Real Time Training, Networking and Insight: PRSA Health Academy 2013

I studied journalism in college; my sister majored in PR and my father handled media relations as part of his role in corporate human resources. My interest in PRSA began as I transitioned from being a TV medical reporter and producer into broadcast public relations for the healthcare industry, as I realized my training in journalism had only addressed part of what I need to know as a PR professional. I had a great understanding of media relations, but I was often lacking in some of the basic PR skills and PRSA helped me bridge that gap quickly. We all have our own reasons for participating in Health Academy. For many of our members, Health Academy helps public relations professionals transitioning into healthcare PR from other disciplines get up to speed quickly, learning the tactics, strategies and jargon unique to our highly complex and regulated medical communications sector.

There are actually a number of former journalists on the executive committee of Health Academy, but we’re just a small part of a diverse group that tries to be representative of the breadth of healthcare public relations, whether it is  PR agencies large or small, or whether the practitioner is hospital-based, at a pharmaceutical company, involved in medical information technology, working for insurers/payors, a medical school or institution, a non-profit voluntary health group, or in patient or disease advocacy or an allied field.

The PRSA Health Academy provides valuable real-time training, networking and insight in our ever changing world of communications through our newsletter, our e-groups, and our teleseminars, such as the one scheduled for March 21, from 3:00-4:00 pm on the topic of all the new guidelines, regulations and laws for 2013, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Our speaker is Jill Dosik, JD, President of GCI Health, and a leading, nationally recognized expert on public relations—and the law.

Of course, the premiere event for Health Academy is our annual meeting which this year will be held in Indianapolis. This year, we’ll take advantage of our adjacency to the international headquarters of Eli Lilly, to hear from their senior public relations and public affairs executives as well as visit the headquarters of the NCAA, with an eye towards how sports intersects with health messaging (Susan G. Komen and the Super Bowl; Healthy TXT a campaign to reduce sports injuries). Among our keynotes, is Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. As you know, Pew is the world’s leading “fact tank” on how the public consumes the increasingly mobile and social web. We’ll also hear from radio news Hall of Famer Bob Edwards. Among many highlights, Edelman will be presenting their latest research on “What You Need to Know About Trust and Protecting Your Brand.”

But as a long time Health Academy member, I know our programming and our group is only as good as the effort our members put into it. If you have ideas of how we can provide better content or member services, feel free to reach out to me at any time. Remember also we have a number of social media tools for engagement, our Health Academy and Friends LinkedIn Group, our Health Academy Facebook Group, and Twitter as well as our community within