A successful professional body relies on its members’ participation to help set its priorities, policies and strategic direction. However, among a large voluntary membership organisation, those who are actively involved usually only make up a tiny minority of the membership body. It is vital, therefore, to reach out to the wider membership to better understand its needs and wants. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is no different.
Queries logged with RPS support, for example, are analysed to see if there is a particular topic or issue that a significant number of members require more information or support — such as producing professional guidance or launching a policy campaign.
Here at The Pharmaceutical Journal, we monitor anonymous user data on our digital platform — pharmaceutical-journal.com — so we can better understand how our content is used and whether some things work, such as a certain type of headline or whether particular topics prove popular or not, as the case may be.
To gain greater insight into what matters most to members, we assessed the online articles on pharmaceutical-journal.com read by RPS members in 2015. Approximately 70% of these articles were about science, therapeutic interventions or medicines information, yet these articles makes up just 35% of our overall content. Strikingly, 27% of the content published in 2015 was dedicated to healthcare and pharmacy policy yet this only equated to 8% of content consumed by RPS members.
This information drives us to produce content more in line with the interests of members and continue to inform our editorial strategy for 2016 and beyond. We also feed this information back to the RPS governance bodies — the RPS Assembly and National Pharmacy Boards — so that they can allocate resources accordingly and help ensure the RPS as a whole better serves the needs of its entire membership body.