What we’ve got here is failure to communicate

Image courtesy of flickr user lightmatter

Image courtesy of flickr user lightmatter

from a medical meeting somewhere in the United States

The range of media policies at medical meetings never fails to amaze me.  Some medical organizations are incredibly media savvy.  They provide press rooms, press conferences providing easy access to medical experts, and go out of their way to hook reporters up with speakers and quiet places for audio/video interviews.

Other medical organizations—like the one hosting the meeting that I am covering, who I will refer to as ‘they-who-must-not-be-named’—just don’t get it.  I have spent the past two days apologizing profusely to physicians as I escourted them out of the convention center to a nearby hotel to do video interviews.  They-who-must-not-be-named would not allow me to film anywhere in the convention center.  I could only attend about a third of the sessions at the meeting.  There was no press room.  It made my job really hard and frankly it made me cranky.

My interviewees each asked me why they-who-must-not-be-named wouldn’t let me film in the convention center.  I have no good answers.  My best guess is that they-who-must-not-be-named think that no press is better than bad press.  They just don’t get that my job is to bring the medical meeting to specialists who can’t attend.  I’m not out to make anyone look bad.  I just want to tell physicians about the latest research.

Clearly, what we’ve got here is failure to communicate.

—Kerri Wachter(@knwachter on Twitter), 10:45 p.m.

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