Three Wise Dames

Marketing in the Life Science Industry

3WD Interview–Cheryl Bisera & Judy Capko October 2, 2013

Practice Marketing

Patient-Centered Payoff by Cheryl Bisera and Judy Capko

I had the good fortune of meeting Cheryl Bisera because of her work with a shared client/customer—Dr. Simoni. The first time we spoke, I knew she was as passionate about practice marketing and physician reputation management as I am. I was honored when she asked me to preview her new book with Judy Capko. The case studies are absolutely a highlight and bring to life the best-practice concepts presented in “The Patient-Centered Payoff.”

  • How did you arrive in your current role?

Judy: After working in medical offices for years, I realized how little physician owners knew about business and efficient operations. I decided I could be a resource to improve the efficiency and financial success for medical practices. My medical management consulting firm grew to include marketing, team building and strategic planning. I became a sought-after speaker and author throughout the healthcare industry and then decided to write my first book, “Secrets of the Best Run Practices” and demand for my services skyrocketed. I’m proud to be rolling   out my fourth book, “The Patient-Centered Payoff”, with co-author, Cheryl Bisera.

Cheryl: I discovered my passion for marketing and customer service during my college years when working for a promotional product company. I then joined a healthcare consulting firm where I developed my skills as a patient experience and marketing consultant. Cheryl Bisera Consulting partners with healthcare professionals to grow their business through innovative connections with referral sources, marketing and   increased visibility in their communities and delivering a stellar patient experience.

  • What do you love most about the work you do?

    Judy Capko

    Judy Capko

Judy:  I am a people motivator at heart, I love to get physician owners, organization leaders and staff enthusiastic about a vision of success that they couldn’t grasp before. When I can get everyone on-board and moving in the same direction, the energy is dynamic and the momentum is unstoppably positive. Success always follows and that is deeply rewarding.

Cheryl: When a physician or organization brings me in, there is some faith involved. They have to trust me and take certain steps without necessarily understanding how everything will come together. When they begin to see results and see the payoffs of all our efforts working together, it’s extremely   gratifying. Turning things around for a practice is an incredible experience.

  • Where is the most exotic place in the world that you’ve eaten?

    Cheryl Bisera

    Cheryl Bisera

Judy: I’ve had the good fortune to be able to travel throughout the world with my husband. Besides cruise ships that sometimes feature local fare such as escargot and turtle soup, the most exotic fare I’ve enjoyed was in Thailand. The spices are delicate and provide an indescribable influence on the flavors! I must say, I have had chocolate covered ants too – quite crunchy!

Cheryl: I have not had the same good fortune as Judy, but I do wish to do more travel in the future. I would have to say the most exotic place I’ve eaten is off my kitchen floor, because when you have three children, you pretty much just get what you can – and sometimes that means rescuing a rogue meatball or other hand-crafted goody that took too much work to let go to the dog.

(C) 2013 eGold Solutions; all rights reserved.

 

Press Release Distribution Services: Are They Worth It? July 15, 2013

My favorite newswire services

My favorite newswire services

Whether I’m working with a start-up or a Fortune 500 company,with the marketing or communications teams, all of my clients are looking for ways to make their budgets go farthest. So I sometimes get asked if it’s worth it to use a news distribution service, such as PRNewswire or BusinessWire, for your press releases.  And the answer is they’re even more valuable today than ever.

I had one new client recently who, for years, had been issuing a steady stream of news releases.  But when doing some basic internet research, no news came up in Google searches. I learned that the previous PR person never used a wire service, and only emailed them out to her media list. The releases were not being made available online and media pick-up was minimal. Years of opportunity… lost.

Yes, They’re Worth It: These days, the value of a press release is not only about the media that covers your news. It’s also about maximizing your online visibility through search and getting easily found.  In short, if you send out a press release without using a distribution service, the company is missing out on most of the benefits of doing a release, which include:

  • Expanding media coverage online, locally and nationally–PR Newswire is a trusted source of news (as is BusinessWire)
  • Reaching investors and prospective partners, as well as getting your message directly in front of potential customers
  • Increasing traffic to your Web site through search engines
    • What makes press releases valuable for SEO is not the release itself; it’s when news sites pick them up and spread your news
    • News releases issued through the right distribution  services automatically get syndicated to MarketWatch, Yahoo, MSN and other major news sites, and that’s what will enhance your company’s search rankings
  • Enhancing credibility–Your release is more likely to be included on major news sites, and it will be included alongside news from larger companies
  • Reaching social media and bloggers with tools designed to maximize your online exposure
  • These services provide reports that help you measure your reach

Best Practice:  Media relations best practice is to:

1)  Issue the news release over one of the distribution services (I recommend PRNewswire and BusinessWire)

2)  Follow up one-on-one with emails and/or phone calls to your target reporters

Here’s a good example of why:

  • When we issued a release for one of my clients over PRNewswire, we knew it was not the most exciting news, but it was one part of the ongoing story we wanted to tell about the company.
  • The Wall Street Journal Online ran the release, and that outlet was not on our email distribution list for this news.
  • The story also ran in Medical Device Daily and Orthopedics This Week, among other outlets, which came about as a result of our outreach efforts.

Resources:

PR Toolkit: The Benefits of Distributing a News Release

Google Says Press Releases Don’t have SEO Value – Or Do They?

© 2013, Merryman Communications, All Rights Reserved

Enhanced by Zemanta
 

The Scariest Thing About Blogging October 31, 2012

Filed under: Betsy,Leadership,Public Relations,Reputation Management,Social media — betsymerryman @ 11:14 am

Blogging can be scary.  Maybe not scary in the same way as the haunted house my neighbors are building down the street.  But scary in that….  What if I’m left in blog hell where no one reads what I blog?  Or what if I get negative comments to what I blog?  What’s worse: no comments or negative comments?

The scariest thing about blogging is figuring out what to say that adds value and not noise.  Let me know which of the following topics you want me to cover in future posts, or anything else you’d like me to blog about:

  • Interviewing others about their successful healthcare communications case studies
  • FDA device approval process (because a description of it doesn’t exist anywhere else)
  • General summary of do’s and don’ts in communications for FDA-regulated products
  • Ongoing examples of “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”
  • My reactions to campaigns, news, events or trends

Maybe it would be helpful if I revisited why I blog:

  • As a healthcare marketing and communications consultant, I have recommended blogs to many, many clients, and some have even taken my advice.  So, I want to learn more about blogging and the credibility and communications results it generates since I feel like I should walk my talk.
  • As a consultant and as a professor, I have a responsibility to my clients, my teams, the universities where I teach, my students, and my network to stay current and share information and knowledge about healthcare, communications and marketing.
  • HubSpot, a pioneer in inbound marketing, says I should because “blogging is a critical piece of a company’s inbound marketing strategy.”  Blogging greatly increases my chances of being found online, reinforces my position as an expert and thought leader, and helps me stay top of mind – and that’s what I’ve been telling clients.

So, now that I’ve blogged today, I’m going to go visit the haunted house down the street.  I’m up for another good scare….  Happy Halloween, everybody!

 

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should November 29, 2011

I saw the results of a study recently that supports the practice of doing colonoscopies without sedation.  Now, I know one person who, for reasons that are still a mystery to him, had a colonoscopy without sedation, and I can tell you he wouldn’t recommend it.  Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

I find myself saying the same thing with so many marketing and communications practices today, especially those are easy to do it yourself.  Just because you can blog, Tweet, send out a press release or whatever, doesn’t mean you should.  What sometimes gets lost and forgotten is that strategic fundamentals haven’t changed, despite the excitement around new channels and ways to reach target audiences.

I once had a client suggest that we should send out a press release every week so that we could then Tweet it.    While I’ll be the first person to agree that press releases are valuable beyond communicating with the press, I believe you should issue a press release to announce news that supports your communications objectives, and you should Tweet things that would be of value to your followers. It isn’t about making noise.  It’s about building your credibility, brand and/or reputation.

Strategic fundamentals include asking yourself at the outset, among other things:

  • What you are trying to achieve and does it help you achieve your business objectives?
  • Who is your target audience and why should they care?
  • What do you want them to do with your information?
  • Is this channel the best way to reach and influence your target audience in these ways?
  • And does it further your overall product brand and company reputation?

The bottom line is that tactics shouldn’t drive solid marketing and communications.  Strategic fundamentals should.  And just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should if it doesn’t fit strategically.

As for me, sign me up for sedation with my colonoscopy.  How about you?

(C) 2011 Merryman Communications, Inc.; all rights reserved.

 

Physician, Google Thyself* Part I November 11, 2011

[Republished 11/11/11 to expand on an excellent post from Doximity Advisory Doard memberBryan Vartabedian, MD, is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospitaland blogs at 33 charts]

This is the first in a set of posts designed to educate physicians on how their names are being displayed. The education should lead to an evaluation of their current situation and motivation for them to execute basic activities to manage their reputation on-line. Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

EDUCATE:

Excellent reputations spread via word of mouth (WOM) has been and is still the most valuable “referral” marketing tool for any physician’s practice. WOM reputations are spread from health care professionals and the family and friends of patients [1].

The transmission vehicle for WOM referral marketing has changed substantially with the widespread availability of the Internet. Rating and reviewing services for restaurants, dry cleaners, hair stylists and other service-based businesses have popped-up all over the Internet (e.g. Yelp). The ability to review service-based business has been added to map and phone directory listings and these reviews are displayed in search engine results (e.g. Google Maps displays reviews from InsiderPages and Yahoo Local).

In addition to general rating services, there are dozens of health care professional directories. These directories purchase lists from medical associations, state licensing boards, and other data aggregators. Clinical specialty organizations (e.g. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) also publish physician locator services as a benefit of society membership (here’s a directory of directories from MedlinePlus). Healthcare systems, hospitals and insurance companies also maintain on-line directories of service providers in their networks.

The latest entries the internet community are the social media platforms—FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, et Al. These new platforms provide patients with a “global soapbox” on which to tell their story and spread it electronically.

The challenge for health care providers is the lack of control of the content on these services and platforms. Of special concern is the protection of personal health information (PHI) defined by health care privacy laws (HIPAA) [2].

With the current marketing craze around social media, what is a trained health care professional to do? Being aware and managing your on-line reputation is mission critical to maintaining and growing your practice.

Next Up:  Evaluate your situation

Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

(C) 2010 eGold Solutions

*************

*Thanks Elizabeth Cooney for the great post title (July 08); great minds think alike.

[1] http://www.hschange.com/CONTENT/1028/1028.pdf

[2] http://mamedicallaw.com/blog/2009/10/19/social-networking-101-for-physicians/

 

Physician Google Thyself: Helpful Perspective from AMA August 9, 2011

Filed under: Debbie,Patient,Physician Google Thyself,Reputation Management,Social media — Debbie Donovan @ 9:27 pm
Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Today, Amednews.com published a great article by Daniel O’Connor, PhD, (Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, Baltimore) discussing how to handle online reviews.

The point of the article and recommendations appear toward the end. I especially like this quote:

“Whether this characterization is fair or not, many consumer-patients believe it and, feeling powerless in the face of bureaucracy, take to the Internet to express their frustrations and anger. They do this because it is what modern consumers do: express themselves through social media. We cannot, in 2011, conceive of patients as customers and then be surprised if they blog about their customer experience.”

The message is clear: patient use of social media to discuss healthcare services is not going away. Better Google yourself soon; watch this overview video (30 min) and be sure to follow the step-wise plan outlined in this post series. Contact me to receive a free Reputation Management Tracking Spreadsheet

Related Posts:

Physician Google Thyself:

(C) 2011 eGold Solutions; all rights reserved.

 

Physician Google Thyself: Updates March ’11 March 30, 2011

Almost a year ago, I published the series Physician Google Thyself (with overview video) and as one might expect, many things have changed. The conclusion and reports out of SXSW provides an opportunity add some newly discovered resources that I think will help physicians leverage digital channels to manage their reputations and grow their practices.

By following Ed Bennett, I became aware of Dr. Kolmes–both were panelists at the recently concluded SXSW (South by Southwest). She exemplifies my truth about HCPs owning their their reputations. Two important discoveries that support Part IV:

  1. Dr. Kolmes is well regarded for her social media policies and other electronic recommendations for health care providers. I am excited to provide a link to these not-to-be-missed resources and they are FREE for HCP’s to use.
  2. Dr. Kolmes also uses a FREE secure email service called HushMail.com. For all the physicians that are (and should be) concerned about maintaining HIPAA privacy this is a brilliant option. Do not miss the section on email in the above mentioned social media policy that Dr. Kolmes provides to patients–it’s used for appointment logistics only and that’s OK! My philosophy is to tell everyone exactly how you will behave; if you set expectations you avoid offending someone or some other bad situation.

As an additional resource for Part IV, I’ve been investigating Reputation.com (formerly Reputation Defender). Their methods seem sound and the price seems reasonable. If you find yourself in a situation where negative information abounds, it might be a good first step to reigning in the chaos.

Reporting from that same SXSW panel session was Susan Spaight of Jigsaw who’s post titled Healthcare and Social Media: boundaries without barriers includes this suggestion:

Dana Lewis shared a great suggestion for approaching physicians to encourage them to participate in social media. Don’t just go to them and say “We want you to do social media.” Show them why first by having the physician Google himself or herself, and explain how social media can change search engine results. Of course, there are other reasons to participate in social media, but this may help the proverbial light bulb go on.”

It’s always nice to be in sync with others. I too have seen the light bulb go on and burn brightly when physicians Google themselves. Part II contains my recommendations for search engine terms to use beyond your name.

Contact me if you want a FREE copy of a spreadsheet to help you keep track of all your listings and profiles. I’ve complied over four dozen general sites that contain HCP listings to get you started.

It’s been fun revisiting this topic and especially great to provide even more resources. If you know any resources you’d like to share, please comment. The Three Wise Dames appreciate the sharing of wisdom.

(C) 2011 eGold Solutions; all rights reserved.

 

Physician, Google Thyself* Part IV April 23, 2010

This is the fourth in a set of posts designed to educate physicians on how their names are being displayed. The education should lead to an evaluation of their current situation and motivation for them to execute basic activities to manage their reputation on-line. Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

ENGAGE:

So now you might be asking, “What if someone gives me a low rating or posts an unfavorable review?”

In Barb’s recent post about crisis communications she outlines the importance of actions over words and considering we are talking about health care, it couldn’t be more true.

Is a single bad review a crisis? Let’s put it into perspective using the two primary tenants of social media–authenticity and transparency.

Authenticity:

Is every patient’s symptom/condition easy to treat? Are you a perfect fit for every patient? No, of course not. If someone decides that their experience with your practice was not perfect and they decide to tell the world, that’s their first amendment choice (note: they are breaking their confidentiality on the Internet, not a very smart move from a privacy perspective). Please don’t let one disgruntled patient post discourage you from actively managing your reputation.

Transparency:

If they have a legitimate issue with their experience especially on a “logistical” level (e.g. appointment SNAFU, staff having an off day) then it is worth engaging, privately. If it is a post in an open review field, you could, with full transparency, you post something like:

“Thank you for your honest feedback. Our practice would like to resolve your issue and because of HIPAA privacy laws we are bound to do it privately, please contact XYZ person at our office ASAP. We look forward to hearing from you and correcting our processes to better serve all our patients.”

Best Antidote:

Getting more perspectives–providing lots of good ratings and reviews. Ask your patients to engage on the directories, forums, social networks that have an accurate profile of you (all the stuff you did in Part III). I’d recommend printing a list of rating and review services on the back of your practice business card and handing to especially satisfied patients. Here’s an example from Dr.  Score.** Here’s a post by physician blogger KevinMD from January 2010 which echos this strategy.

A Special Note About Managing Social Media Platforms:

This is an exploding issue that is worth addressing. I will again reference this excellent blog post from Eric T. Berkman from Mass Medical Law Report October 19, 2009. Their first recommendation is to not “friend” patients. I will add by saying if you want to keep a personal presence on social media platforms do so with a strict policy to not connect with patients. You can respond to anyone with a simple message:

“Thank you for your invitation. I value all my relationships highly especially those with patients who have selected me as their health care provider. Due to HIPAA privacy laws, I have decided to decline friend invitations from all my patients. Thank you for understanding.”

Note: setting up a profile for your practice is a good idea if you have a social media strategy as part of your practice marketing plan, but that’s a topic for another day.

Professional networks are very important. Health care professional forums that allow you to keep up with classmates and colleagues is mission critical for managing any successful career.  Linked In is one of the most popular business social networks. Although I am inclined to recommend extending the above policy to patients, I recognize that many patients may start out as professionals in your career network and vice versa. In those cases, I believe as long as you can keep any on-line conversation strictly away from their personal health care issues then linking to them is likely to be a good idea.  If someone unintentionally crosses the line, then use a variation of the above paragraph as a gentle reminder:

“Nice to hear from you. I value all my relationships highly especially those with patients who have selected me as their provider. Due to HIPAA privacy laws, I can not answer your question here. Please contact my office at xxx-xxxx and make an appointment so we can address your health care issue. Thank you for understanding.”

Lessons learned:

  1. You already have a presence on the Internet and you have some control on how you are displayed.
  2. You are motivated to be proactive in increasing traffic to your practice website (or are now convinced you need a site or make improvements).
  3. You’ve made some policy decisions on how to manage social media invitations.
  4. You are not afraid if something bad gets posted because you will a) know about it and b) have a process for managing the situation.

Summary:

Providing quality primary or specialty health care services has always been competitive and health care reform will make it even more so in the coming years. I hope this series has provided you with some knowledge, motivation and peace of mind to efficiently and effectively manage your on-line reputation.

Next: March 2011 Update

Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

(C) 2010 eGold Solutions

*************

*Thanks Elizabeth Cooney for the great post title (July 08); great minds think alike.

**Disclosure: There are several customer satisfaction survey tools available and www.DrScore.com is one I am familiar with from my corporate work. In 2007 I constructed a pilot corporate program to measure customer satisfaction amongst a subset of customers in a given specialty. The survey instrument is available in English and Spanish and recently was recognized by ARHQ as a valid tool in measuring patient satisfaction.  Purchasing reports is very affordable at $149 per physician per year.

 

Physician, Google Thyself* Part III April 22, 2010

Image credit: (c) Adam Hart-Davis

This is the third in a set of posts designed to educate physicians on how their names are being displayed. The education should lead to an evaluation of their current situation and motivation for them to execute basic activities to manage their reputation on-line. Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

EXECUTE:

Developing a manageable solution is the goal of this post. By the end, you will create legitimate links to drive traffic to your practice website** which is, of course, designed to capture new patients for your practice. Remember:

In Part I where you learned about the myriad of review sites, directories and social networks?

In Part II where you learned how Google works? (Go ahead, take the time read (or reread) the bottom half of this page in particular.

Now put the two pieces together to create legitimate links back to your website which is an important part of the search ranking algorithm. Click on each of the search results you evaluated and determine how much control you have over your listing then insert as much of your standard profile content as possible.

Profile types:

  • Hospital, medical center and academic centers where you have privileges (email to webmaster@)
  • Insurance carriers you accept (email to webmaster@)
  • Clinical associations and societies (check your membership account)
  • Medical Companies that list you as having completed specialized procedure training (email to webmaster@)
  • Health care provider directories (sign up for free account)
  • Rating and review services (sign up for free account)
  • Social media platforms in which you participate (log in and passwords)

Information to standardize:

  • First Name (nickname if applicable), Middle Name/Initial, Last Name, Suffix, Degrees, Certifications
  • Photo: Yes its important. It better be a current image; no bait and switch of your younger self (age equals experience and patients look at the number of years in practice so you won’t fool anyone).
  • Address: provide accurate information so map programs can provide fool-proof directions to your precise location.
  • Have multiple locations? Don’t forget to provide a typical schedule of when you see patients at each location.
  • Phone/Fax numbers: Here’s where you can get creative on return on investment analysis. If you have more then one incoming phone (must roll over to the main line connected to your answering service) consider posting special numbers if you decide to pay for enhanced listings. Check your phone bill each month and count the number of times each line is being used.
  • Link all profiles to your practice website**
  • Clinical Association Affiliations
  • Hospital/Medical Center Affiliations
  • Education/University Affiliations

Monitoring

  • I’ve built a tabbed spreadsheet in MS-Excel to help you get started; please contact me to receive a FREE electronic copy.
  • Keep a log of each site you touch, especially if you decide to purchase low-cost display enhancements.
  • Consider using an free on-line manager (e.g. Keypass) for the LogOn and Password information.
  • Set Google Alerts
  • Present your results with Visiblity on your profile page on your website and/or LinkedIn profile (you have one of those right?)
  • Set a calendar notice to review the searches from Part II to see how they change over time

Congratulations now you have taken control of your on line reputation!

Next: What to do if something bad gets posted…

Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

(C) 2010 eGold Solutions

*************

*Thanks Elizabeth Cooney for the great post title (July 08); great minds think alike.

**Disclosure: You have DO have a website representing your practice, right? If not, don’t panic there are many medical website designers with a variety of template and custom solutions. Here’s a supplier exclusive to the health care industry with a nice “teach them how to fish” philosophy. I’ve become familiar with the services of  Practis, Inc. through my consulting roles as a program manager and developing new business.

 

Physician, Google Thyself* Part II April 21, 2010

This is the second in a set of posts designed to educate physicians on how their names are being displayed. The education should lead to an evaluation of their current situation and motivation for them to execute basic activities to manage their reputation on-line. Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

EVALUATE:

Nervous? Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t know where to start? Relax, this post is about getting started by pulling your head out of the sand.

To pull your head out we need to start by answering this common question:  “How do I get to be #1 on Google?” That question is like asking “how long is a piece of string?” because the answer depends on what search terms are put into the engine (see suggestions below) and how that engine has mapped relevant pages.

Here’s a nice article on how search engines work and another on Google specifically. Feel free to read them now and come back so that the next section makes more sense.

Welcome back. Now it’s time to pull your head out to search, bookmark and evaluate so to be aware of your surroundings.

1. Search Suggestions: keyword terms to type into all three primary search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing):

Tip: Start with Google and make an appointment with yourself to follow up with another round on Yahoo and Bing on a different day. I would hate for your newly emerged-from-the-sand head to explode when you see overlapping results.

  • Your name with and without degree (MD, DO, FACOG)
  • Your name with degree + your geography
  • Your practice name with and without your geography (you might find other practices with same name in another geography)
  • Your specialty (e.g. ENT, Ear Nose Throat, otolaryangology) + your geography
  • Symptoms (e.g. heavy bleeding) + your geography
  • Conditions (e.g. sinus problems, fibroids) + your geography
  • Unbranded treatments (e.g. hysterectomy) + your geography
  • Branded treatments (e.g. Balloon Sinuplasty) + your geography

Geography: Adding geographic keywords is important (area, city, county–whatever makes sense). Once a patient educates them self on their symptom, condition and treatment options, they are going to look for health care providers geographically closest to them.

Terminology: A trained health care provider knows the official technical terms for your specialty and the symptoms, conditions and treatments available. I beg you to think like a patient and pay attention to the words they use during appointments. If you want to get an idea of what keywords patients are using with high frequency, consider using this free tool from WordTracker.

 

2. Actions: For each of the above searches

  • Bookmark results for future reference (consider setting up a Delicious account so you can access from any Internet-enabled computer)
  • Review the first 30 results
    • Figure out who are the other people that share your name (BTW: thank your parents if your name is unique)
    • Notice how your name and practice are represented on the various listing services and make sure it is accurate
    • Honestly decide if you think a patient will select you based on how the information is displayed
    • Determine how to make changes to your profile for free (e.g. for Vitals start with this physician profile update page). Usually there are some ways to enhance your profile for a small investment; use your best judgment.

Congratulations on pulling your head out of the sand; you are now aware of where you stand today.

Next Up:  Execute a manageable solution

Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

(C) 2010 eGold Solutions

******************

*Thanks Elizabeth Cooney for the great post title (July 08); great minds think alike.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: