Healthcare Informatics Editor Rajiv Leventhal Shares How to PRep for HIMSS17

Jan 27, 2017 Brittany Boyer

HIMSS17 is less than one month away and PR pros are off to the races booking strategic media briefings. With more than 1,300 exhibitors, how can we best position ourselves to stand out among the masses to media attendees? I recently caught up with Healthcare Informatics Editor and HIMSS veteran Rajiv Leventhal to get the scoop on what draws him to a vendor’s booth, his advice for first time show attendees and tips for the PR world when working with reporters around the biggest healthcare technology show of the year. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: What are you most excited about seeing at HIMSS17?

I am most excited to see two things. First, all of the cool new innovation that’s going on in healthcare and healthcare IT. HIMSS is always a great conference to showcase talent and ideas, and I expect this year to be more of the same. Second, a fascinating (and perhaps concerning) level of uncertainty comes with this year’s show. We are always privy to great sessions from CMS, ONC, and the like, but with all of these administration changes, what will that look like this year? How much buzz will there be around President Trump’s reign and how it affects HIT? I think there are so many questions that need to be answered here.

Q: The HIMSS show floor is notoriously packed with healthcare IT vendors. What in particular draws you to a vendor’s booth?

Similar to the first answer, it’s all about new innovation. Interoperability is always a big theme, and I think we have made great strides there on the vendor side. I bet we will see lots about FHIR this year. I don’t have one answer; but for me, it’s more about demonstrating how IT can improve processes and better patient care.

Q: In your experience, what is the ideal number of vendor briefings that you are looking to take throughout the entire show?

Between all of us at Healthcare Informatics who cover the show, we probably meet with 40 to 50 organizations total. And we get a ton of requests beyond that number. So make your pitches good!

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to HIMSS first time attendees looking to make the most of the show, what would it be?

Bring comfortable shoes, because there is a lot of walking. And take things slowly for your first time. It’s easy to be overwhelmed at first.

Q: If you could tell the PR world one tip about working with reporters around HIMSS, what would it be?

I said the same thing last year and I will say it again: I don’t want to hear a commercial about how your product is the newest and greatest thing. Give me a hospital, health system or medical group that can speak to its effect on their organization and that’s a much better story.

Thanks to Rajiv for taking the time to share his HIMSS insight with InkHouse! We’re looking forward to an exciting show come February.

Topics: Healthcare, Public Relations, Journalism
Brittany Boyer

Brittany has been working in healthcare PR for five years, with a focus on digital health and EHR capabilities. Outside from launching campaigns and pitching reporters, she enjoys long distance running and excessive country music.

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