Always attracting global interest, the Annual World Health Congress Middle
East returned to Abu Dhabi for its 3rd year, running for three days from 9th-11th December.
Co-sponsored by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, this year it brought together over 600 healthcare, government and industry leaders from over 25 countries to share learning and knowledge around key topics, including Healthcare Standards and Patient Safety.
A hot topic for 2012 was the role of the media – both traditional and new – which aimed to discuss questions around media responsibility, whether healthcare was a newsworthy topic and future trends, including the important role mobile devices continue to play in communications.
Jason was invited to share his expertise on the Keynote Panel, Exploring the Role of the Media in Health, alongside four other though-leaders in the field, including Hassan Fattah, Editor in Chief of The National Newspaper UAE.
A big focus of the session was around maximising the tools available on the web to showcase newsworthy content and highlighting key trends to exhibitors. To make the session as engaging as possible the strategy was to use the exhibitors, partners and sponsors as a sample, which brought about some interesting results:
- Despite 821 million smart devices being purchased worldwide in 2012 and the global smartphone market increasing by 50% in the last 12 months, only 12% of exhibitor sites were mobile ready.
- Although 95% of marketers conducting social media activities for more than three years agree it has increased exposure for their business, only 6.25% of the sample had all of the 8 applications. Just over a fifth had 5 applications, but just over 8% had no social media activity at all(see chart below).
- Amongst the sample, Twitter was by far and away the most popular application, utilised by just under 70%, followed by Facebook (62.5%) and LinkedIn (60.4%) (see chart below).
Jason commented on the study’s findings, ‘It’s really interesting to see that there are a surprising amount of exhibitors who are not showcasing themselves to the fullest via social media or utilising all the applications available. When talking to people here, like anywhere else, a lot of this comes down to barriers, such as gaining internal buy-in, finding sufficient time to properly manage them, generating newsworthy content and fully integrating their online activity with everything else which is happening in the business.
However, clearly on a global scale, there is still a huge opportunity for the healthcare industry to further promote products, services, demonstrate expertise in a specific field, disseminate patient information, put out internal information that staff can easily access, recruitment – the list, and the potential via social media, is endless.
In addition, given the recent changes by Google, which now places even greater emphasis on ‘earned’ media, social media and content marketing have never been more important. My advice is to get out there and start talking!’