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Millennials, social media and clinical trials

Monday, October 2, 2017

When recruiting for a clinical trial, social media can be effectively harnessed to target millennial audiences by considering three key factors. 

The first and most important of these factors is content. Millennials enjoy, respond to and share articles that are highly informative, with any “pitch” regarding the trial itself kept on the down-low rather than front and center. In an article intended for a millennial audience, the reference to the trial should be just one component of a cluster of related information that is being offered in the spirit of free knowledge. Such articles need to address not only the patients potentially qualified to enroll in the trial, but also—to maximize success—should be written in such a way that potential patients’ family and friends feel compelled to share the information with them as well. 

The second factor concerns how messaging about a trial is distributed to the appropriate audiences. An article that runs on a relatively small website with a passionate following can be far more effective than the same article placed on a relatively well-known website with tons of links and a much broader readership with more disparate interests. The key to success in this regard involves careful strategic targeting to the best audience—not necessarily the biggest.

The third and final factor pertains to individual outreach. Specifically, this involves taking the time to search for and identify the individuals with an online presence whom millennials are listening to: the advocates and influencers of this generation.  Once these influencers have been identified, they should be individually tagged on social media, with a link to the announcement of the trial and an offer of an interview. This strategy can go a long way toward maximizing social media’s impact on more effective, better targeted, rapid and accurate patient recruitment.


Guest Contributor Dian Griesel, Ph.D., is president of DGI Comm, a strategic visibility public relations firm.

This article was reprinted from Volume 24, Issue 10, of The CenterWatch Monthly, an industry leading publication providing hard-hitting, authoritative business and financial coverage of the clinical research space. The Action Items section features short columns  focusing on actionable or how-to advice from clinical trial professionals. To submit an Action Item, please contact editorial@centerwatch.com. Subscribe >>

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