Serendipitous meeting

Esta historia esta en español en https://activateparkinson.com/

I was on vacation, relaxing when I met a friendly guy in the same hotel, let’s call him Kevin. He is traveling alone, in his 50’s and my 6th sense told me there was a reason why I should chat with him. But he worked in real estate, no connection there!

But when I told him about my PD association he was full of advice as he had worked in pharmaceuticals previously. He said I should get a social media plan for my organisation. Of course I know that social media is important to get the message out so I nodded politely when he kept pushing this point. 

But the next day he went from a different angle, the more members you have the more you can influence. I have about 100 members and maybe contact with 200 nationwide.. not enough to get this on the national agenda, not even enough for the pharmaceutical companies to take me seriously he says. He said if you can get 5000 people then you have power. 

The penny dropped.

So we need to use paid advertising in social media to get it beyond PD circles. It turns out Kevin had a deceased parent with Parkinson’s and it was clear he’d never heard of such support groups. Point made. 

Activate (my NGO) needs to have a presence that cannot be ignored, so that Parkinson’s treatment and education are actually on the agenda. And so that pharmaceutical companies will come to the party with conference funding, educational resources and doctors etc. Let’s be honest – we’ll always need them, but they need us too and if we group together, just maybe we can influence them for the better.

I asked Kevin to help me draft a letter to send to the pharmaceutical companies which he kindly did but now I’ve got to step back and set up my systems to meet the swell of responses that will come in from my media campaign (create that too) and automated response forms and information sheets etc. Yes, this could take months but April is Parkinson’s awareness month so that could give me a good target. 

It is funny how even on vacation the coincidental meetings with people can influence work.