2013 Annual General Meeting: Publicity & Public Relations Project Committee Report
Received 24 July 2013; Published 19 August 2013
In May 2013, the Publicity and Public Relations Project Committee (P&PR PC), elected during the 2010 EMBnet AGM, brings to a conclusion its three-year mandate. This article reports on the Committee’s activity during the last year (May 2012-2013), and summarises its achievements relative to the objectives set out in its 2010 business plan.
The main activities and achievements of the P&PR PC during this last year were:
- finalisation and release of the new EMBnet website;
- production and release of the monthly EMBnet.digest;
- promotion and support for the publication of EMBnet.journal Conference Supplements:
- EMBnet.journal vol. 18, Suppl. A, BITS 9th Annual Meeting;
- EMBnet.journal vol. 18, Suppl. B, NETTAB 2012 workshop;
- support and production of EMBnet publicity material for sponsored events:
- distribution of EMBnet publicity materials at events supported by EMBnet’s patronage, such as the and , and at SeqAhead and AllBio workshops and courses;
- renewal of EMBnet’s ISCB Affiliation;
- migration and updating of the EMBnet web based Open Conference and Journal Systems (OCS and OJS) (assisting the TM PC);
- timely updating of the website regarding EMBnet Node information, and announcements of EMBnet Events and News, and latest releases of EMBnet.digest and EMBnet.journal;
- updating of EMBnet information in Wikipedia;
- announcement of EMBnet activities on LinkedIn‘Special Interest Groups’.
As for the new website, the P&PR PC supported the Executive Board (EB) regarding the layout and content organisation, substantially updated the website contents, contributed to the creation of the membership Web forms, and carried out all the activities at point 8 above.
The P&PR PC also actively participated in monthly virtual meetings of the Operational Board, and contributed in a timely way to EB activities reported in the companion article in this issue (see ‘2013 Annual General Meeting – Executive Board Report’, by Attwood et al.).
As a follow-up to the break-out groups of the 2010 AGM, ‘EMBnet moving forward 2010 and beyond’ (Attwood et al., 2010), the P&PR PC produced a business plan, including a series of short- and long-term objectives considered crucial for accomplishing ‘new’ EMBnet’s needs and plans for the future. Part of this document, specifically related to the ‘P&PR PC visions and goals’ was published in 2011 in EMBnet.journal (D’Elia, 2011).
The business plan outlined both enhancements to existing activities and proposals for new strategies, aiming to strengthen the network of EMBnet contacts and to broaden its collaborations. Many of the objectives mentioned in the business plan have been successfully accomplished, the major one being the website and actions relating to dissemination and publicity: the P&PR PC designed the new EMBnet logo, provided a new design for EMBnet.digest, produced a new EMBnet leaflet and managed the dissemination of EMBnet activities at large.
Figure 1. Presentation of P&PR PC activity report at EMBnet AGM, 18 May 2013, Valencia (ES).
The P&PR PC also worked to enlarge the EMBnet community. In line with this objective, we promoted and managed the establishment of ‘EMBnet Contact’ registration. This has been a successful initiative, with more than 80 contacts registered, including many young people (e.g., students and early-stage researchers), as well as senior scientists from all over the world. The P&PR PC also promoted and supported the organisation of major conferences and sponsorship activities, which have greatly improved EMBnet’s image and reputation during the last three years.
Despite these results, more work still needs to be done. To meet existing and new objectives emerging from the AGM in Valencia (ES) in May 2013 (see the companion article in this issue: ‘EMBnet - The Global Bioinformatics Network, in 2013: A Silver Anniversary’, by Attwood TK) will require even greater support from EMBnet. Indeed, as mentioned in the business plan, the feasibility of our proposal was dependent on two key factors: i) the collaborative support of all EMBnet members, and ii) volunteering for specific tasks. The achievements of these last three years came at a substantial cost in terms both of human resources and financial investments made by the EB. Collaborative efforts are now needed to consolidate our achievements and build on them for the future of EMBnet.
As Chair of the Committee, I would like to thank all the Committee members who have supported me in these three last years: namely, the secretary, Lubos Klucar (SK), Martin Norling (SE), Judit Kumuthini (ZA) and Kanchana Senanayake (CL). In particular, on behalf of the P&PR PC, I would also like to thank Pedro Fernandes (Chair of the Education and Training Project Committee) and Andreas Gisel (member of the EB) who have actively collaborated during this period on many of the P&PR PC initiatives as P&PR PC associate members. Last, but not least, my big “Thanks” are for the EB, who have continuously and constructively supported me.
I also would like to thank the EMBnet Board for the trust they demonstrated during the 2013 EMBnet AGM by re-electing me as Chair of the P&PR PC.
With the new statutes, ratified on April 2013, the organisation of the project committees will be under the unique responsibility of the committee Chairs. As for the P&PR PC, in order to properly answer to the most urgent needs raised during the EMBnet workshop in Valencia, two special interest groups have been devised: a website task force, comprising Rafael Jimenez (Itico and iAnn project) and Cesar Bonavides-Martinez (EMBnet Mexico), and a task force that will collaborate on the Committee’s dissemination activities. As for this last task, I welcome Vicky Schneider (Node manager of the new organisational member – The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC), Norwich, UK) – who is willing to help.
Attwood TK, Bongcam-Rudloff E, Gisel A, de Villiers E (2010) EMBnet - the European Molecular Biology Network, Moving forward: 2010 & beyond. EMBnet.journal16(1), 8-14.
D’Elia D (2011) Publicity and Public Relations Project Committee: AGM2011 report. EMBnet.journal17(Supp.A), 9-11.