FOM Workshop on Social Media – A valuable tool.

Report by Abhishek Patidar

Social media is a powerful tool. It ensures you reach the audience and deliver your message the way you want to.

The Friends of Max team often uses social media as a tool to reach out to our patients and support groups. Recently we held a workshop on “Social Media as a relevant tool”.

We began the session with 120 participants consisting of all age groups. The session included:

  1. A few super charged ones that spent most of the day on social media.
  2. There were also a few who use social media just for updates.
  3. Some were not the nerd kinds, the ones who use media only few times a week.
  4. A few were present just because of FOM.
  5. And some were out of the league, the ones who are not fans of social media

The session started with a question: Why social media?

The most common answer was that it’s the easiest way to reach the crowd. And another common answer was that it’s easily available and can be accessed from anywhere (through any device).

FOM Communications Manager, Aashray Paul delivered a presentation on FOM and Chai for Cancer’s social media interventions introduced in the past year, how they have been used during the pandemic, the growth of our pages and the results of FOM’s latest survey – conducted specifically for this workshop.

The Max Foundation’s Programme Officer Priyanka Kandalgaokar then introduced Dr Bhawna Sirohi, Altaf Makhiawala and our very own Amma, who were the experts of the workshop. They shared their experience and best practises on how and what to do on this platform to make it relevant & useful.

Dr Sirohi, who is Lead Oncologist at Apollo Proton Cancer Care and an ardent supporter of our Friends of Max and Chai for Cancer shared her experience and how she proceeds with her campaign. She insisted to check all the information before starting, forwarding or endorsing anything. She also shared her experience about fake/misleading forwards which are ruining this mode of communication and how to prevent them.

Some very important points shared by Dr Sirohi were:  

  1. Do not endorse/forward unsolicited information: before proceeding with any information confirm with the subject matter expert, deep dive before making it public. Stop there if you are not sure about the information.
  2. You will be responsible for your endorsements.

We then moved to the next section. Altaf, an expert in the realm of communications, explained the best practises that are followed at the IKEA foundation. He shared his social media journey, the good and the bad, also the do’s & don’ts.

He insisted on few pointers which he follows and advised to keep in mind to have a successful campaign:

  1. Do not feel bad if you do not have likes or comments in your post.
  2. Enhance your existence by engaging with people, comment, like, share meaningful information. Follow people who have good content.
  3. Use emoticons, they save time and pass on the message.
  4. Keep your profile up-to date by frequent reviews (follow/unfollow/re-follow)
  5. Keep an eye on your followers (who follows/unfollows/spam followers)

We learnt a lot of new techniques & best practises from Altaf’s experience.

Now our very own Amma took charge of the meeting and shared her knowledge & experience.

She shared her journey on being super active and how she manages her social media accounts. Amma shared her dos and don’ts and how to keep the campaign clean and stay out of any controversies.

This was followed by the Open Discussion segment, moderated by Amma and The Max Foundation Programme Officer, Beena Narayanan. The ball was rolled to city chapter leaders who shared their experiences with social media, how this platform is helping them to stay together & close to their family & friends. How this platform is helping everybody in getting back together in this difficult time.

Dr Jude (who is not a social media person) shared his opinion about social media and how he is completely off from the grid and how does stay updated.

The Max Team’s Sudha Samineni then spoke about her role as the Communications Manager for The Max Foundation Global and Anshika Tandon brought it to a close with her Vote of Thanks.

The workshop was very informative, we discussed almost every aspect of social media. My outttake from this workshop is not to blindly believe anything that appears on your newsfeed and be vigilant about the fake news/ disinformation. Just like all the other things in the world social media also has to face good and bad , right and wrong – it’s upon us what we choose.

Besides, it’s surely a great place to be in touch with the world and motivate others

– Abhishek Patidar, FOM Pune City Chapter Leader

You can watch the replay of this workshop on our Facebook page by clicking here.