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So far Sharon has created 93 blog entries.

Social Media Etiquette – Infographic shared

Are you unknowingly breaking social media etiquette? More than 5 hashtags in a post? What are the do’s and don’ts of social media?  Love this infographic to help us get it right!


I *love* great infographics. As more and more people make and use them, I’ve seen some poor ones.


But this makes it into the great class for me. It’s got useful, interesting information that I can use, it’s well designed, I can remember it, I agree with the content and learnt a few more things (like Instagram ideas and how to best use it).


So happy reading! Link to the full inforgraphic below plus a snapshot of the LinkedIn portion

Social Media Etiquette

Social Media Etiquette Snapshot


The Global Regulatory Framework for Medical Information

I know I keep saying that the Regulatory Framework “book” is almost finished….


but finally it is almost finished.RegsBookCover


Well, the most difficult part is almost done, which is the writing.  Editing the content and publishing it are simple in comparison.

And it’s not really a book as such.  It’s more an electronic resource, than a book, which explains the regulations and what they mean in practice.  With hundreds of links, an electronic format makes more sense than just a paper copy.


After 3 years of research, writing, rewriting, further research, more rewriting and even more research (regulations do not stand still!), the first edition is almost done.


So what have I learnt?


1) Think very carefully before committing to writing a book, or editing a book.  Have you really got the time to be able to devote to it?  I must have spent 100s of hours on the content, even with help from 2 Medical Information consultants.


2) Is it needed?  Whilst it’s true that there are new business models for self publishing material,  you still have to find a readership


3) Why are you doing it? Vanity? Because someone suggested it? It seemed a good idea at the time?  You have this burning desire to share your expertise? All of the above?


4) Do you have the skills to do it?  Not everyone can write in a style that is readable, clear and informative.  Of course, I could be kidding myself that I think I can….


But don’t give up!


I committed to writing 2 chapters for the Pharmaceutical and Medicines Information Management book (on management and self development) whilst I had a energetic toddler who didn’t sleep well and a full time job working for a company going through a major merger.  With 2 sets of Medical Information & Drug Safety teams at opposite ends of the country, it was no joke trying to write as well as implement major change, recruit new staff and lead 4 teams.  Looking back I think it was worth it, as it’s a great addition to a CV.


So I think I must be mad to even consider it but I’ve already got a next e-book planned.  But let’s get our regulatory book published first!

Tip! How to compress your PowerPoint presentation in 4 clicks

Compressing my presentation!

Compressing my presentation!

Have you ever needed to compress your presentation so it’s easier to email but not sure how to do it quickly and effectively, with little loss of quality?


I like to use images and pictures as often as possible but it means the PowerPoint file becomes massive.  I don’t have a restriction on the file size I can send but many companies have incoming email restrictions of 5MB.  I can’t share the file by Dropbox as that is often blocked too.

You might also want to compress a file to put it up on your intranet.


So how can you do this is a few clicks?  


Luckily I have a great team that work with me and My Ops Director Jo Sparkes is a wizard with software, especially Excel.  So this tip comes courtesy of Jo.


1) Click on a picture/image/photo in your presentation

2) Select the Format picture option in the drop down toolbox

3) You should see the option Compress

4) Choose compress all pictures and the option for emailing or display or whatever best fits your needs.



So my 55MB file becomes a more reasonable 3.3 MB.


Now I just have to present it later this week at the PIPA 2014 conference.  Sneak preview shown……

Compressing my presentation!

Live Chat – a new channel for Med Info?

Live chat (4)No service

Not words you want to see on your smartphone. I thought it was because I was in a rural black spot but once I got home, it still persisted.

A quick check of the BBC website for O2 (my telecom provider) problems showed no new items.

“So when you have a problem, shouldn’t your provider give the best help?” (more…)

Impact on MedInfo: The European Pharmacovigilance Legislation

Impact on medinfo (5)If you haven’t heard about the pharmacovigilance legislation changes in Europe, you must have been living on Mars. Come to think of it, I bet that Curiosity rover on Mars knows about it too, after all it tweets!

If you work in PV, then you are in that washing machine world where you are tumbled back & forwards, periodically spun at high speed than stopped dead. (more…)

Please do not hesitate to contact me

When you’ve worked in the industry a long time, it’s inevitable that you will view things that you put into place very differently through the long tunnel of time.

When I set up the Medical Information team in MSD many, many years ago, I had to look at what the company was doing already, take what I thought was good, develop better work practices and set service standards. (more…)

Speaking at a conference. 10 things not to do

The DIA US Medical Communications conference is huge. Huge in reputation and huge in attendance figures (~350 people). All the key people come here to learn and network. But it’s also got the young blood of the industry pharmacy residents.

One session got me thinking,

“What’s all those things you really shouldn’t do when you’re presenting at a conference.” (more…)