The Society is keen to develop its communications as the membership sees fit. Did they agree that SAM and acute internal medicine should have a higher public profile? Did they want more regular news updates? And if so, how did they want to receive their news? The communications survey answered all of these questions and proved extremely helpful in forming the Society’s new communications strategy.
Over 70 per cent of members considered it moderately or very important that the Society has a high media profile and over 50 per cent do not think SAM is generating enough media coverage. Members rated ‘policies related to acute medicine’ as the most important issue the Society should be campaigning on, followed by patient care, acute medical training and staffing levels. Suggestions on how to raise the Society’s profile ranged from ‘get on TV!!’ to publicising research, AMU statistics and guidelines or involvement in health campaigns.
As noted in the performance survey highlights Council members are already researching the possibility of supporting a public health campaign and looking into the possibility of an Acute Medicine Awareness Week, and although yet to get on TV SAM’s concerns about the coming consecutive bank holidays did receive generous media coverage (see here). As AIM is still such a new speciality there are few AMU-specific statistics to publish, although the Society will soon be launching the Acute Internal Medicine Clinical Indicators, the new measure for monitoring all AMUs.
Over 50 per cent of members were very or extremely interested in receiving a Society newsletter, while a further 24 per cent were moderately interested. The majority indicated they would like a quarterly edition. Even more popular was the idea of a regular news round-up with over 80 per cent of the membership stating they were very or extremely interested, the majority asked to receive such a round-up automatically every month.
The first issue of Acute News, SAM’s official newsletter, is in development and will be released after the Spring Meeting. To begin with it will be sent electronically. The news round-ups will be available on the website, published every Monday. After working on these round-ups it was found that monthly emails would not only be very long, but much of the news featured would be considerably out of date. If you would like to receive the round-ups weekly via email please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Members were also keen to see a discussion forum on the SAM website, over half indicated they were very or extremely interested. This is a definite possibility, especially if a few members volunteer to moderate the content, if you’re interested in doing so email email@example.com.
It was suggested by members that the Society should have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, the Society now has both. For SAM, health, and policy news just search for acute medicine on Facebook or follow our Twitter feed, @acutemedicine.