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VNN Media Insider Newsletter December 17th, 2009
In This Issue
New VNN Story posted
Important Considerations with Social Media
Other Places to Find Social Media Info
Featured Article
Red light siren
As you are noticing, the Veteinary News Network is fast becoming a leader in social media for veterinarians and pet lovers.
 Now, VNN is partnering with leading social media experts to bring you the latest and greatest ways to utilize this fast growing phenomenom.
 We would like to offer regular webinars to help you, our members, learn more about the benefits of participating in social media.  These webinars will be hosted by noted experts in this field and will be provided to you at no charge, through the Veterinary News Network.
 Please share with us your thoughts on participating in these types of webinars.  You can cast your vote by clicking here!
Featured Article
Dog tearing up paper
Many owners and veterinarians are dealing with "problem pets".  From aggression to thunderstorm phobias, these cases are increasingly common in veterinary practices. 
New medications and some human cross overs are helping with this behavior battle, but is it possible that we are over-medicating our pets?
Read this new story from the Veterinary News Network and see what two behaviorists (and VNN Reporters) have to say about "pill-popping  pets". 
Quick Links...
Dear VNN Reporter: 

I hope that these informative newsletters are helping you to understand the nuances and complexities of both traditional and new media.  As you will hear from Dr. Jim below, there has never been a time like the present for providing your clients with access to the wealth of pet care knowledge that you possess.
We are proud to announce that our Doctor's Lounge at is now "open".  While there is still some construction, please feel free to visit and see how we are helping our PetDocsOnCall staff DVMs reach out to even more pet owners across the country.  We have added bios, direct links to hospital websites, blogs, and even Facebook Fan pages for our participating members at!
Finally, if you haven't already done only have about 5 days left to contact your local media and score a "holiday and pets" type of story.  There are numerous resources avaiable at, including Winter Dangers for Pets, Holiday Dangers for Pets, and Christmas Gift Ideas for Pets.
Interesting Things to Consider with Social Media
Dr. Jim Humphries on VNN set
The thing I personally like about social media is that nobody "owns" it and there's something there for everyone.  For all of my media career I've had to learn - and live by - the rules of "other people media" - the Gate Keepers!  You have to format what you do to fit their TV show, or the Radio Style or even the Print Format. 

Social media, however, is created by you and while there are some rules, you are the content producer, reporter, editor and broadcaster. 

You don't have to look very far to find daily examples of how Twitter or You-Tube can impact a business in minutes. Recent stats report most businesses don't use social media but plan to in 2010!  They see the trend. 

Here are some of the trends you should know for the coming year:

* Traditional Media and marketing has been revamped, replaced. Much of what we did to market and tell our stories within the last year has been completely changed.  And traditional media outlets are still scratching their heads.

* Social Media corporate marketing budgets are on the rise.
* Retailers and services business need to be savvy online; Customers are researching and buying online.

* The Recession is helping Social Media as a cost control alternative.

* News is 24/7 now, and consumers won't buy week old news.  They like the immediacy of instantaneous social media.  Part of that is the nature of the beast and part is the generation that is driving social media. 
* Well known bloggers and influencers on Twitter are getting every media message out - almost instantly. 

* Lots of good applications and increasing technology tools like the iPhone will advance the Social Media cause.

There are very clever ways for you and your practice (team) to use social media to advance your practice of veterinary medicine and public education.  Never forget that this social media evolution is also watched by traditional media, and it is an excellent way for you to be seen and asked to appear in local media!  That is one of the best benefits for you.
In closing, I will tell you that if you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by social media, internet communications and all the applications that are out there, you should!  Even for some of us learning and practicing it daily, it is like nothing since the Industrial revolution.

Use of the internet will continue to grow and smart professionals are looking now at how they can plug into the dynamic-and fascinating tools out there to use the seemingly craziness of social media to their hospital's benefit. 
Other Places to Find Good Social Media Information!
Of course it's our goal at VNN to keep you updated with the latest information on how social media will affect you and your practice, but we also realize that some of you may want to delve even deeper into this mysterious and strange realm!!
I have found that the daily emails from to be extremely helpful and informative as I do research to keep you all updated.  You need to register as a complimentary member, but their community allows you to pick and choose email newsletters on your chosen interests.   Want to learn more about how search works?  Sign up for the Search Insider newsletter.   Interested in online gaming?  The Gaming Insider might be for you.   The point is that these publications, along with our help, can help keep you on the leading edge of what's happening in the Internet and digital worlds.  There are even newsletters to help you understand email marketing!
At our site, I am continuing to work on pages that highlight your fellow VNN Reporters and their social media work so that you can see just how others are using VNN resources to keep their websites, Fan Pages and Twitter accounts dynamic and fresh.  Check out the newest page, VNN Facebook Fan Pages, for ideas on getting your hospital found on Facebook.  As of last count, we have about 60 VNN reporter hospitals that have active Fan Pages or Groups on Facebook.
Do you have a great social media story to share?  What about telling others about how you use VNN resources in your local media or your clinic?  Drop us an email if you would like to contribute to this column...

Remember, Dr. Jim and I are available if you have any questions about social media or how to get started.  You can call Dr. Jim at 719-495-2100 or email him at  My contact information is below.  You can also connect with Dr. Jim at LinkedIn...just send him an invite!
Our goal is to continue to provide you with the highest level of media resources and information to grow your practice through publicity and PR. 

Thomas Dock
Veterinary News Network