7 No-Nonsense Reputation Management Strategies For Dental Practices

Reputation ManagementManaging your online reputation is paramount to succeed as a dental practice.

Unfortunately, even if you run an ethical practice… if the internet say’s otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the repercussions.

Today we’re going to explore 7 great ways to take-hold of your online reputation.

Use these ideas to keep your practice in the best possible light online.

 1) Optimize Your Site For Your Brand Name

Taking control of your online reputation starts with your brand name. You need to make sure that your website dominates the search results for your brand terms (like your name, the name of your practice, and other specific terms.) Be extra careful to optimize the main pages of your website for brand terms as well as keywords. You don’t want to rank for lucrative keywords, if people searching for your practice can’t even find you.

2) “Be Everywhere” — Diversify Your Branding

Another way to dominate online reputation management is to appear on a variety of sites. Not only does this boost your SEO if you get links back to your website and social profiles, but this will help massively with controlling the reputation of your practice. Connect with other local business owners, bloggers, and “influencers” to see if you can contribute content for their site. This could be a blog post (relating to dentistry), audio or video feature, or even just an interview. Appear everywhere and your reputation will follow suit.

3) Dominate Multiple Social Networks

Similar to number 2, you need to make sure you cover all of the social media bases. Appear on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn at the very least. Another good option is to show up on high-traffic dental websites that connect patients to providers.

4) Monitor Your Reputation Each Week

Take an active stance on your reputation management. Proactively search for keywords around your brand name each week. Watch out for any posts about you on news sites, blogs, or social media. Make note of any positive or negative comments. There are a number of services that monitor your patient reviews automatically – like DoctorHero.com.

5) Don’t Brush It Under The Rug — Reach Out

If there is an issue with a patient, and you end up with a very bad review (or post/article) written about your practice… don’t try to hide it. The worst thing you can do is try to brush the issue under the rug. It won’t work. Instead, reach out to that person and try to fix the issue. Make amends and try to change their perception of your practice. If it’s not possible, move on.

6) When In Doubt, Proactively Release Updates

Another great way to control your reputation is to release regular press statements. Just sending out press releases each quarter about updates to your practice can help manage what appears in search results. (Search engines tend to favor fresh content, so your newer releases will often push down any negative older articles.)

7) Be Reasonable

Finally, be reasonable with  your expectations. Treat the online world just like reality — you aren’t generating views, clicks, and sales… you are interacting with real people. Keep your reputation good online because you actually want to help your patients — not for some ulterior motive.

The Circle of Life *Cue Lion King soundtrack*

Sorry for the title

… I am functioning on no sleep these days. I bet you’re thinking it’s because of the long ambulance shifts I’m pulling. Guess again! Mommy shifts!

Sawyer Finnley Cavender was born on July 10, 2012 at 3:32am weighing a “whopping” 5lbs 15oz and measuring 19 1/4 inches. The doctors told us time and time again that he would be so big… well… color me shocked when out popped our tiny guy! Needless to say, we are so in love with him! This makes wanting to become a stay at home mom an easier decision.

I’m so tired, and will leave the gory childbirth details for another day. Instead, you get baby spam!!!

The other side of the Radio- part 1

So. Now that I no longer work for Small Mom and Pop EMS, I thought it’d be nice to share my experiences ie: my last few months there. My supervisor asked me ever so politely to jump on the other side of the radio, temporarily of course, as they had just fired our night dispatcher. Mind you, I didn’t mind the pay cut… I needed a break from the roads and the hour and half commute to my new station.

Thus started my adventure on the other side of the radio. I made a REALLY weird video to go with it. I’ll post it at the end, I suppose if I can find it. I digress. I started dispatching and IMMEDIATELY hated it. There was no honeymoon period, or early marriage stages. I wanted a divorce and quickly. This was like a Britney Spears “oopsy” marriage in Vegas sort of deal. Granted, I was able to go home every night and sleep… and only most nights I had nightmares of post assignments and late doctor’s appointments… the other nights I drank myself into a dreamless slumber. Kidding- I don’t have an alcohol problem, I swear. (Only at EMS Conferences, ok?) Anyways, it was just as frustrating as I imagined it to be.

My main anxiety with dispatching was having to tell my co-workers, some whom I considered friends and others I just respected or at least tolerated, where to go. These places I sent them were never pleasant. Maybe they had to sit and post while a crew made a LD trip 3 hours away. Yay! You get to sit on the side of the road for a while and try to sleep… until I make you run a call 30 miles away because YOU ARE MY ONLY TRUCK. Oh. There is frustration number two. At Mom and Pop Backwoods service, there were only 3 ambulances that ran 24 hours a day. 1 that ON A GOOD DAY ran from 8-5… depending on who was on it and what they felt like doing. (Usually, my supervisor was on it. Though I like him now in retrospect, I couldn’t STAND him sitting at my desk in dispatch and making my decisions for me. Grrr.) Anyways. I’m digressing again. We had 3 full time trucks. To in the main city, and one 15 minutes out in this tiny city that didn’t run that many calls in my day. Granted, this parish has 3 ambulance services in it. The Borg, MedDeath, and Mom and Pop. So you’re thinking- 911 rotation + 3 services= sleep all night? WRONG. MedDeath may have… The Borg can be sent anywhere in the state so most of the times, at least one of their 2 units was out covering a busier parish, like Lafayette or posting somewhere waiting for the deathpatcher dispatcher to send them to their fate. So, that being said, Mom and Pop ran.

So, there I am, answering business calls, routing bill payers and dodgers to the billing department, taking emergency calls, sending ambulances out, writing down call times manually, and calling my units for updates because of course, we didn’t have unit tracking. Oh… and posting my poor crews to sketchy gas stations that were midway, or of course the creepy graveyard. Both were options. I… I am a medic. I didn’t WANT to understand what happened on the other side of the radio. I wanted to be blissfully unaware and just gripe about my assignment to PushEmDown Nursing Home at 3 am for ANOTHER fall. I wanted to believe dispatch was out to make me miserable. I wanted to believe they all had magic 8 balls and were pulling us at random to run crappy calls.

Now? I can’t gripe. Now that I’m at the Borg and things are a bit more complicated than just 3 ambulances in a region per dispatcher… I can’t complain when I get sent to post at the Wallace bridge. I know that the dispatcher, no matter how sinister the reputation may be, is probably struggling for coverage. The last thing he wants to hear is back talk. I remember hearing a unit gripe about post assignment and call me “A Terror.” (Please folks, remember to not sit on your radio!!) When I had an LD that night at 2 am- I had a choice. The crew that brought me lunch… and the crew that called me a Terror. Guess who I sent? Bye Bye, mean crew. YOU are a terror.

So folks, remember… your dispatcher, who may sound like a crazed psychotic lunatic most of the time, is a person just like you. Sometimes they make mistakes. (I’ve pointed that out to Borg management recently. They always say “Dispatch is God.” I always come back with- I was a dispatcher and I know differently!) Sometimes, you are for real the only truck available for post. Sometimes, you’re just up for a call. This is EMS. Eat when you can. Pee… and erm… other things… when you can. By all means, sleep when you can! When your shift is other, bid your dispatcher a good day (or night) and go home and take care of yourself. At the end of the shift, that’s all that matters.

More The Other Side of the Radio rants to come.

San Francisco Journeys Day 2

Well, I am sitting on my hotel bed, getting ready to go out to dinner with Chris Kaiser, Chris Montera, and their spouses. It has been a long day here in San Francisco. I will catch you up on everything that happened.

So, I flew into SFO yesterday at 10:40am/Pacific time and was picked up by the strapping Jeremiah Bush (who said that chivalry was dead? pshht!) where he drove me to the beautiful Hotel Frank. I quickly freshened up and met with Kaiser, his wife Gina, Greg, and Jer for a quick lunch nearby. We talked about EMS and the changes that we’d like to see, as most conversations tend to steer towards when you’re with this many passionate people! Great food, great conversation, I couldn’t complain! Kaiser and I walked to Kinko’s and printed some business cards for the meet-up and premiere. Then it was time to get all dolled up for the evening!

The time came for the premiere- and I was blown away. Not only by the footage of Chronicles of EMS, but by the networking happening in that room! Everyone was united under the common cause: to change EMS for the better! I stood arm and arm with THE EDITOR of JEMS magazine, A.J. Heightman, and also with fellow medics that I had talked to for months and months online! I must say, meeting Justin and Mark was simply amazing! Also, meeting another young medic that shares a lot of the same ideas as I do was refreshing as well… Mr. Jeramedic took the cake on that one!

All in all, the premiere and the meet up was a success! I went to dinner with Dr. Wesley, Montera, Sam Bradley, Gina and Chris Kaiser, Jeremiah, and Greg- where once again, interesting debates were sparked! Being with all of these people in the same room for once was so incredible! The thoughts and ideas were bouncing off of the walls! Sharing dinner and drinks with that crew was a hoot, for sure.

Then I had the best sleep in my life.

I woke up early a little sad to see some friends leaving the city so soon- but I was off to film “A Seat at the Table” which is another part of Chronicles of EMS. I had the pleasure of doing 2 episodes with Mark, Justin, Sam, Jim, and Kaiser. I was the baby, but I think I held my own. Like I’ve said before, when people THIS passionate about our field get together, the possibilities are truly endless.

Now, I am getting ready to head out to dinner with the group again, for what I’m sure will be another night of great conversation, drinks, and all around good times!