Animal Health SmartBrief FAQ

February 1, 2010


Q: What is Animal Health SmartBrief?

A: Animal Health SmartBrief is a daily (M-F) digest of news and articles of interest to veterinary medical and animal care professionals.

Q: What is the purpose of Animal Health SmartBrief?

A: We know you're busy and you hardly have time to keep up with your family and professional duties, let alone scour the newspapers and Internet for news relevant to your practice. We've made that easier by doing the work for you and boiling it down into an e-newsletter that puts it all in one place and delivers it straight to your inbox. Whether you click on and read each story or just scan the headlines and summaries, Animal Health SmartBrief can help keep you informed of what's going on.

Q: How many people are receiving Animal Health SmartBrief?

A: As of January 29, less than 3 weeks after its official launch, more than 16,000 people had subscribed to Animal Health SmartBrief.

Q: How can I sign up for Animal Health SmartBrief?

A: You can click on the graphic on the right side of this page that says, "Animal Health SmartBrief." You have two other options: one, you can go directly to the Animal Health SmartBrief sign up page at Two, you can go to, view all of the available SmartBriefs, and sign up for those that interest you.

Q: What feedback have you received?

A: During the beta test and initial launch, we received some constructive feedback that helped us improve the registration process. The feedback we have received since then has been overwhelmingly positive.

Q: How did Animal Health SmartBrief come about?

A: From September 2005 through early January 2010, the AVMA Communications Division produced AVMA News Bytes, a daily (M-F) digest of news reports that was initially distributed to AVMA volunteer leadership and AVMA staff. It was intended to provide a quick reference resource to keep leadership informed of the hot issues and news relevant to the veterinary profession. Demand for News Bytes steadily grew to include many students, state associations, journalists, and AVMA members who requested it. When we opened News Bytes up to the entire AVMA membership, it taxed the system we had in place and it proved difficult to provide it in a reasonable time.

Animal Health SmartBrief is a natural evolution of NewsBytes and allows a much larger audience access to collection of reports about issues of interest to them. In addition, it saves AVMA staff time – the development of AVMA NewsBytes required a daily investment of approximately 6 hours total by 3 or more AVMA staff members. It was definitely a worthwhile effort, but developing the Animal Health SmartBrief has allowed us to continue to provide a high-quality product with less staff time invested. These staff members now have that time to dedicate to other important duties and tasks.

Q: How can we be assured that the quality of Animal Health SmartBrief will be as high as that of AVMA News Bytes?

A: We have been working closely with the SmartBrief staff to inform and educate them about the story selection process. Initially, the SmartBrief staff received AVMA News Bytes - both the final draft and the initial list of potential stories. A beta test of Animal Health SmartBrief was sent to a selected audience to allow us to recognize and troubleshoot problems before it was widely distributed. Now that Animal Health SmartBrief has launched, AVMA staff members continue to work with them prior to its release each day to ensure that they continue to select the most relevant stories. We will continue to work with SmartBrief staff as needed to ensure the quality of the product.

Q: Are the stories in Animal Health SmartBrief peer-reviewed before they're included?

A: No. The purpose of Animal Health SmartBrief is to let you know what's out there, and not to provide you with a censored version. You'll be seeing what your clients are reading and your colleagues are doing/saying. We feel this will help you be prepared to effectively discuss the issues with your clients and not be blindsided by them when they come into your practice and ask if you've seen the article about their animal's problem in the newspaper or on the TV news.

That said, SmartBrief's commitment is to include stories that provide balanced coverage of the issue. If an opinion piece is included in Animal Health SmartBrief, it is clearly marked as such.

We have been working and will continue to work with SmartBrief staff to make sure that they are well aware of the relevant issues and that they select stories of interest to the readers.

Q: What is done with the registration information submitted when I subscribe to Animal Health SmartBrief?

A: The AVMA does not share personal information with any third party. SmartBrief, per its Privacy and Legal Information Web page, says it can share aggregated, but not personal, subscriber information for "market research purposes and to improve the quality of the products and services we offer." What does this mean? It means SmartBrief will not provide your email address or other personal information to any third party company. Both SmartBrief and the AVMA will have access to this information but neither will share email or personal information with a third party. They use the collective information for market research, but do not single out your information.

Before you provide your email address to any of the advertisers on Animal Health SmartBrief, we recommend you read that company's privacy policy.

Q: Why does Animal Health SmartBrief contain advertising?

A: The AVMA is not compensating SmartBrief for their role in developing and providing Animal Health SmartBrief. Advertising offsets the costs of overhead and production on SmartBrief's part and can provide revenue. SmartBrief is a for-profit organization that provides e-newsletters in partnership with more than 100 trade associations, professional societies, non-profits and corporations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Nurses Association, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Q: How is advertising solicited?

A: The AVMA does not solicit advertising for Animal Health SmartBrief. SmartBrief has staff members who are responsible for this duty.

Q: Could the AVMA make money off of this partnership?

A: Yes. The revenue generated could provide an additional source of non-dues income to allow the AVMA to continue to expand its services.

This information has been prepared as a service by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Redistribution is acceptable, but the document's original content and format must be maintained, and its source must be prominently identified. Please contact Dr. Kimberly May (800.248.2862, ext 6667) with questions or comments.