I lied to my son today. Come on now…come clean…those of you with kids have surely lied to your kids too at one time or another. Truthfully it was a half lie and it was for a good cause. He asked me if I liked Math, and he told me that it was his least favorite subject. I told him that Math was one of my favorite subjects when I was in school, and in fact when I was his age (8), it absolutely was not.
When I shared this story with a friend, she asked me why I chose to lie. I gave the following explanation: I know he is good at math, and also at science. I love that he is, because I really believe that America needs to produce more kids that are interested in these areas. This being the case, I didn’t want to give him too easy a pass to stop trying so hard in math in case it’s just a temporary slump he is experiencing. I tell my kids that they don’t want to be the person that stops digging a foot before they hit gold. If he knows that his dad didn’t like math at his age, he might just lay back a bit and not try so hard. This might even happen unknowingly, at the sub-conscious level. I try to plant a seed in my kids here and there about career choices that I think would be a good fit for them. My oldest has decided that she wants to be a music teacher, and our middle one wants to be in physical therapy. If I drop a seed and it doesn’t take hold, I’m not going to push it. I believe people should follow their passions.
How does this tie back into business? Here’s how…as adults, too many of us swim upstream our whole career doing things that we’re not naturally cut out for. When we’re talking about a career choice, I really believe that we all have a set of gifts, and we ought to let that guide what we do for a living. I believe that there is a natural order of things and that there’s an intended path for us. It’s absolutely up to us to find it, listen to our gut, and make the most of it. When we follow it, it feels smooth, natural, and like it was meant to be. When were in that zone, we’re not working…we’re doing what we love. What we were meant to do.
Sure we all need to come out of our comfort zones, stretch, and embrace challenges that we’re not comfortable with. That’s necessary for us to grow.
So no, I’m not going to encourage my kids to do something that doesn’t come naturally to them. I am going to help them recognize their aptitudes and the career possibilities available to people who have those specific aptitudes. I know there will be people out there that criticize me and say that I should have leveled with my son when he asked me if I liked math at his age...maybe I will someday.
Posted: 12/10/2013 10:27:51 AM
Today I went to the 34’th Annual Meeting of the Healthcare Planning and Marketing Society of New Jersey. I was particularly happy to be there because Saint Peter’s University Hospital, one of our longtime clients was receiving an award for the best outdoor advertising campaign.
The outdoor execution that won was part of a larger campaign including TV, Video and print created by my partner Niles Wolfson, and his longtime creative crony, Chez Pari. The TV component of the campaign featured a 30 second spot with real babies popping out of an animated cabbage patch while making cute baby noises. The background voice said: “Now there’s new hope in the field of fertility. The national Gianna Center for women’s health and fertility…a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System”. You can see it here: http://sgwhealthcare.com/Our-Clients/Saint-Peters-University-Hospital/Campaigns/Cabbage
I am telling you all of this to illustrate a point. The point is that good advertising has to be different. It has to make you step back and take notice. In this environment, the advertising of many healthcare systems looks alike. What’s the point of that? I am grateful that our clients give us the latitude to creatively stretch and differentiate them. It’s not always the safe choice, and sometimes it’s easier to go the safe route and stay under the radar. However, if you want your organization to grow, you are eventually going to have to put yourself out there. Safety works for only so long, and eventually it will come back and bite you.
No matter what business you are in, survey the environment. Look at what your competitors are doing. What is their message platform? How do they portray themselves? Do they have a point of differentiation? What do their communications look and feel like?
Do this review on a quarterly basis. Make a spreadsheet that chronicles what you find. Then…find that little nugget…that differentiator that you can claim that also solves a problem for your audience. Put the message out there in a way that is visually different from your competition. It sounds elementary right? Have you done it lately?
Posted: 12/5/2013 6:31:04 PM
If you are not happy with the outcome of the recent presidential election, fear not…you are in control. Pay attention to your world. Grow your business, and choose not to take part in the hand wringing of those that continuously monitor the news, the stock market, Obamacare and the “fiscal cliff”. There is not much you can do to change the outcome of these things anyway. What you can control is what YOU do.
Ignore all of the nonsense swirling around you in the media, and zone in on your prize.
Are you actively marketing to qualified prospects? Are you focusing on your family? Are you focusing on your health? These are things that you can have an impact on, that will impact your life. Work on those things, and others like them. Your business will grow, your family will prosper, and the rest will take care of itself. Have faith...
Posted: 11/14/2012 9:36:47 AM
Facebook’s IPO has been described as a landmark, disappointing, even bungled. Despite what happens with the stock, it appears that they are doing a good job of developing relationships in Washington, DC.
I recently read an article in the NY Times that discusses Facebook’s Washington strategy, and how they have built their network in our nation’s capital. The article states that according to one representative from DC, Facebook efforts have resulted in 85% of House Republicans having Facebook pages…not bad considering the age of some of our representatives. It seems that Facebook has hired folks from both sides of the aisle including former political aides such as former chiefs of staff, a privacy lawyer, and even a former Clinton press secretary to train DC lawmakers.
Why? Simple…as Facebook looks toward revenue generating tactics such as targeted advertising, it will become more and more vulnerable to legislation that restricts how it uses data. As Facebook educates elected officials in Washington, it is speculated that the more lawmakers know about the company and how it works, including the benefits of using it as a communication device, the better legislators will understand the consequences of their actions as they ponder privacy issues related to using data to target advertising
The fate of Facebook in this regard isn’t limited to the U.S., however…as more than half of its users are abroad. The European Commission has already proposed new rules that restrict how Internet companies use personal information, including allowing users to request that Web site owners delete their personal data forever if they so choose. Looks like Facebook better get busy in Europe as well!
So, whether or not you are disappointed in the recent performance of their stock, you have to agree that Facebook is doing one heck of a job doing what they do best…building relationships where they count.
Posted: 5/31/2012 3:50:09 PM
At SGW we’re experts in hospital marketing and we get results, time after time, over and over again. Results are demanded of you every day. Is your agency doing their part to support you?
Whether your goal is to increase awareness, general patient volume, departmental volume, or community doc involvement, SGW will deliver for you.
Our coordinated, integrated programs work together like a symphony to drive your marketing communications results to the highest levels possible.
We know that you’re continually dealing with conflicting and ever changing demands, and we know that you need to juggle a thousand priorities every day. But we also know that you need to fill the beds, and differentiate yourself from the competition and build relationships with community docs so they refer more patients, and communicate with customers so they feel confident about the hospital they are being referred to.
We’ve been in business for nearly 30 years, with a client retention averaging 14 years because we become intimate with our clients goals and we make it our responsibility to be meaningful players on the team that achieves their results. And when I say results, I mean real quantitative results …the kind that result in year-end bonuses, or at least in a higher level of respect from the financial folks when the budget trimming scalpel comes out.
So whenever I hear claims like that, I like an example. Here’s a couple for you… Breast care patient volume increasing by 23% at a major central Jersey hospital since our new campaign launched just a few months ago.
Or our cyber knife campaign which included print, TV, radio, online and outdoor being directly credited with 50 cases in the early weeks of the campaign alone. Or our wound care campaign being credited with increasing patient volume by 15%, with patient interviews revealing that our marketing was effective in shaping their perception and choice of a hospital.
Or ED visits increasing by more than 15 times for a northern NJ hospital that needed to target a neighboring town that was sending its business elsewhere. So if you’re tired of so called partners that don’t feel your pain, give us a shot. We won’t let you down.
We walk thru fire to help our clients meet their goals and we’ve got the results and the burn marks to prove it.
So make a few minutes to meet with us …there’s no bait and switch, and there’s no B team at SGW. You’ll be meeting with a partner who will be with you throughout the relationship. Share your pain with us, I promise we’ll make you feel better.
Posted: 2/16/2012 12:10:19 PM