Case Study: Translating complex science into an engaging e-newsletter, American College of Surgeons

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Since 2007, Weber Shandwick has partnered with the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the largest professional membership organization of surgeons in the world, to heighten visibility of its member contributions to patient care and make ACS a leading voice for quality surgical care and surgical education.

In an effort to elevate the prominence of the important scientific programs taking place at the 2014 ACS Clinical Congress in San Francisco, ACS and Weber Shandwick planned and executed a daily electronic newsletter, called Clinical Congress Daily Highlights, recapping each day’s top sessions.

A team of science reporters and copy editors from Weber Shandwick’s Health Care and Element Scientific Communications teams translated complex science and top lectures into 37 articles and three videos. Articles were reviewed by a team of surgeon senior editors.

The newsletters reached 51,000 people daily, with an open rate of 24 percent. The open rate was in line with other large medical conferences with well-established and highly promoted e-newsletters. Fellows (or members) of ACS represented 92 percent of the opens, and the click through rate was 11 percentage points higher than industry averages. Average time spent reviewing an article was about two minutes.

Surgeons shared positive feedback after receiving the newsletters: “If one is unable to attend the meeting, it is nice to receive this quality education information,” said one surgeon.

Plans are in place produce this e-newsletter again at this year’s Clinical Congress in Chicago.

Weber Shandwick is global and local. In Minneapolis, we spend our days crafting engaging, compelling, innovative content + experiences for clients big + small.