What Channel Are You?

I was talking with good friend Julie Wright of (W)right On Communications and she surprised me by telling me that she considers me the “San Diego Biotechnology Channel.” What she meant by this is that she looks to me for news and information about Biotech in the region. I was very flattered and realized that my work with the SDBN and doing things like sharing news on Twitter has been worth it. I also realized that in this world of crumbling media outlets and noisy social media, that being a ‘channel’ for others can make you very useful and advance your career.

I started realizing that I too have channels that I depend upon for timely and meaningful information. My friend Sally Church is, among other things, an oncology expert, and she is very active on Twitter. When she posts a link regarding cancer news or research there, I trust that she is passing it on because she read the content and that the information is accurate and relevant. Through Twitter and her excellent blog, she is my ‘oncology channel.’ Jack Pincus, also on Twitter, always posts useful news about biotechnology, I almost always ‘retweet’ his information–he is my ‘biotechnology news channel.’ (I’d better be careful, I’m telling you all my secrets!) William Gunn is knowledgeable in many areas, and broadcasts on several channels: science, social media, cajun food ;). Speaking of which, I would be lost without local writer and foodie Caron Golden, who is my ‘food channel,’ giving me advice on recipes and restaurants.

My point? These people are important to me in understanding the sometimes noisy world of news and information these days, and I turn to them often to help me with questions or projects related to my business. Regardless of your objectives, whether they include landing a job or being a successful entrepreneur, becoming a ‘channel’ for others can gain you more exposure, collaboration, and success.

How do you become a channel? Allow me to climb upon my soapbox for a bit. Today, the possibilities of combining your scientific (or other) expertise with social media give you many opportunities to become a channel. Your channel is simply related to your objectives and interests. Want to land a job at a green tech company? Become the green tech channel! Get a Twitter account, start a blog (or blog here), start a LinkedIn group, or begin by participating on existing blogs or groups.

You can certainly try to be a ‘channel’ without social media (and many are), but it will definitely give you a leg up and a medium for your broadcast. Even if there are already existing channels in your area, don’t beat them, join them, add your own ‘flavor,’ and make new connections. The beauty is that you’ll learn a lot about the subject in the process, and you’ll meet others in your chosen area. We also covered the similar idea of determining your ‘positioning’ in the Biotechnology Marketing 101: You First (PDF) presentation on the Comprendia website. As we also discussed in the Social Media for Scientists presentation, our advice is simple: Just Do It!

Posted by Mary Canady, Founder of Comprendia, where she broadcasts the ‘biotechnology marketing’ channel, helping small to mid-size companies become more market-driven for long term growth. Special thanks to Julie Wright for being the inspiration for this post.