Sad Friday

The horrific Oregon shootings are of course what’s top of mind for everyone today. For me, growing up in New Zealand, owning a gun was a rarity.  To own even a small hand gun, you had to attend an intensive multi-day firearms course and apply through the police (who would conduct extensive background checks to determine if you could have a license). I remember what a shock I got coming to America for the first time and seeing that you could buy an assortment of high-powered assault rifles over the counter from Wal-Mart.

I’m not going to get embroiled in the gun debate. I’ve got my views on it as I’m sure you have. The reason I bring all this up is that, in the midst of this terrible tragedy, it’s important to show leadership and compassion to your patients by letting them know that such a terrible event affects you as well.

You’ve probably heard me talking a lot about personality-infused marketing — bringing the human element back into your marketing. It’s essential if you want to build solid, long-term relationships with your clients. You need to show your patients (and your prospective patients) that you care — not just about them, but about the world around them. You have to let them in... even if it’s just a little.

Just like you and me, your patients right this minute have got the Oregon shootings on their minds, and let me be clear: “bringing back the human element” in your clinical marketing doesn’t mean playing off such a terrible tragedy — it means revealing that you’re human, too. It’s okay if you don’t feel that you’re the best writer. Ask someone on your staff, ask your spouse, perhaps, to help you synthesize your thoughts. Give your heartfelt reaction on Facebook, for example, in a post that your patients can respond to and weigh in on with their own thoughts. Send out an e-blast reminding people that, in the wake of this devastating event, we will draw together in hope and compassion for those families, and how important it is for all of us to hold our loved ones a little closer tonight.