Be in “the know.”
Back in the days when I worked in in-patient rehabilitation, I always took advantage of my yearly continuing education benefit. Each employee was allowed an annual stipend to further his or her skills, paid for by the department. In exchange for this free education, each employee attending a conference or course was expected to present the information learned to the rest of the rehabilitation staff within two weeks of completion. The process integrated learning ingested in the classroom by creating teacher of the student and it extended the “bang for the buck” put out by the hospital’s rehab department because the knowledge was shared with the entire staff for the cost of sending just one.
“Brilliant!” I thought to myself when I learned from a medical writing collegue that this process is alive and well in the pharmaceutical world. Independent companies, mostly open- source online, provide blow by blow coverage at relevant conferences keeping their subscribers up to date with the latest research, knowledge, practices, and trends throughout their industry. These companies hire writers to attend the most attractive presentations and pay them to write a report, which appears on their website within 24-48 hrs of the presentation.
I immediately thought of the forrest of booths budding with marketing professionals in khakis and logo golf shirts that crowd the conference hall, that looks like any other conference hall and how their time could be used for things other than re-arranging the give-away key chains. I began thinking of my conversation with my fellow medical writer and brainstorming ideas about how other health companies could tailor these same methods of sharing employeed by those in the pharmaceutical world. Everyone wants the latest. Everyone wants the greatest. The newest. The coolest. Everyone wants to be the first. How many of us would pass up bragging rights to the coveted “back stage pass?”
What can you learn from this? How can providing cutting-edge information to your customers be mutually beneficial? And what are some strategies to integrate conference coverage into your up-to-the-minute subject matter expert position? Think blog. Think website. Newsletters. Eblasts. Yes, you the man!
This week I will follow up with a mulit-part series about specific techniques your health and wellness company can use to capitalize information gleened at conferences and courses to advance your company’s health communications.
You’re already attending the conference, right? Why not share your experience? Hand out that back stage pass!