I’m Fired!

Posted on June 1, 2011


Fire yourself. Then rehire yourself on the same day. Approach your job as if it were your first day, and ask a lot of questions.

What would you do differently? Are there processes that could be improved? How could you make your job more enjoyable? Are there hurdles that
are keeping you from being productive or efficient?

Whether you've been in a position for 20 years or two, it's easy to become comfortable in your role. But with that comfort comes blinders that
keep you looking only in one direction. Stepping outside of your comfort zone allows you to see your job from all sides.

You'll also get a fresh view of those around you. Would you keep the same employees? Is there someone you haven't noticed who is quietly and
diligently doing her job well? Is there another person who's really vocal, but not producing as well as you thought?

You may be surprised at what you've been missing and how easy it could be to make a change-or changes-that will have a major impact for you and your employer.

The "fire yourself" technique also can work for your personal life. Are there things you can change to be a better parent or friend? Are you a clear communicator? How can you make life more enjoyable for yourself and others?

But don't just be a casual observer. Take what you've learned and act on it. Whether it's in your career or your personal life, you'll be amazed at how even the smallest change can make a big difference.

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As the Mercury Rises

Posted on June 7, 2011


Summer tourist season is prime time to market your urgent care and ER services. Think about all of the accidents, illnesses, and other mishaps summer can deliver. Bug bites, sun burns, rashes, swimmer's ear, tumbles off of bikes and playgrounds, burns from campfires and fireworks-the list goes on and on.

Be strategic. Think about the areas most frequented by these potential patients and get your name out there. Consider the following:

Campgrounds. Most have "tourist centers," where campers register for campsites and ask about area events and places of interest. Get simple brochures or two-side cards right in front of them. Include only the necessary information for a quick read-hours open, phone numbers, addresses, etc.

Parks and beaches. Go guerrilla. Get college or high school kids to walk around and hand out "quick info" cards. Snag some inexpensive water bottles-or Frisbees-printed with your logo and ER and Urgent Care hours/phone numbers. Look at all possible areas your information can be placed.

Parades and summer festivals. Make a parade float and have someone toss out small first aid kits with your ER/urgent care info included. Have the kits available at First Aid stations and at festival tables.

Take a different approach to reach your seasonal residents-your "summer patients."

• Put door knob hangers on their front doors offering a free first aid kit they can pick up from your urgent care center-or put the kit right inside a bag to hang on the door handle.

• Send a "welcome back" postcard with a refrigerator magnet that has urgent care hours, address, phone number.

Summer visitors could be family and friends of your year-round residents. If you've taken good care of them, those year-rounders will look at
your hospital with a renewed sense of pride to have such a great health care resource right at home.

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How to Make Sure Consumers Ignore Your Advertising

Posted on June 14, 2011

Lisa_blog_photo4By: Lisa Schneider, Creative Director Legato Marketing & Communications

Make it look and sound like everyone else. Show a line-up of doctors, close-ups of sweet little babies and proud parents, and a visual tour of technology. Always include these words-compassionate, caring, focused on your needs, experienced doctors, close to home, state-of-the-art technology, and advanced care.

Consumers already expect your healthcare organization to have these qualities. Tell them something more. Show them something unexpected. Take cues from advertising outside of the healthcare industry.

  • Pay attention to the TV and radio spots you like and the outdoor and print advertising that grabs you. Then consider how you could use the creative techniques in your own advertising.
  • Don't look only to advertising for inspiration. Art museums, architecture, nature-nearly everything around you is a source of inspiration. Look at colors, textures, shapes. What brings out emotion, is pleasing to look at, makes you feel calm and relaxed? You may find a new logo color, a new icon shape, or even a different tone for your copy to evoke the feelings you want.
  • People watch. Observe what they are reading, buying, looking at, and doing. You may find an activity that works well in a TV spot. Or how to advertise to specific age groups, depending on the activities they are doing.
  • Place advertising in unexpected places. Have removable stickers printed that can be placed on employee cars. Be creative, and brief with message.  Example: CARe to know. XYZ Hospital.

Following the pack just makes you one more healthcare organization. To stand out, put aside your fear to do something different.

Embrace it. A campaign that is fresh, and outside of the usual healthcare advertising is hard to ignore.

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Ditto. What they said.

Posted on June 28, 2011

Lisa_blog_photo4By: Lisa Schneider, Creative Director Legato Marketing & Communications

If you're sitting under the radar, marketing isn't the career for you. Marketing professionals are hired to give recommendations that will move a company forward. Whether it takes a budge or a barge, something-or someone-has to give it a push. It should be you.

If you are just one in the "popular" crowd, what value do you bring to your organization? If you don't express your opinion, eventually, no one will ask you. Mainly because people will think you don't have one. Good-bye credibility-and effectiveness.

It's important to listen to what others have to say, but you don't have to agree. However, if you really do believe the group is right, say so. But back it up with why. The same is true for disagreement. Always have strong reasoning for your opinions.

Keep them listening. Management frequently hears what's wrong with how the organization is being run. Pat them on the back by pointing out what is working well, then add how management's great idea can be furthered for even more impact. Consider key decision makers your target audience. How can you best communicate your message so they will be interested in your product (your idea).

Don't be afraid to challenge top management. Even if you aren't telling them what they want to hear, they will respect you for speaking up. More important, you'll respect yourself.

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