If you are lucky enough to work in healthcare in whatever capacity, you have been given a unique opportunity to play a part in delivering on your employer’s promise to improve human health and quality of life.
Let your intrapreneurial spirit thrive, but remember: it’s not about you.
There are many missteps to make in digital and face-to-face environments.
Here are three of the easiest to avoid:
1. Never self-promote
Just don’t do it, ever. In any context. For any reason.
Don’t ask for retweets. Don’t message people asking them to publish your post. Don’t try to cajole or guilt them into it.
Because self-promotion sends out a terrible message about you as a professional, and brings into question where your focus lies. Asking people to promote you suggests that first and foremost you are interested in how your message glorifies Wonderful You, not the nature of the content of the message itself, however worthy it may be.
Don’t think ‘well, I’ve republished one of your posts. I deserve it!’.
Things just don’t work that way.
If you work in the third sector, or are taking part in a health-related charitable activity, you’re not even ‘doing the right thing for the wrong reason’ if you succumb to the temptation of self-promotion. You’re doing the wrong thing, very capably, visibly, and brazenly.
Instead, find better ways of expressing yourself. Do great, progressive, innovative things in your work that others will want to talk about.
Do your job. Do it better. Make a difference.
It wouldn’t hurt if you made your content more discoverable, either.
2. Never associate yourself with influence metrics
Influence metrics are pleasure palaces for narcissists.
Influence metrics have no value. They never have had. They never will.
Imagine how pathetically self-obsessed publishing updates about your influence metric scores looks to others.
Now realise that you’re being kind to yourself, and that they actually look a lot worse than that.
Ever found yourself pouring scorn on a self-aggrandizing industry pundit as they tell you how important their score makes them?
Consider the fact that if you gamble your reputation in the great Ponzi scheme of influence metrics, people are going to do that to you, too.
Your reputation and professional standing are worth so much more to you than influence metrics are. Don’t fritter away the most valuable thing you have professionally: your good name.
Your name is going to be around longer than influence metrics are, and that’s a promise.
Instead, take the time that you may be tempted to spend talking about yourself, and use it to talk about others. Be an expert filter for your community: share and discuss insights and information about the healthcare enterprises, activities and activists that impress and inspire you.
Let others know what you think ‘great’ looks like in healthcare.
One ‘thank you’ is worth more than any influence metric score.
3. Step off of the commercial conference merry-go-round
I could bring my focus to bear on any of the conference offerings that are out there, but suffice to say: commercial digital pharma marketing conferences have had their day, if they ever had one.
Regardless of which side of the podium you’re on, don’t try to convince yourself that you are participating in something progressive and important.
Commercial digital pharma conferences are not the disseminators of wide-eyed wonder concerning innovation in healthcare that their promotional materials want you to believe that they are.
They exist to make money for their organisers, and those that allow ‘pay-to-say’ speakers to spray their advertorial messages across captive delegates are the very worst of the bunch.
If you sign the cheques sending your team to these events, from a signatory’s perspective it’s worth bearing in mind that the speakers on your payroll are helping themselves find their next job, and those whom you send as delegates will attend the first session, and then go off on a shopping and sight-seeing spree in whichever attractive European, North American or Asian destination you’ve sent them to.
There is nothing that delegates will see or hear at any commercial digital pharma marketing event that they couldn’t pick up at their desks on any given working day over coffee through an RSS feed, or by reviewing the relevant hashtagged conversations on Twitter.
Instead, why not take conference organisation into your own hands? Face-to-face networking has a great deal of value, but it doesn’t have to take place within the context of a commercial conference. Set up a themed conference in house, or perhaps a blogger summit, locally, regionally, domestically or internationally.
It’s harder than signing a cheque, certainly, but you’ll be showing true leadership by supporting such an event. Not only does this say something great about your business indirectly, but participants from every constituency represented will get so much more out of it than they ever would from attending a commercial event, in so many ways.