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Archive for the ‘advocate marketing tools’ Category

When Is Potential Competition the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Your Business?

February 12, 2012 7 comments

One of my favorite restaurants is an Italian place called Dominick’s. The food is always delicious, the pasta, sauces and dishes are homemade (you cannot beat their meatballs!), the wait staff is always friendly and the prices are fair, too.  It’s a family place, with a busy bar and a glass-fronted bakery case with the most sinful-looking desserts. There’s only one Dominick’s, and sometimes it’s so busy that the wait can be well more than an hour. (I’ll bet you have a Dominick’s in your town, too, even if it’s called Antonio’s, Nick’s or Enzo’s – great places to eat!)

Just up the same boulevard as Dominick’s is the Olive Garden.  Of course, the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant, too.  Even though the food is quite different, it’s also excellent. There are many similarities to Dominick’s; the Olive Garden is a family place, may require a long wait and often sports a busy bar.

But as we all know, the big difference between Dominick’s and the Olive Garden is the difference between the personal and the corporate. There is one and only one Dominick’s.  There are hundreds of Olive Gardens. While you might find very personalized service and delicious food in both restaurants, their approach to their businesses and how they grow their success is very different.  Yet, they co-exist up the street from each very nicely, both serve their customers very well, and both are very successful.

So now you’re wondering what Dominick’s and the Olive Garden have to do with health and patient advocacy, right?

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This post has moved.  Find it in its new location at:

http://advoconnectionblog.com/2012/02/12/when-is-potential-competition-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-your-business/

Some High Profile Marketing and a Review Opportunity, Too

January 29, 2012 3 comments

Deviating from my usual advice or issues-type post, I have a couple of invitations for you today.  In both cases you’ll be helping yourself and helping future health or patient advocates, too.

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This post has moved.  Find it in its new location at:

http://advoconnectionblog.com/2012/01/29/some-high-profile-marketing-and-a-review-opportunity-too/

 

Advocacy, Politics and the 2012 Elections

January 23, 2012 4 comments

I’ve been in Florida for the past week, working, advocating, feeling my jaw clench and my back go up each time I’ve seen or heard a commercial or watched a newscast that focuses on one of the Republican primary candidates.  (As an aside – it’s not because they are Republican – it’s because the commercials are so nasty, denigrating, and insulting or because the candidates or their henchmen say such nasty, denigrating, insulting things about each other.)

Florida, of course, is the next primary state, to where all the candidates will  rush once the results are in from South Carolina. Even though they aren’t here yet, they have already ramped up the vitriol.  It’s not pretty. And to my ears, it’s abusive.

Since this is my first AdvoConnection blog post written during a presidential campaign, I thought it might be wise to raise the issue of the profession of health advocacy and the discussion of politics.

I have a one word piece of advice for combining the two:  DON’T.

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This post has moved.  Find it in its new location at:

http://advoconnectionblog.com/2012/01/23/advocacy-politics-and-the-2012-elections/

Coopetition – But Don’t Give Away the Farm

January 16, 2012 2 comments

Many of you know that prior to devoting my career to patient empowerment and patient advocacy, I owned a marketing company that worked specifically with professionals and small businesses. I had clients of every flavor, from manufacturing companies to hair salons, from lawyers to book authors, to cookie-bakers and small distribution companies – a gamut.

An important part of my work was mentoring – helping others who wanted to be in business grasp the basic concepts that were necessary, helping them apply those concepts to their own fields, then jump in with both feet. I truly enjoyed the many “a-ha” moments my mentoring created.

I heard one day from one of my mentees (I’ll call her Carla), a hairdresser.  Her shop had been open for about two years, was doing well, was very popular, and she was just getting ready to sink some big money into expanding it.  More space, new services, high-end products, additional personnel and more. Gangbusters.

About six months before that call, a young woman, Laura, had contacted her, asking to interview Carla about owning a shop.  Carla invited her to stop by and the two chatted for about an hour. She had enjoyed the experience and felt they had a lot in common.

But now Carla was beside herself. So upset!

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This post has moved.  Find it in its new location at:

http://advoconnectionblog.com/2012/01/16/coopetition-but-dont-give-away-the-farm/

Watching the Headlines for Opportunities

January 8, 2012 1 comment

A link on Twitter precipitated today’s post and idea for you.  It contains a challenge, too!  See below.

The tweet linked to a news article: A second set of eyes cuts errors at HCMC.  It tells about an initiative at Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis) that cut the medication errors found in patients’ discharge paperwork from 92 percent – to zero. 0.  Nada. No medication errors.  Impressive.

Now, if you or your patient-client happens to be discharged from Hennepin County Medical Center, that’s great news.

But the article got me wondering – what about the other 99.999 percent of discharged hospital patients in the world?  How many other hospitals have such horrendously dangerous medication error rates in the discharge paperwork given to their departing patients?

And then an a-ha moment…  Read more…

A One Word Resolution for All Advocates

January 2, 2012 6 comments

Greetings at the top of new year, with hopes you had a great holiday season and you’re getting prepped for success in 2012.

I always feel a bit of inertia after taking a break, or a vacation, or when my world has slowed down for some deep breath-taking for awhile…. that is, my body at rest still wants to stay at rest!  And when I hear about “resolutions” – geesh – that sounds too much like work.

So, as we are bombarded by media talking about this resolution or that, I have one simple one for many of you – not much work at all.  There will be some of you who find this suggestion already ingrained in your lexicon.  But for others, it’s a habit worth breaking, or a good one worth establishing, for a few different reasons.

That habit is breaking the use of the word “patient” when we talk about the people we work with.  If you use that term, then today is your day to stop.  Instead, shift to using the word “client.”

Why?  Read more…

Putting WOM to Work for You

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment

One of our AdvoConnection members got in touch after a talk he gave to his local Rotary Club.  He was disappointed in the turn-out and wondered whether all his effort was worth it.  After our brief email conversation, it seemed that sharing some of the important points might be a good idea since you might run into some of his same issues.

Those issues are based on presentation and expectations.  So let’s take a look.

Public Speaking, whether there are 5, 50, 500 or 5000 people in attendance is a great form of WOM – that is, word of mouth marketing.  In fact, there is no more powerful form of marketing than word-of-mouth. And perhaps the best part – not only is it free (the cost comes in time and effort, but not money) – but sometimes, when you get good enough at it, you might be paid to do public speaking, too. Public speaking may not be word-of-mouth in the traditional sense (someone else’s word from someone else’s mouth) but it’s WOM nonetheless.

Here’s why WOM is so powerful for patient and health advocates:  it creates a sense of trust.  People hear you speak, they see who you are as a person, they observe how well you think on your feet, and they decide for themselves what your capabilities might be.  That sense of trust is huge for our patient-clients who are putting their lives, and their money, in our hands.

Our member’s concern was that he had been promised many more attendees would be there. He had worked with the Rotary Club president on the topic, “ObamaCare” and was told there would be 15 – 18 people in attendance.  Only 10 people showed up.

When he told me the title of his talk, I cringed, Read more…