I am a big fan of being front and center at conferences of interest, briefings, and press events. There is an extra something when you can step up to a mic and question a statistic, clarify a statement, or add to a discussion.
As an advocate for the American Diabetes Association I recently responded to their press requirements for the Scientific Sessions being held in New Orleans. I like the new logo, their broader outreach, and anticipate a lot of data in need of context. The requirements for bloggers stated a few benchmarks that data & donuts met but I will admit the metrics are always a little grey.
They asked for statistics with a minimum of 7000 page views a month--we are well above that--almost triple. I was surprised to get an email with the following:
The diabetes connection is also not clear in either blog, and they do not have search functions to find previous articles about diabetes. Could you please provide more context about how you would be covering the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions in these blogs? It was very challenging to find any healthcare related content in either blog.--Director, Strategic Communications and Media Relations American Diabetes Association
I went back to this site, entered "diabetes" into the search function and discovered information about diabetes here (Improving Numeracy in Diabetes), here (Type 2 diabetes: evidence resistance?, here (It takes a long time to become young--Picasso, here (If the question is wrong you can't rely on the answer), and here (Great content has its privileges), not to mention related topics germane to chronic disease management--and dare I say healthcare.
I hope that how we define media will extend beyond the "approved news outlets" and reflect the digital world and network expansion beginning to inform discourse. I tend not to know what I will write about when I attend a conference. There is a little something called confirmation bias that I try to avoid when writing about healthcare, policy, economics, and clinical medicine.
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”