Last month, volunteers from the ACR, ARHP, and REF met in Atlanta for the Annual Leadership Development Conference. This year’s conference focused on media relations and social media in a healthcare environment. The goal of this year’s conference was to educate the volunteers on how to successfully use the different types of media outreach. The topics were timely, what with the launch of the ACR’s first public relations campaign, Simple Tasks, and a successful social media session held at the 2011 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting.
ACR President James R. O’Dell, MD, says, “nothing is more important to an organization than strong leadership. While the fundamental characteristics of the leaders of tomorrow will not change, how they interact and communicate is changing. The ACR is committed to developing strong leadership and giving those leaders the tools and knowledge to continue our tradition of excellence.”
The keynote speakers were representatives from the public relations firm Porter Novelli. Jana Thomas, senior vice president of Health and Social Marketing there, discussed changes occurring in media relations, specifically addressing some of the barriers to promoting rheumatology. Viktoriya Moroney, senior account executive of health and social marketing at Porter Novelli, addressed concerns and issues about to social media from the healthcare professional’s viewpoint.
Current forms of social media available were presented and attendees learned how to pick the best platforms to use, based on their goals and interests. The volunteers also learned about new privacy rules, ethical versus unethical behavior, how to establish guidelines with patients and within a practice, and how to determine if their outreach was successful.
The Leadership Development Conference is just one way the ACR provides topical information and training to its volunteers to help them be exceptional leaders for the ACR and in their careers. If you are interested in volunteering for an ACR leadership position, applications will be accepted starting on March 1, 2012. For more information, visit www.rheumatology.org/about and click on “Leadership.”