Monday, December 5
All of our DJG clients are special to me, but some I have a closer, more personal attachment to than others. The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer is one of them. If you know someone who smokes, or who has smoked or who has died from lung cancer, the work these researchers do is quite meaningful. Both my parents smoked their entire adult lives and both died from the effects of smoking. Knowing this, it makes me work a little harder, appreciate the client side of things a little more and bring more passion and energy to the job.
With that as a personal backdrop, this week’s IASLC meeting in Vienna, Austria is truly unique on many levels.
Planning plays a key role in the success of any PR project, but a large scientific research meeting like this makes it more imperative. We started our process back in the spring with bi-weekly conference calls to cover every detail of our plan—what will the press room look like, what AV do we need and what news releases need to be written.
With a large scientific meeting, narrowing down the newsworthy sessions takes some doing. We rely on input from the IASLC scientific committee for feedback and filter that through our own PR lens and the IASLC staff. This requires that we read more than 200 abstracts, and from those, write about 20 news releases on research topics covering lung cancer patient advocacy, public health and immunotherapy.
Yesterday, Monday, December 4th, we held our first onsite press briefing to promote key research and public health findings. We have attracted more than 70 journalists from around the world to cover the meeting, and the first briefing was well attended with dozens of reporters present on-site covering the meeting for their publications and websites.
One of the objectives during the briefing, aside from logistics, is to capture more key talking points from the researchers presenting and turn that into a story deemed press worthy. Following the press briefing, we work with IASLC staff to get approval on communications and distribute our press releases to the media in real-time. We’re also available throughout the day to coordinate on-site interviews between researchers and the media, and to make sure the media has all the resources they need to cover the conference.
Working on-site at a large, international scientific meeting, sharing workspace with the very media you have asked to cover your stories, can be taxing. But being able to contribute to a larger, greater cause like the fight against lung cancer makes it more than just a job. Sometimes, in this case, it makes it personal.
Visit the DJG blog later this week, we’ll have part two where Chris and Jenny discuss the social media marketing efforts put into place this year during IASLC’s conference.