Last week, myself and two work colleagues attending a social media conference organised by NHS Employers. Not sure how many of you know but I now work in the Communications team for an NHS health trust which involves working increasing the trusts profile through social media marketing.
Some of you will know I’m not comfortable travelling, little thing called travel sickness does tend to rear its ugly head every so often. However this time I was a lot better than expected, especially when packed in a metal box with countless other commuters at rush hour on the underground. I am an amateur when it comes to travelling in London so it does surprises me the lack of common sense of some people, the line ‘how many people can you fit inside a train carriage?’ springs to mind. When you think no more people can fit into the carriage, there is always that one person who wants to squeeze in, and squeeze in they do, even if it means other passengers faces are glued up against the windows. I’m particular about who invades my personal, on a packed carriage there is no such thing and with my lack of height, it’s no picnic. That all aside the conference was worth the sardine packed, oxygen sucking train journey.
From start to finish the speakers were engaging, entertaining and very informative. Some conference can have a tendency to be stuffy, monotonous to the point you’re thinking how long is an acceptable time to remain at the conference before escaping. If anyone from NHS Employers is reading this then don’t worry none of this happened at this conference, to top it off the food for lunch was really nice. The veggie option was white cabbage with gnocchi in a cream sauce accompanied with roasted sweet potato with vegetables followed up with a lemon tart, you wouldn’t have thought it would taste good but it all did. I would have taken photos but my phone was charging and I was hungry.
During one of the breaks it had dawned on me that I had become one of those social media unsociable who was walking and tweeting at the same time, how did that happen without me noticing. There I am getting excited about using video, editing and taking somewhat professional pictures to post online. I blame my work colleague Amanda for signing me up for this conference, now I’m ruined. I think of ways outside of work to improve our trusts profile using social media and encourage staff to engage more. Ruined I tell you!
Thinking of the world we now live in where communication is more than just verbally speaking with someone, an emoji can convey various messages without a single word being uttered / written. I was in a room full of fellow NHS employers from different health trusts with a shared interest of social media, and was networking and connecting with these people mostly through Twitter. Some of you may say this isn’t networking but really it is, just in a different form. I think it was a great was to communicate & support each other who shared and liked what I tweeted and vice versa.
I’m not s social butterfly, being social can take effort & does depend on the situation and how confident I’m feeling at the time. This conference showed me ways to effectively communicate and promote the trust at the same time in a way I feel comfortable even if it means being social without being sociable.