Press Releases and Meeting a Senator

Hello to you all,

There is a BUNCH that happened in week 6 and I am very excited to tell you all about it. The lead contact email was finished at the end of last week and was sent out by Jill on a day when I wasn’t in the office. Some contacts immediately responded with positions that they had open and asked about the affinity groups and how they could be a part of them. This was a great start and slowly over the week more responses came in. Overall, I think Heather, Jill and Emily were very happy with the outcome. Even if the lead contact didn’t email with some information back right away, they will most likely remember the Career Center when an opportunity presents itself.

I have been trying to come up with a topic to do for my PR Practicum paper, which is a class that is attached to our internships. We meet about once a month and discuss how our internships are going and learn tips and tricks for finding our internships over the summer. For this class we need to write what is called a written analysis paper. We need to choose a topic within a media relations program; a technology audit; or the crisis management plan and comment on how our sponsor organization utilizes that type of PR and whether we think it is positive, negative and beneficial to what the organizations goals and missions are. I start most of my days at MedTech looking at Twitter. MedTech follows a select few, but does so because of the content they send out. Going through my normal lists I noticed on this particular day that the word MedTech is used EVERYWHERE. I mentioned it to Jill and most tweets that use the word MedTech, MedTech Association can’t post so there isn’t any confusion as to whether it is their material or not. MedTech technically stands for medical technology, but the association chose to use it as an umbrella statement. I found out that MedTech has tried to do a rebranding, but it was shot down by the board. I will write my paper on possible ways for MedTech to begin the process of rebranding themselves and the steps needed to be taken for something monumental like this to occur. I am fairly excited about the topic and have till April 17th to do the paper. Unfortunately, its really not that far away and work in other classes is starting to build up. Time management challenge here I come.

On Friday of week six I was invited to go to an event with the president. New York State Senator Kirsten Gillibrand would be visiting Welch-Allyn, a medical device company in Skaneateles, N.Y. Heather had set up for a bunch of representatives from member organizations (Welch-Allyn included), to come and ask questions about their concerns for the next coming months. Senators have very limited time, so when there is an opportunity to hear them speak and ask some questions, it is very important for them to take advantage. Up until this point I hadn’t really had the opportunity to talk with Heather and get her take on MedTech, who she really is and her role at MedTech as president. She seemed very curious about what types of projects I was working on and wanted to make sure that I was doing projects that would be beneficial to my portfolio and have MedTech be a learning experience. It was nice to get to know Heather a little better, she is always SO BUSY and I applaud her for the amount of work she does. I get the feeling many people in my position always assume the individual who is president is someone super special. Presidents are special because of the skills that they have mastered, but other than that they really are just normal people. It sounds silly, but I really liked learning about Heather and some of her background.

We were the first to arrive to Welch-Allyn and were put into a “holding room” for everyone that would be showing up for this event. I have passed the Welch-Allyn building plenty of times on the way to my aunt’s house, but never imagined how cool the inside of this building was. The renovations were finished a few months ago and some of the most eco-friendly “green” things you can imagine were implemented into the building. I met many people and tried to be the most professional that I could be. This is the first time in a while I wasn’t comfortable just walking up to someone and starting a conversation. At this point, my respect for Heather is through the roof. We were almost the only two women in the whole room. I think there were 6 of us all together. Not that talking to men is scary, but I noticed I was more comfortable sticking with the women. *Note to fix that feeling fast*

The Senator was almost an hour late. Who ever thought she could leave Buffalo at 12:45 and make it to Skaneateles by 2:15 clearly doesn’t know their way around Upstate New York. Not a huge deal though. Welch-Allyn ended up giving the members who showed up a tour of the “timeline” that they have in a visitor room. I never realized that they had acquired so many different type of medical devices or how they even started. Mr. Welch never got to see the business through, but I know the Allyn family has taken great care of it. When the senator finally arrived she went to shake everyones hands. I shook and said hello and then was told by Heather that I hadn’t introduced myself. Apparently its super important to state who you are. I ALWAYS say who I am. Guess I lost out on that one. I will never again forget though. Senator Gillibrand gave a short speech about updates from Washington D.C. and then asked for questions. Mind you, this whole time I am ferociously taking notes so that I can write a press release when I get back. Some of the questions were very interesting, but I guess I never realized how much politics goes into the Bio/Med industry. There are a lot of tax issue going on, including an excise tax and research and development credit that isn’t consistent year to year. I knew that when I got back to the office I would need to research some of these topics in order to be able to write a press release on the issues.

The press release was interesting to write as it was a much more formal topic than what I had come across so far in my work. Again, there were a fair amount of changes made by Jill, but everything was then explained to me so I would know for the future. I really have to think why the member organizations want to know this information and what tidbits are the most important to give to them. I found this press release to be a much more smooth process than writing the lead contact email. Though there were edits, I still feel that I had improved on how to write for the target audience in the MedTech voice very quickly.

At the end of the day on Friday, there was an IES Committee meeting. This affinity group gets together about once a month and discuss the events and sponsorships MedTech receives annually. This particular meeting was about the MedTech Annual Conference which will be happening next fall. A theme needs to be chosen in the next few weeks so that save the dates can be sent out by the end of March with the style guide written and designs chosen. The basic idea for the year was Transformation, but some of the committee members felt that there were more pressing issues facing the Bio/Med industry in Upstate New York. Many of the members in the group were unable to come to the Syracuse Tech Garden so half of the members phoned in. The technology that the Tech Garden has provided for all its start-up organizations is fabulous. The conference rooms, projects, phone conference software, etc. is all just amazing and so useful to what most of the companies in the building do. It was interesting to listen/watch how the committee worked through the disagreements and compromise. I needed to leave for the day part of the way through but Jill filled me in on Monday.

Its been a great week and I feel each one will keep getting better and better. What are your thoughts?

As always,

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