. We want to use our resources to help make those connections to the valuable support that many, many people out there are already lending and that others may want to lend or if there's not a pathway to do that or could use some help in doing that. Does that answer your question?
Cherise: Yes, it does. I understand, but I want to make sure that our listeners understood. I want to make sure that they know that we're in this together, we want to help. I think that's probably the main thing. You said that better than I perhaps could have articulated it, so I thank you for doing that. I wanted to clarify for our audience what you meant. Thank you so much.
Cherise: So we've currently focused on the importance of peer support, and what's next for Roche Diabetes Care and social media. Before we go, I would like to know Shelley first starting with you, ladies first. What inspires you?
Shelley: That is a big question. I can tell you that I am humbled every single day by not only the stories that I hear externally of people that are willing to share their experience with diabetes. I'm also humbled and very inspired by the people that sit around me, that are living well with diabetes whether that's type 1 or type 2. I'm being surrounded by people that are impacted every single day by diabetes and watching them succeed and grow and being able to put names and faces together on something that as a company we're striving to help others, other people living with diabetes. Every time I see a face, every time I talked to somebody that I know is living with diabetes internally, it inspires me all that much more. I've just put a face and a name to what we're.
Todd: So, what we're working towards, not trying to top that. I would say that everything that Shelley said holds not only for me, but I would say for many folks that choose to work in this space, specifically having been around the diabetes community and hearing people's stories. We hear a lot of the diagnosis stories, and especially people type 1. I have a four and a half-year-old at home. So I know at any point if he starts chugging down, water urinating frequently, there's nothing to say that my son or anybody that I know or love, can get diabetes. While we do serve patients every single day, there's added motivation for me that it can also affect me, and folks that I love. So while we want to help strive for helping every patient that's out there every patient includes people that are certainly very close to all of us.
Cherise: Well, thank you so much for tuning in everyone. I thank you, Shelley and Todd this was a great episode.
Todd: Thank you, Cherise, for having us on. We know this is one of your first ones and so we're looking forward to being with you through this journey. Congratulations.
Cherise: Thank you for listening to the inspiration exchange diabetes moments. If you have questions or comments, feel free to send me an email or send us a tweet using hashtag #diabetesmoments.