Nuri Burkay Soylu, Yasemin Sisecioglu, Anita Lukic
ESA Trainees Committee – Social Network Task Force Coordinators
The European Society of Anaesthesiology Trainee Committee (ESATC) founded the ESA Trainee Network (ESATN) in 2015 to facilitate communication and exchange of information between 40,000 European Anaesthesiology Trainees and the ESA Leadership. However, after establishing such a network the important work is to keep it active and relevant.
Fortunately, in the 21st century disseminating information is quick and easy. This makes it possible to integrate trainees from all over Europe by using social network groups such as the ESA Trainee Network Facebook Page, our Twitter profile, and our LinkedIn page. Using social media makes it much easier to reach out to trainees and introduce them to the many benefits of being an active member of the ESA.
The ESATN has 3 levels of communication: Social Networks, National Trainee Representatives, and the ESA Trainees Committee. Social networks are our first level of communication and the most important because they are popular and free. They also enable an efficient flow of information; any trainee can share their opinion and, most importantly, any trainee, regardless of their ESA membership status, can become a member of the ESA Trainee Network.
Euroanaesthesia Congresses are the main European event in the field of anaesthesia, intensive care, pain, and emergency medicine. These congresses are also a great opportunity for us trainees, not only to learn what the ESA can offer trainees, but also to meet colleagues from all over Europe, share experiences, understand different realities, and learn from each other. In other words, to network and move forward together.
Integrating 40,000 trainees in a network, a common community, is a demanding task that requires a lot of hard work and also expertise in communication platforms. Euroanaesthesia 2017 was the first time ever that the ESATN engaged social media to cover Euroanaesthesia. Our rationale was to make the ESATN visible for all trainees who attended this event, but especially for those who could not attend it.
Our plan consisted of three steps: pre-congress activities, real-time communication, and a dinner to bring all trainees together to get to know each other in a comfortable atmosphere.
Pre-congress preparations started with the creation of a flyer announcing the Euroanaesthesia Trainees´ Program. A new account was created on Twitter (@ESATraineeN) and this flyer was also shared on our Facebook page and LinkedIn group . Each registered trainee received an e-mail informing them about the new Twitter profile and was invited to tweet from the Conference using both of the official hashtags #ESAGeneva and #ESATraineeN. We also created a mini-tutorial on how to create a Twitter profile and basics on “how to use” Twitter for attending trainees. All sessions of the ESATN were tweeted and posted on Facebook and LinkedIn.
We also created an ESATN group on WhatsApp that included all trainees attending the conference. Trainees attending both ESATN sessions and other sessions sent real-time messages and shared their impressions, opinions, and media about sessions they attended.
The ESATN put a lot of effort into using social media during Euroanaesthesia 2017 and we can say that, despite still being very far from reaching 40,000 European Anaesthesiology Trainees, it was a great success. Posts attracted a lot of attention on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Our Facebook page had a peak in terms of likes, reactions, page views, and people reached. Our page gained a lot of new subscribers. Twitter was even more successful since after just the first day of the congress, according to Symplur (a healthcare social media analytics company), @ESATraineeN entered into the top 10 mention list of #ESAGeneva and was the top tweeter of the same hashtag. At the end of the congress, the ESATN was the second leading influencer on Twitter. This is an important statistic as Euroanaesthesia 2017 incorporated thousands of attendees, lots of sessions, and many prominent industrial partners from all over the world.
Although it was only established very recently, the ESATN contains a noticeable amount of potential. We are young, full of energy, and despite the differences between European countries, we trainees have a lot in common. The ESA Trainees Committee is still learning how to use social media more efficiently, not only through the efforts and motivation of the members of the Task Force that coordinates Social Networks (Nuri, Anita, and Yasemin), but also with the help of real professionals that work with the ESA. We believe that in the near future, the ESATN will be known by thousands of trainees across Europe, and social media will be the bridge connecting them and the basis to further adapt ESA resources to trainees’ needs.