They say if you love what you do, you will never work again. If you would have told me in February 2016 that my job at Johns Hopkins Medicine would be the best job I ever had, there is no way in the world I would have believed you. The past two weeks, really allowed me to appreciate these times. Thanks to two visionaries, I have been blessed to take a temporary position that I was unqualified for and become apart of a team that allows me to take risks while incorporating my passions.
In 2016 when I joined Johns Hopkins’ Media Relations team, one of my first assignments was to look at the Twitter account (@HopkinsMedNews). Fresh off my run at ESPN where my last assignment was the @SportsCentersocial media team, I gained so many skills that taught me social media was not just about posting. So, after making a few suggestions from myself, and the content that my amazing team was producing, we were at 1,000 followers within 3 months. Now there is more to the story, but stay tuned, I will tell that on a different channel.
We move to 2018, and our Twitter account is booming. We are closing in on 10,000 followers when the marketing team asks us to travel to the American Heart Association Meeting in Chicago so that we can support our faculty and enhance our reputation. That weekend, I have to admit, I was blown away. I have been to conferences before, shoutout to NABJ, but never have I seen a conference with so many doctors, fellows, and med students. During this meeting, our job was to live-tweet a few presentations and when possible, produce recap videos. Our challenge was translating it to the lay audience. When doctors are at these meetings, they are presenting to their peers so they will often use language that only they understand. So we are responsible for listening to what they are saying and tweeting it in a way that everyone can understand. At AHA 2018, there were nearly 30,000 people. And we made an impact, deliver more than 90 tweets, producing 10 videos, therefore receiving more than 5,600 engagements.
There were a couple more trips after this, but in November 2019, they gave us the equivalent of a Championship game and the Super Bowl back to back. First stop, Atlanta Georgia for the American College of Rheumatology meeting. Now, to be honest, I never really understood much about the Rheumatology beat before attending. However, I was able to learn a lot about lupus and what Johns Hopkins researchers are doing to treat patients and make their quality of life better. I mentioned that we produced 10 videos at our debut medical meeting, all of which were from my iPhone 7 Plus. While those videos were good and no one else was doing content like this, I decided that it was time to make something better. So in September at the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO Experience, I elected to use my Canon t5i to film along with wireless microphones. At this meeting, we faced a few limitations, however, we were still able to produce enough content that was seen more than 77,000 times. But when we got to Atlanta, we had more access. We were able to produce post presentation videos, which in the sports world is the equivalent to speaking to a player after a big game. We were also able to film them in front of their posters. Think of a science fair… you walk around to each station and listen to what the author has to say. Same concept here. So we were able to film the speakers in front of the posters as well. This would lead to my manager and I producing 23 videos for social media.
As I traveled back to Baltimore, there was no time for rest… next up, Philadelphia for AHA 2019. The same conference that one year ago put us on the map. The expectations are higher compared to a year ago. At AHA 2018, we were experiencing live-tweeting and producing videos on-site to see if this would help us build our brand. Now that we know this was successful, it was only right that we returned in a bigger way this year. In 3 days, my colleague and I produced 33 videos for social media.
So now, there is time for rest right? Nope! The following Saturday, it was time to go back to the pavement and work again! This time, it was A Woman’s Journey, where women all over the world come to learn new and compelling information about important issues affecting their health. This time, I was charged with not only producing the videos, but also asking the questions that in the previous two meetings mentioned, my manager and colleague did. See, they asked all the questions, I filmed and edited the video. They wrote the tweets, I applied the hashtags and posted the video. This time I had to do everything. But the thing that I have always loved about my time here is that I have been able to grow while working alongside the most brilliant people in the world. I had one of my basic science colleagues along with me who interviewed two researchers for her channels, which I was able to repurpose for my channels, but I found myself interviewing four other researchers. It was time to apply everything I watched others do in the past. Dare say it was a success, one of the videos received more than 2,900 views on Twitter alone.
So now that these conferences/meetings are over, it was nice to reflect on the hard work. Shoutout to my friend Danielle Martin who asked me to blog about this experience. I have been in autopilot mode since doing these, that I never thought about actually writing about it. Here I learned that this is actually therapy. As 2019 comes to a close, I look back at the 10 total conferences I produced social media content for and think about how grateful I am to do what I love. And most importantly have managers that trust me to apply what I did in sports to medicine. Again, if you would have told me on March 2, 2016 that this would be the best move I ever made in my career I would have laughed right in your face!