Doug Dusik, Senior Communications Executive
What brought you to ASTMH and what do you bring to the Society?
After 30 years in newspaper journalism, PR and marketing communications on the for-profit and non-profit sides, I realized what made me happiest was working for a non-profit association. That was in 2015 and ASTMH was looking for a communications person at the time. I was hired just six weeks before the Annual Meeting that year and survived. In the years that have followed, a symbiosis has formed that is beneficial to both sides. For me, tropmed is a fascinating and important science and I find the work gratifying. The leadership and members of ASTMH are all very pleasant and respectful and appreciative of everything staff does for them. For ASTMH, I bring a vast range of experience in traditional and electronic communications, strong organizational skills and a healthy work ethic. Plus, I’m a fun person and all-around great guy.
What kinds of communications do you manage for the Society?
The website, the monthly newsletter, the Twitter and Facebook pages, along with many of the emails the Society sends out to the tropmed community. These are your standard types of communications found at any organization. But ASTMH also likes to have a little fun with its messaging and leadership. We send out a series of emails every year that offer our scientists a chance to show a more personal side of themselves through our “Forecast for the New Year” and “What Are You Reading?” emails. I also get to delve into a little storytelling each March when we develop emails for TropMed History Month.
What is your role at the Annual Meeting?
I produce the opening awards ceremony with all its many invisible details, working with the President, keynote speakers, medals recipients and their presenters to guarantee as smooth a production as possible. Also at the meeting, I develop the onsite daily newsletter, post to Twitter, work with our PR firm, keep the app working and push out notices, and try to attend a session if I’m lucky. Across several months each year, I work with about 30 of my counterparts at various societies, NGOs and academic centers in the run-up to and at the Annual Meeting. We offer these communications professionals complimentary registration to attend the meeting. As a result, they blog and tweet about the meeting as it is happening, maximizing the coverage of all that is going on at the Annual Meeting. All of us Communicators also band together to cross-promote our messages through things like Twitter chats.
Anything new on the horizon?
Yes, always. The Society is constantly evolving to better serve its mission and membership. Having seen the success of the meeting app, we are currently developing an app that will be available to members year-round. It will offer access to the various resources on the ASTMH website and previous meeting apps during 10 months of the year. A month before each Annual Meeting, however, it will automatically switch over to the meeting app everyone has come to love. The app will then return to a year-round resource after the meeting has ended.