New York inspires new beginnings

So this is how it starts.

Interesting how Dan and my recent trip to New York City is helping us reclaim our health.

We were in the Big Apple presenting as part of a patient panel during the national Advertising Week XII conference. The title of our discussion asked, “Are you really putting your customers at the heart of everything you are doing?”

The presentation, which was moderated by Publicis Health Media and Healthline, was intended to provide Pharma marketers our personal perspectives for how they could better connect with their intended audiences.

Dan and I were two of four patient advocates on the panel and shared insights from our MS-related experiences. We were honored to join other patient advocates and journalists Natasha Tracy, who is living with bipolar disorder, and Josh Robbins, who is living with HIV.

Here we are at Advertising Week XII (Click the picture to see the entire panel presentation)!
Here we are at Advertising Week XII (Click the picture to see the entire panel presentation)!

Here’s a summary of the perspectives that Dan and I shared on how to more effectively market to people living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Dan’s thoughts:
Remember the entire audience your marketing too. Too often there’s an appeal to the newly diagnosed while ignoring those who have had whatever illness or disease for years. Don’t be afraid to connect with the “seasoned veterans” to let them know they still are important to you. If and when your company finds the cure to their disease you don’t want to have to start from square one to connect with your audience.

My thoughts:
For those of us living with chronic illness, we don’t need to aspire to do extraordinary things like climbing a mountain. With the proper medication, our hope is to be able to do simple things like tying your shoes. That’s an extraordinary moment. Don’t shy away from the wheelchair. It may be scary to some, but to a lot of us, it is our reality. Life does not end when you start using a wheelchair, and we still need to take care of ourselves.

New York was an awesome experience, and I’d like to believe that we made a difference in the way Phama executives view and communicate with people who are living with disease and illness. And now, a little more than three weeks later, we are seeing how the experience is making a difference in our life. More specifically, the mere title of the discussion (Remember? “Are you really putting your customers at the heart of everything you are doing?”) is changing how we live.

We have realized that Dan and I aren’t putting our wellbeing at the heart of everything we’re doing.

Sure, we both have MS, but there was a time when I religiously adhered to a healthy diet and was a proud member of Weight Watchers. And there was a time when Dan also watched his diet and faithfully exercised. While life gets busy, that is no excuse to lose sight of what keeps us healthy.

As part of reclaiming our wellness, Dan and I joke that we are rebranding ourselves 🙂

When we were in New York preparing for Advertising Week panel discussion, Tracy from Healthline commented that she doesn’t often think about Dan or me without thinking of the other. Like we’re a package deal.

Thus, #Dannifer.

Starting today, we are reclaiming our health. Together.

We need to be fierce. And all in.

3 Responses to New York inspires new beginnings

  1. Awesome message. And an even awesomer message to those in NY!
    So thankful to have the Digmanns speak for those of us who have partnered with MS for a long time now.
    Keep up the tremendous work my friends.

    • Thanks, Doug! And you have a pretty awesome message for everyone too! We hope that someday our travels will bring us to the east side of Ohio or you have a reason to come to the middle of Michigan!

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