connections committee news

February 2015
Vol. 14, Number 1

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News

QRCA Members to Present at the PMRG Connect Conference

QRCA members Pat Sabena, Susan Thornhill, Camille Carlin and Glenn Naphy will participate in a QRCA-branded session at the upcoming PMRG Connect Conference. They will present “Understanding Critical Tipping Points by Going Deeper, Faster: Leveraging Mixed Methods, Digital/Online Technology, and Innovative Projective Techniques.”

The PMRG Connect Conference takes place March 15 to 17 at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, MD. As part of our arrangement with PMRG, QRCA members are being offered the opportunity to attend the PMRG conference at the PMRG member rate. While the early-bird registration deadline has passed, QRCA members (who are not members of PMRG) are entitled to the PMRG member rate of $1,895 to attend. 

Here’s how to obtain this rate:

  1. You will need to create a guest record with PMRG before registering. When you reach the checkout screen, enter the code: 15CONQRCA
  2. Press the green “plus sign” button to add the coupon to your cart. 
  3. If you experience any problems registering, you can reach out to Andrea Bennett with PMRG at

The website for details about the conference (and the link to register) can be found here.

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IRCom Creates Speaking Opportunities for QRCA Members

Liz Van Patten,

The Industry Relations Committee (IRCom) is in the process of developing relationships with 11 different research organizations; and, in some cases (such as PMRG), we are working with these partners to develop qualitative tracks for their conferences. 

These tracks will be branded as QRCA and managed by our committee liaisons, so they present an exciting opportunity for our members to speak at a wider range of industry events. 

Even if pharma is not your particular area of expertise, other opportunities like this will become available soon, so keep this in mind when you are developing content that is more oriented to external, non-QRCA audiences.

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Kay Corry Aubrey,

The transition to the new publisher (NEBM) is going well. Two editions of VIEWS have been published so far and the Spring VIEWS will be sent to the printer in a few weeks. We are very happy with our collaboration and the work they are doing  As a result of the shift to NEBM, we now have access to a very powerful digital platform for VIEWS, which we will be learning to use in the coming months.

We have an immediate need for a co-editor for the Schools of Thought section of VIEWS. Please get in touch with Kay Corry Aubrey ( and Jenifer Hartt ( if you are interested.

Please check out to listen to two exciting new VIEWS podcasts. Mike Carlon has just posted his interview on mobile qualitative with Richard Owen, founder of Crowdlab; and Karen Lynch spoke with Owen Shapiro, author of Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing.

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QRCA Committee/Task Force Reports — February 2015

Shannon Thompson,

Annual Conference

  • CFP email sent out on January 30.
  • Conference logo designed and approved.
  • On January 21, the Chairs met with Katrina Noelle and staff to discuss the schedule for 2015.
  • Committee Chairs will be updating processes for 2015 Committee members.
  • The 2017 site visit took place and staff is negotiating space, rates and concessions.
  • Staff is working through checklist of needs to recommend which property to contract.


Staff: There was no January issue of Connections. February Connections is scheduled to go out on February 10.
  • Laurie Bredenfoerder took over as Editor.
  • Material for the February issue was due by January 30 and is scheduled to go out on February 10.



The committee met on January 16 to do strategic planning for the upcoming year.

Other: The next meeting will be on February 6.

Industry Relations

Staff: Shannon met with Jennifer Dale, Jane Mount and Caroline Volpe on February 4 to determine marketing materials for upcoming conferences.
  • The committee met on January 13 to discuss their strategic partnerships with organizations and how best to evaluate these partnerships.
  • We are partnering with Quirk's, MRA and PMRG at their upcoming conferences to share qualitative content via sessions and information about QRCA.
Other: The next meeting is on March 10.


Staff: Nicki drafted a Global Scholarship ad for the next issue of VIEWS.
Committee: Ilka and Corette worked with staff on the VIEWS ad and to update Scholarship materials.
Other: The next meeting is on February 11.

International Conference

Staff: Julie has sent an RFP out to find possible locations for the 2016 conference.

Susan Abbott met with Julie and Shannon on January 19 to begin planning for the conference.

Other: The next meeting is on February 19.

Investment Advisory Group


No update.

Marketing Committee

  • The committee met on January 23. Julie Medalis (new Chair) and Diane Harris (new Vice Chair) led the meeting to begin strategizing the committee’s work for 2015.
  • Committee members are reviewing material and reaching out to other committees to help gather information about how MarCom can work to increase synergy. Julie has started a few threads on the committee’s Forum.

The next meetings are scheduled for February 26, March 23, April 27, May 18 and June 22.


  • Staff continued work on the renewal plan, including email reminders, News Bites copy, sending info to LinkedIn and Twitter teams and processing dues.
  • Renewal emails and a mailing went out at the end of January.
  • The committee met on January 22 to discuss the committee goals: increasing membership (through attraction and retention) and leveraging chapters in building member engagement.
  • The Board asked MemCom to expand the Ambassador program to help onboard new members as they join QRCA. The committee discussed how to implement this.
  • Leveraging LinkedIn was discussed as a way to recruit members.
  • Member discounts were discussed as they relate to the new annual sponsorship program and how to promote on the website.
Other: The next meeting is TBD.


  • The speaker for the February session had to cancel a few weeks prior to the date due to a family emergency.
  • Committee members have identified ideas for speakers/topics for the remaining sessions and are contacting potential speakers. Material for the March Qcast should be finalized soon so that promotion can begin.
Other: The January Qcast had 124 registrations and 82 attendees.



Nicki is drafting both the Annual Conference and Annual Partnership program prospectuses.

  • Staff and the Sponsorship Committee have met to determine offerings for 2015.
  • The Annual Partnership program was approved by the Board in January and the committee discussed a roll-out plan.
  • Manny, Katrina and Shannon met on January 28 to discuss feedback from the Chapter and SIG leaders on the new annual program.
Other: The next meeting is on February 16.


  • The Forum Digest continues to go out every Wednesday.
  • The Member Resources area is getting a facelift.
  • Staff is working with the committee to update the Member Features page, so non-members can preview the benefits but need to login to access them.
  • Items from the Usability Study are being reviewed and will be implemented.

The next meeting is on February 19.


  • Laurie Pumper prepared a draft email to send to QRCA members, research buyers and other digital-only subscribers with links to specific articles. This will be disseminated once we receive ads and/or advertiser logos from NEBM.
  • The VIEWS webpage has been updated with the Winter issue.
  • House ads have been sent to NEBM.
  • The committee met on January 16. Material for the Spring issue is set, and most feature editors have a strong start on material for the Summer issue.
  • Suzanne Klein would like to identify a co-editor for the Schools of Thought section; volunteers are welcome.
  • The committee wants to add a Digital/Social Media Editor to assist in raising the profile of our digital edition; committee members are considering how to structure this role.
  • The next committee meeting is scheduled for March 27.
  • Kay is working with NEBM and with Laurie on a survey of advertisers.

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