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VNN Media Insider Newsletter December 31st, 2009
In This Issue
VNN in 2010!
Your Social Media Resolutions for 2010
Featured Article
VNN Logo

VNN in 2010!
For the coming  year, your staff at VNN will be working diligently to bring you the best in resources and training for your media needs and desires.
As always, we will keep you up to date with animal health news and we plan on expanding our media resources to include more "web-friendly" and social media friendly resources.  Watch for these new items as well as additional training materials for social media in the first months of the New Year.
Future stories include our traditional videos focused on dental health, heartworm and fleas, but we are also looking at stories on Lyme Disease, Melanoma vaccine, and even holistic treatments in veterinary medicine. We want your input as well...what do YOU think will make a good VNN story?
With your help, we are looking at 2010 to be a banner year for and The American Society of Veterinary Journalism.  These projects were started in this past year, but 2010 will show everyone the reach and the wisdom of these two sites.  Just like VNN started "taking back the media", we will also take back the new media and help pet owners find information from the true pet experts...the veterinarians!
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!
This poll will close on January 7th, 2010
Quick Links...
Happy New Year!
Believe it or not, we have made it through another year.  This year we have seen a revolution of sorts in the way that individuals get information.  That revolution, of course, is the explosion of social media and its effects are being felt all across the Internet and the business sector as a whole.
VNN Reporters are making their own waves in social media circles. placed THREE VNN Reporters in their top nine DVM Twitter users.  Congratulations to Dr. Jeff Werber, Dr.Jim Humphries and Dr. Pete Wedderburn!
Enjoy your long weekend and your New Year's festivities.  All of us here at VNN wish you and your families a very safe, very prosperous and a wonderful New Year!
Your Social Media Resolutions for 2010
Thomas Dock - VNN Reporter Relations Manager
One of our continuing goals at VNN is to make sure that you stay up-to-date with changes that happen in media. And the changes are HUGE!  As we have been saying for almost two years now, social media is revolutionizing the way that businesses market and how clients search for information and services.
So...what does this mean to you as busy veterinarians? 
When are you going to have time to "tweet" in between your surgeries, emergencies, staff training and inventory control?  More importantly, how can websites devoted to social interactions help your business?
Take a look at this group on Facebook...If 1 Million People Join My Dad Will Not Put Our Dog to Sleep.  This page was created on 12/23/09 and in a single week 994,124 people had joined the page.  That's almost 100 people every single minute since the page was created.   While this may be a created story, the broader picture is that one person reached almost 1 million people in a very short time frame!  THIS IS THE REACH AND POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA!!
Several years ago, a student in New York set up a website called  He told the story of a rabbit he found and made into a pet, but unless he received $50,000 in donations, he was planning on killing Toby and eating him.   Amazingly, this guy received almost $30,000 in donations prior to giving up his website and he even got a book deal out of it!  His story made the NBC Nightly News in 2006.  And, this amazing reach was before the huge impact of the major social networks.  Think what would happen if he waited until Twitter made its presence known...
Every day at your practice you have incredible opportunities to educate, inform and even entertain people.  But first, ask yourself this very important question:  Are you (and your hospital) ready to have a two-way conversation with your clients?  If the answer is yes, consider these guidelines for taking your first steps:
  • You work with CUTE animals and you have stories that provide teaching moments.  Share those stories on your website and your hospital's Facebook Fan page.  Use those stories as fun opportunities to educate and to help deliver your key message points.
  •  Engage with people on Twitter who have pet problems or concerns.  Your interactions through this fantastic new media can quickly set you up as being an approachable expert. (we have a twitter guide that will help get you started)
    Keep your website and your other pages dynamic and fresh.  Don't let your new visitors see your warnings about the 2007 pet food recall on your website in 2010. (Yes, believe it or not, I still see that routinely on veterinary websites!)
    Make your focus educating - not will be better received by the citizens of Facebook and Twitter.
    Make sure your staff, family and friends become fans of your page or followers of your Twitter account.  This network will extend your reach and help bring you into contact with thousands or tens of thousands of individuals.  Those connections are what will bring you recognition and new clients, so treat them right and continually provide information. 
    Linkedin is another fantastic tool for making business/practice connections with colleagues and industry professionals. 
  • Follow Dr. Jim's advice.  Join our networks at LinkedIn and start your hospital's Facebook Fan pages and Twitter accounts TODAY!  If you need help with this, please contact either one of us for assistance!
If you answered that you are not ready to enter into this type of conversation yet, maybe there is someone in your hospital who already maintains a social network presence and could start adding animal health stories to their content.  Also, poll your employees for their ideas on social media.  Ask how they are finding out about pet news when they are away from the workplace.
This activity is no different than going to Chamber of Commerce meeting or community events in order to gain recognition for your hospital.  Frankly it's faster and has more reach. The only change is that you are doing this electronically and globally instead of in person at a local meeting place.  And you can still do both - put your Facebook page / Twitter and Linkedin address on your business cards and web site. 
2010 will be a year of continuing innovations and advances in mobile technology, Internet marketing and social media growth.  ASVJ has begun to make available to you many resources that will improve your journalism skills - especially those in the exploding area of Social Media. 
Clearly you have an interest in Journalism and in teaching to make a difference.  Old fashioned frustrations with editors and producers are mostly a thing of the past.  YOU are the editor / writer / producer today and you can broadcast direct to the audience.  Make it your 2010 resolution to be part of this phenomenon!  
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