The Montrose Memorial Hospital plastic bag contained my day’s needs: pain pills, Kindle, lip gloss, Nano, notebook and pen. I tossed my treasures on the table. Today’s task: get back on track blogging, even with one hand. Have to start somewhere. It would be a bit before I got back on the bike, I thought. A broken humerus bone. My left humerus. Could they mean humorous? Jeez, I digress.
I should explain I discovered Montrose Memorial Hospital at 5pm Sunday after an easy vacation bike ride with a friend turned into two wheel hell. The first responders, Montrose Fire Department paramedics, gave me first aid and took me to ER. They get my best regards and sincere thanks.
No question. Marketing is everything you do. My biking accident showed me the value of a complete customer marketing program. What I learned from Montrose Memorial Hospital:
Every piece of information markets for you. The plastic bag reminds me of my experience nearly one week later. That wasn’t the only thing. My DVD was labeled with the date, my information, and complete information for the hospital. The DVD with all the test data will serve as a reference/history for my orthopedic follow up appointment.
Every employee contributes to the overall experience. Wheeled into the darkened room for an x-ray, I didn’t notice the guy at the controls. He waited for me to scan the room and then waved, introduced himself, and told me the role he’d play. Every member of the staff was courteous and concerned for my welfare. My questions were answered thoroughly and clearly. Each person spoke to me in a friendly, concerned manner.
Nothing substitutes for good information from the highest possible source. The physician on duty, Dr. David Dreitland, M.D., explained in detail my injury and discussed the normal healing process. He answered all my questions and gave me a printed copy of my x-ray.
The little things make a big difference. The nurse on duty told me the local pharmacies were closed, and gave me enough medication to get through the night. She also gave me additional bandages and Neosporin packets. Then, she asked if there was anything else she could do.
It all adds up. Every interaction was positive and encouraging. There was no unneeded advice, no judgment of riding skill, no unnecessary commentary. Mine could have been the exception, but I doubt it. Montrose Hospital CEO David Hemple should know his employees did him and the hosputal’s five star customer service program proud. Many thanks.
Will I get back on the bike? Absolutely. Sorry, Mom. (“You shouldn’t be doing that anyway,” she said on hearing about the trauma.)
It’s my understanding this injury will take about a month to heal. I anticipate being on the trail again by the end of June. And yes, for those who didn’t ask: I was wearing my helmet; I’ll have a new one on later this month
Friday. Time to reflect on the week and plan for fun. Ok, I’m in cheat mode since I’m planning to be on vacation next week.
In the meantime, this little video inspired me to think about why I do what I do. View. Reflect. Pass it on.
Annual lunch fests get scheduled once a year for a reason: few people could take them more often. The two-and-one-half hour Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau luncheon showcased National Travel and Tourism Week, May 9 – 17, 2009.
Visitors to Bernalillo County contribute $2 billion to the local economy and $5.1 billion state-wide
Albuquerque welcomes over 3.6 million visitors annually
The Albuquerque hospitality industry supports over 23,000 jobs
Tourism generates more than $30.7 million in local taxes each year
And I got all of that from the program. The event was a sales job for the ACVB contract renewal, pitching the accomplishments of the board and organization for the past year and showcasing the themes for this year’s promotion of the city.
Social media triumphed as ACVB unveiled the participative campaign and website: Why We Love ABQ. Ten ABQ Experts, representatives from each industry sector, talked about the city and its draw, giving their picks and then suggesting you form your own opinions and submit them.
The campaign includes outreach to the local market as well as regional, national and international with Albuquerque positioned as a regional destination, the gateway to New Mexico.
Keynoter Maura Allen Gast, Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director and Chair of the DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International) asked the audience to put on “visitor goggles.” Her presentation discussed eight tourism trends applicable to all businesses:
- Customer sector – the proliferation of preferences changes how people get information
- Competitor sector – a battle for attention is ongoing
- Economic sector – Gast called it “dodging asteroids” telling the audience we hadn’t heard of pirates on the high seas or swine flu six months ago. This sector requires flexible planning and an operating reserve.
- Technological sector – the demand for fast and friendly websites is growing
- Social sector – conversation becomes a key word as the electronic society is emphasized in yet another way
- Political sector – why should I care? The answer, of course, becomes survival. Every business has a quest for relevance
- Legal sector – mixed signals from government, including the fact that the U.S. has no Office of Tourism
- Geophysical sector – going green. Environmentally intensive trends nearly mandate green sourcing in some areas, including meetings. As Gast pointed out, everyone has a problem with paying extra for the privilege
The eight trends might be worth the price of admission, a $35 ticket, by the way, but I doubt it. They’re probably available on the internet.
Because my tax dollars fund the ACVB and their City contract has not yet been renewed, I participated in the Board of Directors election, a “Year in Review” video, three auctions to raise money, etc. It was a looong program.
Separate, sort, frame. Our family tackled 1,000-piece puzzle monstrosities with glee: near-monochromatic ocean views, panoramic florals, vegetable stalls with endless potatoes, onions and nearly indistinguishable turnips. Every week we chose a new challenge.
We had a library of puzzles from which to choose, and while one subject could be more interesting than another, each required “the system.” Separate, sort, frame. Experience showed if we could only get the outside edges framed, the picture could take shape.
At first I thought this simple system could help customers build marketing content. I saw myself as a framer. Hire me. I’ll help you find the frame. The ugly truth about that: it works only if there is a mutual sense of urgency.
“Clear Monday and Tuesday; our deadline is Wednesday to submit information for the RFP. You’ll need to help us with resumes, bios and a company overview.”
Great! I understand the framework. The picture can (and did) emerge, although not exactly as you might predict. Realty showed up on Wednesday afternoon so the schedule had to shift yet again. The client, true to her word, was available early and late to answer questions and make determinations.
Meanwhile, another project, nearly two months old, continues to languish.
“Thanks for putting those ideas together. I’ve printed the draft, and plan to review it this afternoon.” (NOTE: A late afternoon call got no answer, and the next day’s check was put off yet again.)
What makes the difference? Those puzzles of old were a collaboration. Getting started was merely step number one. Progress created mutual excitement. The attitude of “let me add just one or two pieces to what you’ve done.” Sometimes, a group of us would gather round the card table and work late into the evening.
The team effort motivated and inspired us all. The moral of the story: juggle the pieces. Sort the information. But if you want to get something done, start the clock. Set a deadline and then get someone on board to get excited with you to make that happen.
Do errors matter? In some circles, spelling errors have become passé. The digital age and the internet makes correction somewhat easier, but incorrect publicity is just that: incorrect.
A local quarterly magazine misspelled the name of a business owner in its headline. I spoke with her to see how she felt about the problem. True to form she shrugged it off. Yet, I notice no live link to the story on the website. I suspect she dictated that because every other story opens instantly.
In my opinion, a printed publication with a misspelling loses value instantly. Another consultant claims a difference between major and minor spelling errors. Really? Can you be just a little pregnant?
Call me old fashioned, but free publicity that’s wrong is just that. A botched headline or a bungled fact reflects on the publication as well as the business highlighted. Here are the thoughts that come up for me:
- Lack of attention to detail. Who proofed this?
- Error-prone. It appears they don’t care enough to make it right.
- Inaccurate. What else is wrong?
- Embarrassment. Obviously this wasn’t important to them.
- Insult. They couldn’t be bothered because the account didn’t buy the story.
I understand how difficult it can be to orchestrate corrections particularly on deadline. It brings up another conundrum, though. When do you crater? When do you lower your standards and let it go? Or, do you disavow knowledge of the error? Does that make it okay?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers. I wrestle with the problem by asking questions:
A non-profit to which I belong has a directory with a key word misspelled on the cover. Someone pointed the error out to me; I’d overlooked it dozens of times. The piece was proofed by several people but not a professional proofer. There’s no budget for a re-do. Most people won’t notice. Does that make it okay?
In another instance, a publisher with known errors in a textbook ships errata sheets with every order. The company also posts errata sheets on the website. And, in a new move to transparency, this company announced it would replace incorrect texts for the cost of shipping at a customer’s request.
How do you treat errors at your company?