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Who Are You and Why Are You Here?

Years ago I was invited to present a talk on Patient-Doctor Communications to a group of specialists. I was just one speaker during a many-day conference for thousands of doctors who had come in from all over the world.

Imagine my surprise when I was assigned to a large room, set up for 300 or more attendees. And imagine my even bigger surprise when it was standing room only!  What on earth?  Me?  Why would so many people care what I had to say?*

The even bigger surprise came about as I began speaking. I was setting the stage for them to walk into the exam room where the patient was waiting, with two pieces of advice: First, that they check that their nametags were turned out so the patient could read them (because, you know how often then are turned backwards and can’t be read?) And second, that they NOT be reading a chart or paperwork as they walk into the room. Instead they should look their patient in the eye, then introduce themselves, “Hello. I’m Dr. So-and-So,” then wait for a moment while the patient replied with her or his name.

The surprise?  That, immediately, half the attendees wrote that down!  I watched them as their heads bowed to their notes and their pens began in earnest to record my words. I was floored.

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Serchers Cant Spel – Let’s Make That Fact Work for Us!

As someone who was raised on the importance of spelling, the fact that correct spelling seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs is a frustration!

Further:

  • We work in a world of medical words which can challenge the ability to spell.
  • Everyone is in a hurry, so rarely do people spell check their own writing. (And yes, I’m as guilty of that as anyone.)
  • Device text – meaning tiny keyboards and/or autocorrect – makes some communications impossible to decipher because spelling is either incorrect, or corrected to the wrong word.*
  • Acronyms are a problem, too – further exacerbated by autocorrect of acronyms. 

What a mess.  However!

While the writer and speller in me is appalled, the web developer in me says “Hey!  Let’s use this information to our benefit!”

So today’s tip will show you how to do that.

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If Prospective Clients Go Cross-eyed They Won’t Hire You

Does your practice focus on working with an older folks?  Patients, caregivers, adult children… If your work or marketing targets people over the age of 50 or 55, then this tip is for you.

Because… you may be sending them away without even realizing how or why – or importantly – what you can do instead.

Here’s why:

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Use the Calendar for Your Marketing

This is October. It appears the world has turned PINK in the name of breast cancer… as if someone spilled a lifetime supply of Pepto Bismol and it coated the world.

The breast cancer PWB (powers that be) have done a remarkable job with this branding of pink and breast cancer since their first year of pink in 1985. All that PINK does an extraordinary job of raising awareness for breast cancer research and its fundraising.

And thus – October spells “breast cancer.”

So what does that have to do with your advocacy practice? 

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Emailing to Groups – What Is or Isn’t Kosher

Last week, my neighbor sent an email to a group of almost 50 people. She asked us to donate to a specific charity in honor of a neighbor who had died because she thought it would be a nice thing to do. She wanted them all to send their checks, made out to her. She would cash them and send one large donation.

There are so many things wrong with her method! As well-meaning as she was, she now has people angry with her for several reasons. NOT because she was trying to spread generosity, but because the way she did it was so questionable.

I realized it was a good topic for our TIPS because you never want to make a similar mistake! Both her message and the mechanics were problematic. So let’s take a look.

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