The health and medical journalism program recently attended the Association of Health Care Journalists 2012 conference held in Atlanta, GA. The University of Georgia (UGA), along with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University were conference hosts. Children’s Healthcare and Emory University provided participants with field trips and UGA sponsored a high-tech workshop designed to help improve video skills, social media engagement, and master Google.
The main point I took home came from NPR’s Matt Thompson and that is “master the conversation.” By master the conversation, Thompson is referring to the online conversation. Whether it’s happening on Twitter, Facebook, or blogs, journalists need to master and engage their followers. Too often journalists write their stories or blogs, read the comments section and never bother to respond to readers. Thompson argues that their is tremendous value in using the comments section to further the conversation. So the next time you see someone wrote a comment in response to your blog or tweet, engage them, asks questions, and most of all create interest!
The highlight of the conference had to be the Bio-curious flashmob. Hmj’ers performed a flashmob version of the official “Let’s Move” dance. Check it out, http://youtu.be/hHRH3CT4H3g.