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BGS Communications in action

Since my last report there have been a number of positive developments including a special drinks reception to celebrate the Society’s 70th Anniversary, the launch of a BGS Election Manifesto and high profile media appearances by several of our members.

BGS 70th Anniversary
To help celebrate the Society’s 70th Anniversary in 2017, and raise the profile of the BGS, a special drinks reception was held on the 6 March, which was attended by our Patron, The Prince of Wales. A communications campaign was launched to coincide with the drinks reception which included a BGS blog series celebrating geriatric medicine as a speciality, a new Anniversary Logo and a special lifetime achievement award which was presented to Baroness Sally Greengross at the anniversary drinks reception. The event received widespread press coverage, featuring in 291 publications including The Daily Mail, Nursing Times and The York Press.

BGS Election Manifesto
In the run up to the General Election we published our own BGS Election Manifesto calling on the incoming Government for action to ensure all older people receive high quality, patient-centred care when and where they need it. The manifesto was disseminated via a number of BGS communications channels including the website, by email to our over 7,000 subscribers, in the BGS Blog and in the BGS e-Bulletin. We also launched a Twitter campaign to support the manifesto which targeted key parliamentary candidates in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales using the hashtag #BGSmanifesto. The manifesto received 230,607 impressions (potential audience reached via their twitter account) in the first 24 hours across the UK. Hard copies were also printed and sent to key policy influencers and will be available at BGS events.

BGS in the Press
The BGS and its members, have received a high level of media attention since the last Newsletter. BGS President Eileen Burns and President-Elect Tahir Masud both appeared on the BBC News Channel. Tahir also appeared on The BBC’s The Big Questions and BGS’s Director of Workforce, Zoe Wyrko appeared on BBC Newsnight. BGS has featured in 317 different publications since the start of the year, including The Times, the Daily Mail, Nursing Times, the National Care Forum and The Oxford Times. In total four press releases were sent out between January and May, including a reaction to the Chancellor’s Budget announcement ‘The British Geriatrics Society welcomes plans for strategic approach to funding of care for older people’.

Twitter and the BGS Spring Meeting
Social media engagement during the BGS Spring Meeting was a great success. 1,103 tweeters from around the world participated via the hashtag #BGSconf. In total there were 5,953 tweets using the hashtag, which led to 23.2 million impressions globally (potential audience reached via their twitter account). Our twitter account @gerisoc led the pack with 1,206 tweets during Spring Meeting, 2,154 mentions and 12.9 million impressions globally. @gerisoc continues to perform well with over 10,900 followers and an average of seven new followers a day.

BGS Blog
The BGS blog continues to perform well with 45,871 views and 28,243 unique visitors since the beginning of the year. The BGS Blog now has 16,938 followers (people who choose to receive alerts about new BGS Blogs). Since December more than 60 blogs have been published including blogs supporting Dementia Awareness Week, the Deconditioning Campaign, ‘Sit up, Get Dressed, Keep Moving’ and Dying Matters Week.

Recruiting new members to our Society
Finally, the BGS Board of Trustees recently approved a Membership Recruitment and Retention Plan which will begin to roll out this year. The plan focuses on recruiting Allied Health Professionals, Core Medical Trainees, GPs, Nurses (including Nurse Consultants and Advanced Nurse Practitioners), Physician Associates, Retired Consultants and more UK Consultants. The plan also addresses needs of current members and methods of ongoing engagement. A relaunch of the BGS Facebook is planned for this summer to engage even more potential members online and raise the profile of the Society.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the Society’s communications, or media relations, please call me on 0207 608 8572 or email .

Marina Mello
Communications PR and Media Manager

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