AstraZeneca’s ASCO pledge? Be a better social media citizen

AstraZeneca has changed its social media strategy for this year’s ASCO meeting, promising to do a better job tweeting and posting from the conference.

Inspired by suggestions and concerns from previous attendees, AstraZeneca has outlined a list of new-and-improved rules for its social media work during the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.

“In recent years, during ASCO annual meetings, we have listened to growing concerns raised by attendees and others engaging online that valuable conversations on social media may be overshadowed by content from companies with large followings and more resources,” AstraZeneca said via email when asked about the changes.

AstraZeneca laid out five points for its new social tactics, including a promise to stop tweeting paid advertising during the conference. The company said it also plans to talk less and listen more, highlight important voices other than its own, be sensitive to the serious nature of cancer and work to simplify complex science.

Twitter conversations during the past five years at ASCO have increased elevenfold, AZ said, which not only proves the value of social media there but also increases the company's responsibilities.

"AstraZeneca believes in listening to customers, creative thinking, challenging status quos and proposing new solutions," the company said in the email. The initial reaction from the oncology community after the announcement indicates they appreciate the new take.