The Golden Triangle of Health Care Social Media

Here’s an opportunity to enhance your editorial calendar while also putting social media to one of its most valuable purposes.

All diseases are bad, and increasing awareness of them is generally a good thing, although medical students' disease indicates that isn’t always the case.

But some diseases are especially appropriate for social media interventions. What I'm calling “The Golden Triangle of Health Care Social Media” contains diseases that meet the following three criteria:

  1. They’re deadly.
  2. They’re highly treatable or even preventable.
  3. Medically recommended screening or prevention techniques are underutilized.

The first criterion indicates importance. The second means solutions have been identified and are available. The third says some barrier of awareness or understanding has stopped the solutions from being fully implemented.

"Golden Triangle" diseases are the ones for which social media can do the most social good.

Colorectal cancer meets all three Golden Triangle criteria:

  1. It’s the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
  2. It’s one of the most preventable cancers: precancerous polyps identified during screening can be removed. And if found and treated at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent.
  3. More than a third of U.S. adults are not up-to-date with their screening.

In 2013, members of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) set a goal of getting 80 percent of eligible U.S. adults screened by 2018.

As we enter the final year of this initiative, it's time to sprint to the finish.

That's why Mayo Clinic will be joining NCCRT, Fight Colorectal Cancer, the American Cancer Society and Exact Sciences for a Countdown to 2018 kickoff event on March 1 at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square.

Countdown to 2018 will kick off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month with a program featuring several celebrities who have a personal interest in colorectal cancer screening, as well as recognition of 80% by 2018 National Achievement Awards Winners.

Here are three Golden Triangle opportunities for you:

  1. Promote the Countdown to 2018 event on your social channels between now and March 1 using the #CRCCountdown and #80by2018 hashtags. In addition to a live stream of the entire program, we'll have a Red Carpet Preview that day on the Mayo Clinic Facebook page.
  2. Share the facts about colorectal cancer and screening on your social channels throughout March.
  3. Share your #screeningstory (either as an individual, or one from your organization.) Here's mine.

We have sample posts you can adapt, and in a future post we'll include additional infographic images with colorectal cancer facts.

Update: Here's the post with suggested text and images for your posts.

Please join with us in this important and meaningful campaign!

Choose a message to share 
Some diseases are especially appropriate for social media interventions, but which ones?
What exactly is the Golden Triangle of Health Care Social Media, and what purpose does it serve?
Here’s an opportunity to enhance your editorial calendar while also putting social media to one of its most valuable purposes:


Appreciate your “golden triangle” criteria. Largely, because as you say, it leverages one of social media’s most important purposes – to empower customers to live better lives (in this case, getting 80% of eligible U.S. adults screened for Colorectal Cancer by 2018). Social is at its best when it addresses a real and enduring customer need, desire or pain point. And this is certainly one of them. I applaud all your efforts.

Eric Brody
President, Trajectory

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