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Creating your personal brand as an early-career healthcare researcher


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Presentation for University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation summer students and trainees, July 2018

Published in: Healthcare
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Creating your personal brand as an early-career healthcare researcher

  1. 1. Creating your personal “brand” Kara Gavin, M.S. Lead Public Relations Representative, Michigan Medicine Dept. of Communication Policy & Research Media Relations, U-M IHPI Communicating your work as an early-career healthcare researcher
  2. 2. Who am I? • Michigan Medicine Department of Communication & IHPI Communication team • Trained in biology, science writing & journalism • 20+ years’ experience communicating about research at U-M & Brookhaven National Lab
  3. 3. • Find & tell stories • Handle news media inquiries • Push stories & info out any way I can (including IHPI & MichMed social channels) • Help researchers understand/use communication channels What do I do?
  4. 4. Why does U-M* have staff like me? • our institution’s work should reach people who care • U-M expertise can have impact • taxpayers & policymakers who fund research need to know what they’re paying for • most Americans need science/medicine translated • it’s easier than ever *and lots of other places too Because…
  5. 5. What do you mean, “brand”?
  6. 6. Your personal brand… • NOT a logo • Must be built, over time • Comes from the ways you present yourself to the world…and what people can find about you • Affects how people will interact with you & your work
  7. 7. A new era of communication • Traditional news media’s gatekeeper role is eroding • Big institutions = trustworthy news sources • Everyone’s a publisher
  8. 8. Who needs reporters anyway? • Social media & search • Institutions & individuals create & share directly • Visuals are vital • Fast response to questions & controversy
  9. 9. News Media • Immediate coverage • Later coverage • Later expert source requests PR services • Eurekalert • Newswise • PR Newswire • Futurity • News aggregators U-M outlets • Record / Headlines • Magazines • Websites & blogs • Newsletters • Email: donors, alumni, others Social media • U-M followers • Shares of our stories • Shares of news coverage • Reddit, etc. You can share our content to build your own personal brand! Michigan Medicine: brand-building through content sharing
  10. 10. Facebook - Twitter - Email Sister site for health stories:
  11. 11. • 1-2 stories a day • Easily shareable • Custom graphics • Paid social media promotion • Open copyright • Always looking for timely & timeless ideas!
  12. 12. Engage directly: Social media for academics Facebook, Reddit, Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat…
  13. 13. Why do it? • Connect with others in your field & beyond • Raise the visibility of your work • Share new findings, publications, news items, observations, opinions, timely links • Engage with individuals & institutions around the world & right next door • Get the most out of conferences & events • Raise awareness of YOU for career purposes
  14. 14. Why else? Altmetrics! • Aggregating activity around individual journal articles: • media coverage • blog posts • social media activity • policy documents • Traces links to papers & DOI mentions • Assigns a score & percentile • Not perfect! But getting better
  15. 15. Your essentials • A robust, updated professional web profile •Basic LinkedIn profile • Google yourself/set up alert • Know your PR person & when you should contact us
  16. 16. Take it to the next level • Claim Twitter handle, add bio & link • Share links & posts about your work, talks, professional activities, etc. • Tell your PR person about upcoming papers & timely expertise • Write “plain English” blurbs on your research – then share on web & social
  17. 17. “Laying low” • Start by “lurking” – follow individuals, institutions, organizations, news media • Monitor Twitter traffic at conferences via hashtags (& use them!) • Subscribe to lists of Twitter users compiled by others in your field • Join LinkedIn groups for professional societies
  18. 18. Engage more fully • Share links to your own work & work of others • Use LinkedIn’s “Write an Article” feature • Post slide sets on your site or SlideShare • Take part in tweet chats, Reddit AMAs, online campaigns, virtual journal clubs, etc. • On your personal social media, educate friends by sharing news/observations
  19. 19. Join • Platform to reach the public on timely topics • Articles created by academics, shaped by professional editors • Open copyright for republishing • Routinely republished by major media outlets, from Time and Washington Post to IFL Science • Easily shared via social media and the web • Authors can see data on views & republishing
  20. 20. What could happen? • Connect with others • Spread knowledge • Amplify your impact • Keep up with new ideas & opportunities • Lend your voice • Get more from your work
  21. 21. Be careful of… • Connecting with patients on social platforms • Being too political/personal – but DO cite published research • Engaging in debates/advocacy without knowing the mechanics of the platform you’re on
  22. 22. Social Media Integrity site - best practices U-M Social & School of Information Navigating Social Media as a Scholar - examples U-M Public Engagement site Two new U-M resources
  23. 23. I challenge you… • Venture onto social platforms & web publishing • Learn from others • See it as part of your career • Build your brand so it doesn’t get built for you!
  24. 24. Online Learning AcademyHealth EDM Forum: Why Tweet? Building the Skills to Engage New Audiences and Promote Your Work: The Social Network: Using Twitter to Translate and Disseminate Evidence
  25. 25. More Resources My handouts on social media, news media, etc. Joyce Lee, M.D.’s Slideshares on social media: Andrew Ibrahim, M.D.’s Visual Abstract Primer IHPI members who tweet – follow them & learn!
  26. 26. Still More Resources! NIH Checklist for Communicating Science and Health Research to the Public: AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science: Health News Review: Toolkit for communicating about health research:
  27. 27. Send questions & ideas!