MarcheseGet the Word Out, Revisited
So here it is. March. The Super Bowl is over; the Masters waits in the wings. Winter drags on. There’s just not much happening out there (March basketball Madness excepted) — or so it seems.

Last fall, I wrote a column titled “Getting the Word Out” which addressed an often-heard complaint: the lack of visibility accorded the biomed profession. In that piece, I ran through a short list of suggestions from conference speakers, panelists and participants for raising the profile of the profession. Their tips included networking, joining professional organizations and getting involved in cost-cutting campaigns.

But you’ve done some of those things, you say. Maybe even all of them. And your colleagues in healthcare still don’t know about, understand or appreciate what you do to keep hospital operations running, to keep patients safe, to keep budgets in line.

Let me offer a suggestion of my own, then, for getting the word out in 2003 and beyond: Tell 24×7 what you’re up to!

Whenever and wherever I travel for 24×7, biomeds and engineers comment on the magazine. They take a couple of minutes to tell me they appreciate it. It’s one of the very few publications that’s truly theirs, they say.

But then comes the follow-up: “How often do you print Postcards?” “Are you going to keep printing Postcards?”

24×7 loves Postcards as much as you do! But we can’t print Postcards unless we hear from you, since the Postcards feature is, as its heading puts it, “a look at what’s shakin’ with local biomedical associations.”

Sure, the magazine receives the occasional newsletter, but often from the same couple of organizations. And while their news is certainly worthy, Postcards thrives on variety. Let’s face it: You would tire reading about the same several organizations again and again.

But sending a copy of your association’s newsletter isn’t the only way to merit space in Postcards. There are too many forms of communication available to not get the word out about your news and activities.

The masthead, that section near the front of the magazine that lists the magazine’s editorial and production personnel, includes general contact information for 24×7, including an e-mail address, and fax and phone numbers. You’ll find my direct e-mail address and phone number there as well.

And please don’t wait until the full membership has RSVP’d before sending out notice of an event. It’s the nature of the publishing business that we work weeks (often months) ahead of the date you see on the magazine cover.

At the same time, one of the best features of Postcards is its flexibility. That allows some certain items to make sense after-the-fact. An announcement of new officers elected at a recent meeting, for example, is definitely welcome.

As you probably know by now, I also like to include short stories on individual or group biomed activities in the magazine’s Browser section. Sometimes I’m able to travel to a symposium or meeting and gather the information firsthand. Other times, however, I have to rely on you to let me know what’s happening in your neck of the woods. I attended the Indiana Biomedical Society meeting that I wrote about in the February issue, for example, but I found out about the biomedical department’s participation in The (Denver) Children’s Hospital Career Day because David Scott, the department’s manager, initially e-mailed me, then talked with me on the phone. That article ran in the January issue.

All this is just my way of saying, “I’m here to help you get the word out.” But, I can’t do it without you.

So put 24×7 on your newsletter mailing. Tip us off to a scheduled event. Call with details about your professional activities.

Together, we’ll get the word out.

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Marie S. Marchese