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BGS Communications in action

Working towards a new look, a new feel and a higher profile for our Society
It has been a busy summer for BGS communications with good progress being made on our new logo and related graphics, a raised profile in the press and headway in increasing our membership.

New BGS logo
There has been substantial progress in re-branding the Society with a new and more modern image. The concept for the new logo has been completed  by our designer, John Spencer. We canvassed reaction to his design and I’m pleased to report that the majority of the feedback was largely positive. We feel that this is a good indication that the new logo and related graphics will be positively received by BGS members, and our wider audiences. The next step will be to gain approval from the Board of Trustees next month. The new logo and publications templates will then be applied to several key BGS publications and communications channels, such as Twitter and the BGS Blog. We plan to be ready to launch the new ‘brand’ in January 2017. 

As part of the overhaul of our publication templates, we commissioned a new photo library to bring our members' work to life.

We retained the highly esteemed photographer Slater King in early August ,to create a library of BGS photographs which capture the diversity of the Society’s 

membership, and illustrate its core values such as the importance of multi-disciplinary teams, compassionate care and patient focus. I joined the photographer and his assistant on the photo shoot, which took place over a two day period at a variety of locations including two hospitals, a care home specialising in residents with dementia, a GP surgery and a patient’s home. These photographs will play an important role in our new identity and we would like to send our thanks to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to host us on the day.

BGS in the news
Efforts to improve media relations are also proving effective with the BGS featuring in 47 different publications since June including The Guardian, Forbes, Yahoo News and The Nursing Times. Of particular note was BGS President-Elect Professor Tahir Masud’s interview on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour on Monday 22 August. Professor Masud discussed a recent study which suggests that calcium supplements may increase dementia risk for stroke survivors. In addition to widespread UK coverage, the BGS also received coverage in eight other countries, including China, Japan, Mexico, India and the United States. Four press releases were sent out between June and August including two Age and Ageing press releases ‘Moderate alcohol consumption associated with improved health in older people’, ‘Pain profiling has the potential to improve quality of life for older patients’ and a BGS Media Statement supporting the CQC Report ‘Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers’. 

Growing the reach of Twitter and the BGS blog
From a social media perspective the BGS continues to go from strength to strength. Our Twitter account @gerisoc is performing well and now has over 8,700 followers and gains on average, five new followers a day. The BGS blog is also performing extremely well with the total number of visitors in 2016 already exceeding the total number of visitors for the whole 2015. The top performing blog during this period, which is also the best performing blog of all time, was ‘Kate Granger 1981-2016’ attracting an impressive 9,512 views.

Our Patron HRH The Prince of Wales
We are delighted to announce that HRH The Prince of Wales has renewed his Patronage of the Society for a further five years. The Prince of Wales has been Patron of the Society since 1993 and the renewal of his Patronage coincides fortuitously with the upcoming seventieth Anniversary of the BGS in 2017. We will keep BGS members apprised of our plans to celebrate this significant milestone.  

BGS Membership; Medical students and foundation year doctors 
Finally, as part of the BGS strategy to increase our membership, a communications campaign is currently underway to recruit medical students and foundation year doctors. This has included emailing all Deaneries, a Twitter campaign aimed at the top 50 medical schools in the UK and stands at relevant career fairs including the Royal Society for Medicine, University St Georges of London and the Medics of North Wales. Goody bags and flyers have also been created to be handed out at these fairs. So far the recruitment campaign has been highly successful with a significant number of medical students and foundation year doctors joining the BGS since it was launched. If you would like to help us raise awareness of the BGS to medical students and foundation year doctors in your area please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our Autumn Meeting in November, where I will be live tweeting from the sessions, as well as greeting delegates on the BGS Stand. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the Society’s communications, or media relations, in the meantime, please call me on 0207 608 8572 or email .

Marina Mello
BGS Communications Manager


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