Last year one of the Pinnacle attendees was quoted to say it was ”the most innovative and thought-provoking event of the year.” This year I will have to admit that this truly has been one of the best conferences I have attended in a while for the quality of the discussions and relationships it has initiated. From the pre-conference power seminars to the keynote and concurrent general sessions, attendees have consistently been challenged with new ideas relating to the future direction and operations of EMS.
On Monday, I attended the session on “Effectively Using Social Media” with Greg Friese, Carissa O’Brien, and Skip Kirkwood. Even though I work with social technology every day, I still heard many practical and well thought out approaches such as learning to leverage social technology internally first before trying to promote it outwardly – especially as a large organization. Aetna was a great example of how some organizations are really doing social right. Relating it more directly to EMS services, there was talk of developing not just a social media “policy” of “dos and don’ts” but a “strategy” of what you hope to accomplish with it. Social is also not something you simply assign to the young intern because they might be comfortable with technology, but must be directed as a strategic corporate resource. Listening is the best way to begin, but this is not just how you need to get started in social media, but more importantly how you stay engaged. There are several listening tools that can help you know what is being said about you and to help you take appropriate action which may, or may not, involve a “social” response. There were several other points I found worth noting and they can be found in my Twitter feed going back to July 16. Opposite this session was the wildly popular “Community Paramedicine” session facilitated by Kevin McGinnis, Chris Montera, Anne Robinson, Brent Myers, and Gary Wingrove. This was clearly a topic of interest to many throughout the week.