connections committee news

May 2015
Vol. 14, Number 4

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

Help Define the QRCA Brand!

Julie Medalis,

The brilliant, hardworking marketing committee is finishing the process of refreshing the brand definition for QRCA. We want to get input from the community before we finalize our recommendation. If you have expertise and heart for this, and would be willing to review some branding options in the near future, please let us know! We only need a couple hours of your time.

Contact Julie Medalis at

Stay tuned for reinvigorated marketing from QRCA.

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MemCom Happenings

Philip Smith,

The MemCom team has been working hard to improve the interaction members have with QRCA.

New Member Ambassador Program
The QRCA Board has approved the direction for the New Member Ambassador Program. We hope to have this operating in the next few weeks. The aim of the program will to be ensure new members interact with the greater QRCA membership, as well as engage with the networks, such as chapters and SIGs. The broad idea is that an existing QRCA member is teamed with a new member – hopefully through location or interests. The existing member “buddies” them for at least the first year, through occasional contact such in person at a chapter meeting, via email or on the occasional phone call.

We have a team that is building an infographic about QRCA. It will encompass a broad perspective of the organisation covering history, purpose, and benefits. This will be available on the website but also distributed through Connections.

Younger Members
In 2014, QRCA launched a program to encourage younger researchers (YPG) to come to the annual QRCA Conference. We are developing an engaging campaign using social media hashtags to encourage them to participate in QRCA activities (chapters and SIGs), and from this encourage interest in joining QRCA. I should note regular QRCA members will also be able to share in the campaign.

Don’t forget about our annual membership drive. For every new member that you recruit for QRCA membership, you will receive one ticket for a drawing. There is no limit to the number of new members you can bring in or the number of tickets you can have in the drawing!

The drawing will be held at the conference in Orlando, and the winner will receive a FREE membership for 2016. It’s that easy!

MemCom Team
If you’d also like to be part of this active committee, please don’t hesitate to contact either Philip Smith or Kendall Nash

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QRCA Committee/Task Force Reports — April 2015

Shannon Pfarr Thompson,

Annual Conference


Staff is working on location and logistics of Thursday night party with hotel based on Chairs’ party desires.

  • Chairs and staff meet bi-weekly. 
  • Chairs are working on keynotes and plenary sessions.
  • Speaker Committee is ranking submissions.

2017 contract has been signed by both parties.

Chapter Health Task Force

  • The committee met on March 2 and 24 to discuss chapter health and next steps for getting the data needed for their work.
  • The committee is working on a survey for chapter leaders to determine their needs, and this will be followed by a bulletin board.



The March issue was sent out on March 10.

  • Content collected for the April issue, and is scheduled to launch April 10.
  • April 24 is the deadline for the May issue.



No update.

Other: The next meeting is TBD.

Industry Relations


Shannon worked with Caroline Volpe to ensure she had materials for the PMRG event on March 15-17.

  • The Committee met on March 10 to discuss ongoing efforts, including:
  • Helping the Marketing Committee with data collection.
  • Our partnerships with Quirks, GreenBook, MRA and PMRG to share qualitative content via sessions at their conferences.
Other: The next meeting is on May 12.


Staff: Shannon and Nicki sent the Global Scholarships information out in NewsBites, Connections and to non-members.
Committee: The committee promoted the Global Scholarships to their networks and edited promotional materials.
Other: The next meeting will be in June.

International Conference

  • Chairs met and decided on city and location.
  • Staff is negotiating the contract with the Marriott in Vienna.
  • Susan Abbott and Kendall Nash met with Julie and Shannon on March 19 and March 30 to discuss location, budget and other details for the conference.
  • Chairs are reaching out to potential committee members.
Other: The next meeting is TBD.

Investment Advisory Group


No update.

Marketing Committee


Laurie assisted the committee in compiling competitive analysis on several partnering/competing organizations.

  • The committee met on March 23 and continued work on brand strategy.
  • Small groups are meeting the week of April 5 and April 12 to talk about key takeaways from the competitive analysis.
  • Several members have been added to the committee, including Anya Zadrozny, Iris Yim, Paula Kramer, Sara Wilkins, Tom Rich and Michael Selz.
  • The next full committee meetings are scheduled for April 27, May 18 and June 22.


  • Staff continued making phone calls to non-renewed members.
  • A share campaign is being set up by Nicki, Kathie and Kate via a re-tweet contest for 2014 YPG applicants.
  • The committee met on March 18 to discuss the committee goals: Increasing membership (through attraction and retention) and leveraging chapters in building member engagement.
  • The group discussed the implementation of their expanded ambassador program.
  • Collaborating with the International Committee to increase the value of membership for the Non-North American members was discussed.
  • The committee is working on an infographic to show the member benefits.
  • The group discussed developing a series of promotional emails to be sent throughout the year to the LinkedIn group.
  • A subgroup of the committee is working on a tweet campaign for the YPG applicants from 2014.
Other: The next meeting is April 15.



Laurie set up registration and sent out the first promotional email for the May Qcast.


The May Qcast speaker has been confirmed and promotion for that session has begun.

Other: The March Qcast had 38 registrations and 26 attendees.


  • Staff is sending out sponsorship promotions regularly.
  • Staff continues to update the sponsor prospect list and keep live updates on outreach progress.
  • Nicki sent sponsorship reminder email on March 26.
  • The Committee met on March 16 to discuss next steps for outreach to potential sponsors for the conference and Annual Sponsor programs.
  • Committee members are calling sponsors to encourage participation and answer questions.
  • Valerie Esqueda is working on marketing materials to introduce new sponsors to QRCA.
Other: The next meeting is on April 20.


  • The Forum Digest continues to go out every Wednesday.
  • The Member Resources area went live early March.
  • 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 April 9.


  • Laurie and Shannon have worked on plans for a new publisher for the magazine.
  • The VIEWS webpage has been updated with the Spring issue.
  • House ads are being created for the Summer issue.
  • The Committee met on March 27.  The committee was updated on QRCA’s plans to identify a new publisher because NEBM terminated its contract effective with the Summer issue.
  • Shaili Bhatt and Mark Sumpter have worked with staff on plans to shift to a new VIEWS publisher, weighing the risks and benefits of self-publishing vs. working with a new publisher.  A contract proposal has been reviewed by Mark, Shaili, staff, and QRCA’s attorney.
  • The next committee meeting is scheduled for July 10.
  • The committee will meet with the new publisher once details of a contract are finalized.

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