Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Get to Meet David Meerman Scott

I've been a fan of David Meerman Scott since I first read his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

So imagine my thrill when I finally got to meet him last week at the MassNetComms meeting on social media marketing!

David gave a great presentation about his new book, World Wide Rave -- and even though he had been traveling all over Europe just days before, patiently signed copies of his book and posed for photos -- including the one below.

Thank you, David!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Write a poem about your colonoscopy -- win $500

Next month (April) is oral health month, but so far, I haven't seen much in the local media about the importance of one's oral health.

HOWEVER!! The state of one's colon is big news -- especially given the fact that March is national colorectal month.

I watched the Today show the other day and Kathie Lee reported that a group of 46 gastroenterologists from Florida are giving away $500 dollars to the person who writes the best poem about their colonoscopy.

The GI docs are calling this the "Bottom Line Poetry Contest." Clever!

Apparently, colonoscopy poetry is a hot topic -- you can find over 69,000 entries in Google for the search phrase "colonoscopy poem."

Personally, I think the GI doctors could have awarded a larger prize.

Another physician group is flying a contest winner to New York for a stay in a luxury hotel before he/she has the colonoscopy procedure done.

A luxurious colonoscopy. Clearly, oral health has nothing on rectal health!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Here's a New Dental Marketing Idea: Social Media (duh)

The writer at the Dental Services Blog recently asked, "Are There Any New Dental Marketing Ideas Left?"

The blogger writes: "Finding new dental marketing ideas is a hot topic in the dental industry today. In fact, 'new dental marketing ideas' is one of the top dental searches done on the Internet. But is any idea really new?"

The writer touched on some things but he didn't go all the way. First of all, most ideas in business are not "new" -- they're an evolution of existing products or means of communicating.

For example, take Welch's 'Squeeze' jelly. For years, jelly came in a glass jar, then Welch's had the idea to put it in a plastic squeeze container. Neither product nor the concept (squeezable food products) is new; the company simply combined what was already available. Yet the idea was a huge financial win for Welch's.

The Dental Services blogger stated that you could put the Yellow Pages inside a newspaper. Take your message, he wrote, and your mission statement, and put it into a form of media that the public is now reading.

Unfortunately, the writer neglected to comment that newspapers are dying due to declining readership, so this isn't exactly a great idea.

The blogger also left out all forms of social media -- including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

And finally, the blogger touched on dental Websites. I would state that if a dentist has a site and wants to generate business from it, he or she needs to hire a professional marketing person to optimize it, write it, and manage it. Simply having a site, which many dentists do, means nothing if people can't find it in the search engines or if it's poorly designed / written.

Once the optimized and professionally design / written Website is in place, the dentist should then use all forms of social media to reach prospective patients -- in other words, use media the public is actually using.

Based on what I see dental marketing companies telling dentists on how to market their businesses using old tactics that don't work, this indeed would be a new idea.

Monday, March 2, 2009

NY Times Article Makes Dentist Grind Her Teeth

In a recent NY Times article, Best Treatment for TMJ May Be Nothing, reporter Jane Brody relied "on narrow and outdated perspectives supplied by a small group of dentist/academicians" -- an opinion expessed by one of my Las Vegas Institute (LVI) colleagues.

In a Letter to the Editor -- which of course was never published by the Times (but did run on the LVI email forum) -- my colleage wrote:

The information you were provided would lead one to believe that TMD (or "TMJ" as it is inaccurately called by so many colleagues) is easy to treat and self-manage or that it may all be in your mind. Your sources stated that, "TMJ problems were originally thought to stem from dental malocclusion," and go on to say that this was an infrequent cause of the problem.

The American Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of some 40,000 of the nation’s leading general dentists, recognizes the relationship between malocclusion and headache. . . . A simple Google search for TMD on keywords such as headaches, TMD, TMJ, etc., would have taken you to many other informative sources of information regarding the subject of your article.

As one who treats patients with severe TMD symptoms, I can assure you that my patients are unable to manage the pain associated with these conditions by simply receiving counseling on their habits. Further, I find that dental malocclusion is frequently one of the principle causes of TMD. Your informant’s comments that MRI and CAT scans are among the biggest advances in diagnosis of TMD is ludicrous. Those modalities are valuable and will tell you about the status of the jaw joint, but tell you little to nothing about the causes of joint misalignment, which I frequently find to be malocclusion.

Yet another incredulous statement is that "80-90 percent of the needed information can be obtained just by talking to the patient." Certainly a complete history is a vital part of the diagnostic process, but when modern objective evaluation tools such as electromyography to study muscle condition, computerized jaw tracking to document functional abnormalities, X-ray and MRI to study structure are ignored, it is much like saying, "Let’s do away with electrocardiograms, we can just ask the patient if he has chest pain."

We are now in the 21st-century. It is time for the profession to recognize that occlusion and jaw function are governed by a physiological process and diagnose and treat accordingly. I am hopeful that you will do further research and publish on this topic again, this time avoiding a slanted perspective by a small self-serving group of "experts."

All I can say is "AMEN SISTER."

Having tried for years to get the attention of the press in the Boston area regarding oral health, I can state that the NY Times and other media simply do not care that dentists are no longer the "tooth plumbers" of years past but are today's modern "mouth physicians."

(In fact, healthcare IT blogger Neil Versel posted that he was told by the Boston Globe that there is no market for Healthcare IT -- a $2.5 billion dollar industry. Amazing.)

No one would say that a dermatologist or opthalomolgist weren't medical professionals.

Why then do people -- and the press -- have blinders on when it comes to modern dentistry?