I have a routine when I go to the office in the morning. It deviates on some days depending on how early I am, but it’s mostly the same each day.

Unlock and open the building and turn on the phones and lights.

Proceed to office, remove coat, phone, and hat.

Go fix my hair in the restroom and curse at how fast my hair grows.

Go make some coffee with GFDA mug in hand.

Go through the work room and see if I have any mail and sigh when I get no fun mail.

Go back to desk start prepping the day’s social media news and listen to Converge or some other form of hardcore to get pumped.

Typically, that is my morning before everyone comes in but earlier this month something changed. I actually had mail. That almost never happens. I had a big, scrunched up padded envelope in my box that I eyed puzzlingly. I proceed to drink some of my coffee and open up the envelope to be welcomed by an unexpected green and white folder with the symbol of the MarCom Awards on the front. I had entered the PAFP Community, the WordPress/BuddyPress site for member physicians of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, into the MarCom entries a month prior. After I came back from the Erie CME Conference, this envelope was waiting for me. The MarCom judges had announced the winners for the 2013 MarCom Awards and PAFP had won a Gold Award for new product launch.

If you have read any of my past posts regarding the PAFP Community, you will know that this was my first attempt at building a private social network for physicians. As the projects’ only developer, I worked closely with my co-workers in the communications department at PAFP. Michael Zigmund, Director of Communications, oversaw the project and had tasked me with the creation of such a community after the failure of other commercial vendors to meet our needs. Bryan Peach, Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations, helped to craft all of the language that we use for speaking about the PAFP Community. Each one of us were user testers and critics of form and functionality.

From the beginning of the project, I felt confident in what we could achieve with the PAFP Community, a private social network with tools that allowed for online collaboration with physicians across the state in the real time. The project pushed me to learn more PHP and JavaScript so that we could create exactly what our original scope had been. I had never worked on something so interactive before.

I don’t remember how long I actually stood there in the workroom reading the award packet, but it wasn’t until Bryan came into the workroom, having just arrived to the office, and broke my train of thought with his usual morning greeting coupled with some remark that is half funny and half ridiculous. I passed along the packet to him and got the customary “Nice!” I get from him every time we get really good news. The communications department was riding high that day.

Awards are great. It’s always great to be recognized for work that raises the bar. What is so important with awards though is that it’s a recognition of great teamwork. It was a team effort to conceptualize, manage, build and test this new member benefit. This award, for me, reinforces the fact the when you work with great people you can achieve success that you wouldn’t think possible. That clearly demonstrates the power of great teamwork.

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November 26, 2013

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