Webinar Case Study – A Year of Pathology Training (Part 3 of 3)

  • 1 Year
  • 75 Webinars
  • 39,894 Live logins
  • 130,871 Recording views

PART 3: SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION AND COMMUNITY BUILDING

The CAP helped to foster a sense of global community by building strong tie-ins between the Virtual Lecture Series and Twitter. In the days leading up to the first lecture, there wasn’t time to create and distribute traditional promotional campaigns. Twitter was one of the primary ways that pathologists found out about the program, and the CAP quickly created a formal hashtag that people could use to share comments, ask questions, and get help from peers and experts.

Many attendees took screen shots and live-tweeted significant learnings during lectures, which helped extend the reach of the series and brought new registrants. I learned a marvelous phrase that is prevalent in the medical community… “Pearls and Pitfalls.” This is a great way to encapsulate key learning points gained by positive or negative experience and pass them on to others.

INSIGHT – LOOK FOR WAYS TO CALL OUT ISOLATED PEARLS AND PITFALLS IN YOUR SUBJECT AREA THAT CAN BE TWEETED AND REPEATED TO SPREAD THE VALUE OF YOUR EXPERTISE AND OFFERINGS.

Given the subject area, most of the visual materials were inoffensive microscope pictures of cells. But every so often we would visit an area of pathology dealing with external imagery important to the profession. For example, forensic pathology looking at corpses, or pediatric dermatological abnormalities. Doctors wouldn’t think twice about such things, but to my eye as an outsider they stood out as potentially disturbing. I recommended adding disclaimers and reminders for our audience of doctors during these specialty topics that Twitter is a public forum and that retweeting such images could violate usage standards and potentially get people banned.

INSIGHT – THINK BEYOND THE IMMEDIATE REACH OF YOUR LIVE WEBINAR AND TAKE PRECAUTIONS AGAINST OUT-OF-CONTEXT MISUSE OR MISINTERPRETATION OF CONTROVERSIAL MATERIAL.

The CAP found that their social reach grew rapidly from the impact of the webinars and Twitter. Even though that social platform may seem like old news to many of us, there are still people for whom it is unexplored territory. The CAP decided to hold a special “Twitter Workshop” as a supplement to the usual pathology lectures. It covered everything from the basics of how to set up a new Twitter account to how to use hashtags and follow others. We had hundreds of attendees and as participants practiced tweeting and others in the pathology community joined in to welcome them, our hashtag actually trended for a short time as a leading topic on Twitter overall!

One of our experienced lecturers had never used Twitter but decided to set up a Twitter account before his talk so people could ask additional questions and make comments. He received 1000 followers in the next 24 hours and it had a carryover effect on increasing readership and citations of his published research.

INSIGHT – LOOK FOR WAYS TO INTEGRATE WEBINARS WITH OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA AND COMMUNITY FORUMS TO BENEFIT ALL PARTICIPANTS.

If you go back to the statistics at the top of this article, you’ll see that the total views of recorded lectures is more than three times the number of live attendees we received over the course of the year. That is a common occurrence with material that has lasting value and is properly promoted. The CAP continues to get views on those lectures and they provide an ongoing benefit in the perception of the organization as providing value for its members and its professional community. We used the built-in GoToStage portal site that GoToWebinar offers account holders as a single one-stop location for people to find all past lectures. This made it easy to give a consistent and unvarying URL for anyone seeking the materials.

INSIGHT – MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR WEBINARS TO KEEP PROVIDING VALUE IN THE LONG RUN. PLAN YOUR RECORDING ACCESS STRATEGY AND MAKE IT A PROMINENT AND PROMOTED OFFERING.

The College of American Pathologists really hit a home run with this Virtual Lecture Series. One of my contacts there told me that it demonstrated that they could be more agile than they ever thought possible by leveraging the flexibility and reach of virtual communications. The webinar series helped increase new membership in the organization, but went even farther than that direct benefit. Studies conducted during the year showed that the program was a driver in improving the perception of value offered by the CAP.

I want to close with one final insight that I noticed as an outsider in listening to all these lectures. The pathology community is universally explicit and outspoken in recognizing the support, mentorship, and contributions of others. I don’t think a single lecture went by without the speaker talking about a doctor who they studied under, or a piece of research they had found valuable, or a colleague who had provided assistance. It’s a lovely way to keep the spirit of professional collaboration and cooperation alive as a pillar of the industry. So in that same vein, I’m going to mention just a few of the many people I worked with at the CAP in the course of this lecture series. I can’t possibly mention every lecturer by name, and these won’t mean anything to you. But they mean something to me and to more than 130,000 viewers who benefitted from their hard work. Thank you to:

  • Christina Arnold
  • Michael Arnold
  • Adam Booth
  • Teresa Burgin
  • Ashley Holloman
  • Kim Kruger
  • Denise Mack
  • Barbarajean Magnani
  • Kamran Mirza
  • The CAP creative, digital, and promotions teams

And thank you to the global community of pathologists working hard to enable and advance healthcare and patient outcomes around the world.

If you missed either of the previous installments, you can click to read PART 1 or PART 2.