Update from the Communications Committee

Feb 24, 2020, 22:35 PM
As some of the newest members to join the PSI communications team, Tom (metrics) and Matt (training committee) were excited to be attending our first face to face meeting. There we would be meeting with members of several teams, including SPIN, Social Media and Journal Club, to discuss the achievements of 2019 and to lay out the overarching aims of the committee for the coming year. 

Attending the PSI face-to-face meeting was an enriching experience. The different committees coming together to discuss strategies and provide insight on how to improve provided an excellent environment for idea sharing and acted as a brilliant way to facilitate networking between members of PSI that had not met in person before.  The day was fun and casual while many important issues were raised and views on resolutions were exchanged. The end of the conference also included an evening meal which allowed us to learn more about each other while eating great pizza.

Firstly, we discussed the PSI strategies and together we   decided that the new statement of PSI and communication is going to be key.  We discussed the importance of ensuring PSI is leveraging purpose in the Communication committee and developing on our current activities to make sure we are generating an engaged community. 

We felt the exploration of collaborating  with other committees provided excellent discussion about expanding the influence of PSI, the use of the Video on Demand platform allows the promotion of digital material that can be accessed from anywhere allowing us to increase the outreach PSI has to statisticians around the world. 

The Zohosocial  / Social Media team have been busy improving the way PSI advertises events and courses. The use of Zohosocial in automating the advertising procedure will improve the frequency of adverts being sent out via LinkedIn and Twitter. The introduction of new technology will be an exciting way to improve PSI’s exposure and looks promising going forward. This will create a more consistent stream of information that will capture a larger audience as well as providing more content available to members.

The Commercial team provided clear aims for 2020; the slight decline in revenue meant that increasing conference revenue was a clear aim for the future. The success of multiple job post packs bought by agencies meant that this could be achieved through the creation of a more attractive job board for job seekers. Another main factor to consider is the traffic and user engagement for PSI. The introduction of the Metrics team and the use of surveys with the aid of the Conference team will massively increase the user engagement for PSI and help to improve users’ knowledge of the work PSI does and the upcoming events.

The Conference reporter team have been looking to innovate in their approach to promoting the conferences and providing insight from attendees as well as speakers post event. The introduction of surveys/interviews at the conferences can help increase the level of information available about PSI events as well as help PSI to improve their courses to make them as efficient and informative as possible. The work of SPIN to help promote this will be a welcome collaboration with articles being sent out to the statistics community. Sharing different perspectives from attendees/exhibitors/sponsors can improve the understanding between PSI and Statisticians about the value of their courses and the importance of learning new skills in an industry which is constantly evolving.

The Metrics Team is an exciting new team which has been set up last year to more accurately measure the effects of the communications committee. Led by Jack Elkes, the team has already started its first projects, including Webinar Feedback and Video on Demand links. The team will soon start work on website analytics to try to understand what the outreach is of all the different committees to determine what we need to start measuring. After successful use of metrics by the Commercial Team the Metrics group will be working closely with other teams to ensure that the right metrics are collected. There are also plans for expanding the team, as they need someone to join as an SEO expert to help with searching PSI website on search engines. 

The Journal Club will be running 4 webinars again this year, but without the PhD webinar. They were looking for new ideas on how to choose topics for webinars and so asked the committee to put forward interesting topics. The consensus was to aim to ideally have this driven by the community, and to perhaps include a twitter vote (one big enough audience). 

The final team that was discussed was the Video on Demand group, who had recently moved into communications and joined the metrics team. Their current focus is on looking to create unique URLs for videos; they will be working closely with MCI to help achieve this. They are looking for someone to join the team and help.

As the day drew to a close, the committee discussed the best ways to reach out to more companies to get involved with PSI. Ultimately it was thought that the best way to engage more companies is through word of mouth, and that it would be best to reach out to those that had had previous involvement with PSI committees but had recently lost contact. 

While we had discussed in some detail the achievements, goals and limitations of each team, and had made significant progress towards creating a vision for PSI communications in 2020, much of the value we took away from the Face to Face meeting came from having the chance to meet in person all the contributing members of the teams. With so many new members present, many of whom had not met until this point, establishing in-person relationships between teams will hold the communications committee in good stead for the year to come. 

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