Pioneering workshop teaches the power of social media
EONS has run a groundbreaking social media workshop in collaboration with WeNurses to help EONS National Societies learn more about the power of social media, and in particular Twitter. The workshop was commissioned following national society interest in wanting to learn more about social media and how to engage with and inform membership.
This pioneering event, in January, strengthened participants’ understanding of how Twitter can increase not only the profile of their Society but also their members, as well as drive improvements in practice and cancer patient care.
The Societies that took part in the workshop included:
- UKONS (United Kingdom)
- Sector of Oncology Nursing of the Hellenic National Graduate Nurses Association (Greece)
- Portuguese Oncology Nursing Association
- Spanish Oncology Nursing Society
Participants spoke afterwards of the way that the experience would assist them in using this powerful tool effectively:
Benjamin.Hartley@rmh.nhs.uk, UKONS (United Kingdom)
It was very useful meeting my colleagues from the other European Societies who faced the same challenges when encouraging nurse members to engage on social media. WeNurses offered a huge amount of tips and suggestions on how this could be achieved better, a few of which I have already put into place, such as generating discussion rather than making statements on Twitter by redirecting discussion topics back to the membership.
I also loved the idea of providing “blogshots” using a PowerPoint slide to key members on Twitter, on which they can share their thoughts and generate discussion, plus keeping the feed visual and interesting. Since the event, I have fed back to the UKONS Board members and have met with EONS Communication Group member Lottie Weston, who also works with me at the Royal Marsden in London, and we have discussed ways to enhance the social media offering further. Onwards and upwards!
Joanna Tsatsou, Sector of Oncology Nursing of the Hellenic National Graduate Nurses Association (Greece)
Our society recently created its twitter account (@hellenic_ons). Even though Facebook is popular in our country and among nurses, that is not the case for Twitter, as nurses do not use it for professional reasons. I wanted to participate in this workshop to know more about the power of SoMe (social media) and how to communicate this to my colleagues.
I learned the potential of SoMe for nursing practice and also some simple tricks to maximize their use while lessening the time. Key points were: shifting from a personal to a professional use, generating discussions and building relationships, and that you don't have to think about numbers and followers but more about value.
Finally, I gained more confidence to spread the news and seize the opportunity to enhance our Greek oncology nurses community through SoMe. We are planning to organize a SoMe meeting for colleagues to let them know why they should start using Twitter professionally.
Maria Dias, firstname.lastname@example.org & Eugenia Trigoso, email@example.com, Portuguese Oncology Nursing Association & Spanish Oncology Nursing Society
We learned how important it is to create and improve social media for community benefit and also how to encourage our colleagues to do the same. Social media makes people feel empowered to try new things and be creative.
We also learned how to implement Twitter in our National Societies, how important it is to be able to share information, ideas and knowledge in “real time” with our colleagues around Europe, and to be able to get in touch with our patients. Ethical questions were covered too and, with the help of guidelines, we found out about using social media responsibly. We also learned about important tools like Evidence for Everyday Nursing and other ways to conduct research and find evidence in our day-to-day work.
It’s clear that posting regularly is a great way to be engaged with the nursing community and patients and can be a more effective way to change behaviours than policy. The Spanish Society of Oncological Nursing, is now changing both its website and its presence on social networks; Twitter will be a great tool for communication between us, both for learning and staying up to date – and we’re going to use it to spread news about our next Annual Meeting which will take place in Valencia, in May!
Communication working group co-chair and EONS Executive Board member Paul Trevatt, who was instrumental in organising the training day said: “I think social media has now become so embedded and has such a presence in terms of communication and connectivity that it is a case of when, and not if, national societies choose to develop social media platforms.
“The workshop was a great opportunity for the national society membership to come together in partnership and to learn from one another under the guidance of WeNurses. It appears clear that European cancer nursing has a lot to gain from social media (from sharing research to making the case for cancer nursing to be recognised as specialist practice to promote better cancer patient care).
“Regardless of whether your national society is involved in social media or not I call on all EONS nurse members to become more involved in it and to begin to develop their digital voice. As EONS celebrates its first European Cancer Nursing Day on 18 May, social media will play a large part in informing and communicating with all our members.”
*Has your Society set up a Twitter account yet? Why not start one today?
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