Tuesday, July 28, 2015

No, I’m Not Tweeting—I’m Marketing

Social media may seem like a haphazard series of tweets, likes, and posts, but behind this evolving technology is marketing potential, and with effective marketing, comes new business. Social media marketing experts Jennifer Minarcik and Ruwaida Vakil will be presenting this topic in the open session “Using Social Media for Marketing: Harness the Power of Twitter, LinkedIn and Beyond” at the AMWA 75th Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX, September 30-October 3, 2015.

Although the Annual Conference does not kick off for a couple months, the presenters have shared a few nuggets of information—a taste of what is to come!
  • Use webinars as a content marketing tool. Presenter Ruwaida says that when conducting a webinar or presentation, you can use social media marketing for social listening on LinkedIn and Twitter. For example, create a private LinkedIn group for all your attendees and a related hashtag on Twitter. Why? Ruwaida explains (1) “the LinkedIn group allows you to continue the conversation with your attendees” and (2) “the Twitter hashtag helps you listen to and relate to your attendees during and after your webinar.” Ruwaida addresses webinars further in a blog post.

  • Create effective visuals to increase exposure. Presenter Jennifer recommends using visuals to bump up your brand’s exposure, ultimately driving more traffic to your website. To create visuals, Jennifer suggests the online tool Canva because it is a great do-it-yourself design tool for creating unique, targeted images. “But don’t just post images,” she says, “add captions and descriptions (for example, hashtags, a website URL, or a ‘Call to Action’).”

  • Humanize social media to reach your audience. As insiders, Jennifer and Ruwaida share a final secret, “This year, the goal for anyone using social media should be to share relevant content while becoming more human. Social networks, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube, provide freelancers the ability to create content specifically designed to attract dream clients.” Along with this push to make social media marketing more personal come fresh concepts, such as social selling, content curation strategies, real-time social media marketing, visual content, video content, and advertisement campaigns.

Open up a hard copy of the AMWA Journal or log on to read more about social media marketing in Jennifer Minarcik’s article “The FDA and Social Media” published in volume 30, issue 1. Also, tune in to the YouTube channel Freelance MedWriters for more expert advice.

To join the Twitter conversation, follow @AmMedWriters and use #AMWA2015. To tweet about the upcoming social media marketing open session and follow tips from the presentation, use #AMWA15SM.

For those interested in the open session described in this post, listed below are other related presentations and activities offered at the 2015 Annual Conference. Descriptions, dates, and times for each offering can be found in the registration brochure.

  • T-03: Quick-Start Marketing for Freelance Success
  • T-04: So You Want To Do a Webinar
  • T-07: Nobody Ever Wins in a Twitter Fight!
  • T-27: Freelancing: Starting and Marketing Your Medical Writing Business
  • S-04: The Social Media Tool Swap Shop
  • S-13: Five Tips to Prevent Your Website from Becoming an Antique

Open Sessions
  • OS-12: Basics of Content Writing for Medical Practices and Hospitals
  • OS-39: How to Make Your Webinar Relevant, Impactful, and Memorable

  • WS-44: Fundamentals of Freelance Business Marketing

-Christina Bennett, 2015 Annual Conference Planning Committee 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Earn Credits Toward ISMPP CMPP Recertification at the AMWA 75th Annual Conference

If you were CMPP certified in 2010, this is your year to recertify! The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) has approved the following 4 sessions offered at the AMWA 75th Annual Conference for credit towards Certified Medical Publication Professional (CMPP) recertification.

WS-20 Ethical Standards in Medical Publication (3 Continuing Education [CE] Hours)

Open Session
OS-24 Transforming Perception of Medical Writers from Coal to Diamonds-if Superman Can Do it, so Can We! (1.5 CE Hours)

S-09 Journal Selection: Does it Matter in the Electronic Age? (1 CE Hour)
S-12 Permission Granted! Copyright Compliance and Permission Requests (1 CE Hour)

Please see the registration brochure for the detailed descriptions and times of these sessions.  Attendees seeking CE credits can email annual_conference@amwa.org to request attendance verification documentation after the conference.

-Noelle Demas, 2015 Annual Conference Administrator

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Creative Readings Returns to the Annual Conference

AMWA members are far more than just skilled medical writers and editors. Many of them use their considerable talent in more creative writing endeavors. For a number of years, they had an opportunity during the Annual Conference to share their creative efforts with fellow AMWA members at a Creative Readings open session. But because of low turnout over the past couple of years, it was not offered at last year’s conference. Thanks to attendees who said they missed it, the Creative Readings is coming back—on a new day and time.

Traditionally, the Creative Readings session was held on the first night of the conference, following the Welcome Reception. The AC Committee wondered if perhaps this time slot for the event was a challenge, because members, tired from their travels, were anticipating an early morning wake-up call and the full day of workshops that lay ahead of them. So, the Committee decided to offer the Creative Readings session on Saturday afternoon (3:30 to 5:00 PM), as a perfect time for members to unwind after a busy 3 days of conference activities.

This open forum provides an opportunity for conference attendees who “dabble” in creative writing to share their works with their colleagues. Over the years, members have read short stories, science fiction, excerpts from novels and plays, and creative nonfiction, both serious and humorous. Song parodies have been another popular offering. Several years ago, a member lamented about the life of a bench scientist to a tune from “The Pirates of Penzance.” More recently, a member played his guitar and sang about the trials of being a copyeditor.

A past Creative Readings session also served as the impetus for gathering humorous observations about the lives of medical writers that were subsequently published in the book More Than 101 Ways to Know You’re a Medical Writer, which will be available for sale at the conference (at the Editorial Rx Press booth on the Exhibit Hall).

The purpose of the Creative Readings open session is to share and appreciate—not evaluate or criticize—in a comfortable nonthreatening environment. And the event is not just for those who want to share their creative work. It is also for those who like to listen and appreciate the creative endeavors of others—and perhaps get ideas and encouragement to stretch their wings and try writing their own poem, short story, or humorous essay, or starting that novel they’ve been thinking about writing.
No reservations are required to attend. However, we do ask those who want to present to please sign up ahead of time so that we can make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to share his or her work with an appreciative audience of peers.

If you would like to sign up to be a presenter, or would like more information about this special event, please send an e-mail to Creative Readings chair Donna Miceli at dmiceli@comcast.net.

—Donna Miceli, 2013 Annual Conference Committee

Monday, October 28, 2013

AMWA’s Giving Back Program

We are gathering in Columbus to serve each other as educators and colleagues, and it is therefore fitting that we take the opportunity to serve the host community. This year, we have arranged for conference attendees to give back by donating nonperishable food or monetary donations to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

The Mid-Ohio Foodbank has been serving central and eastern Ohio for more than 30 years and now distributes food to more than 550 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, after-school programs, and senior housing sites. The foodbank provides a vital resource to organizations that serve children, the elderly, the homeless, and the poor. It does so with a high level of accountability and at a low administration cost: it is a 4-star organization on Charity Navigator, with almost 95% of expenses going to programs, less than 4% to administration, and just over 1% to fundraising.

The AMWA conference site is not near grocery stores, so please find space in your suitcase for a nonperishable food item. If you don’t have space (or forget), consider a monetary donation (cash or check). Food and money are both helpful, especially as the busy holiday season approaches. Every $1 you donate can buy a needy family, child, or individual $11 worth of groceries.

Look for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank donation box in the AMWA registration area at the conference (Country Foyer) to leave your gift. And thank you for your help as we give back to the community that is so graciously hosting us!

—Tim Peoples, MA, ELS, CMPP

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Making Things Clear: Tips and Hints for Working with Non-Western Clients

Most Western readers think it is the writer’s responsibility to make things clear for the reader. However, some non-Western cultures assume that it is the reader’s responsibility to figure out what the writer meant. This assumption can add to the difficulties experienced by non-Western authors as they write for publication and international regulatory approval.

Given that considerably more than half of the world's research is done by researchers whose native language is not English, the demand is growing for people who can assist in writing clear, understandable English in an international context. Of particular note, this “clear understandable English” is not necessarily the same as idiomatic “native English-speaker” English.

You can learn about the challenges and opportunities of writing for this emerging market at the AMWA Annual conference session “The West and the Rest: Working with Non-Native English Authors and Readers in Asia and Eastern Europe.” Panelists Lee Seaman of the Northwest Chapter; Mary (Mimi) Wessling of the Northern California chapter; and Mieko Onuki, an AMWA member residing in Japan, will share their experiences.

Here is a sneak peak at some of what that these panelists will be talking about.
• The English that readers in Asia and Eastern Europe need.

• Principles for making your English easier to understand: The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has PLAIN language principles that can be applied to all types of writing. Japanese writers can also find advice for better English medical writing.

• When working through a writing/editing agency, which demands are reasonable and which not? How do you decide?

• How can you “upscale” your services to appeal to higher-end agencies and end-users?

Bookmark or schedule this session in the AMWA Annual Conference app and join us!

--Noelle Demas, 2013 AMWA Annual Conference Committee