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VNN Media Insider Newsletter January 28th, 2010
In This Issue
VNN Videos for YOUR Use
Blogging at
Social Media Evolution...And How You Profit!
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For more than two years now, we have offered the capability for you to take VNN videos and embed them on your website.  This resource allows you to develop a client education video libary with highly professional videos on your site at absolutely NO charge.
Now, this step is even easier!!  You can grab our videos directly from YouTube and use them on your site or in  your blog or on your Facebook fan page.  This very short tutorial from YouTube can teach  you everything you need to know!
We are in the process of repopulating all of our VNN videos on the PetDocsOnCall channel at YouTube.  Once you see the video you want, simply follow the instructions from the tutorial and place it on  your site for your clients to view.
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Our upgrade at is complete.  In case you missed the announcement, we now have to capability to allow you to BLOG on our site
Blogging software is pretty common across the Internet, but the nice thing about using PetDocsOnCall to blog is that we are already driving a niche audience of pet enthusiasts to our site.  Your message can be delivered directly to the people who need to hear it!  Plus, we allow and encourage you to link back to your hospital website in your blogs on
Dr. Arnold Goldman and Dr. Jim Humphries have already started blogging at our site and, of course, I have had a few things to say as well
We are working closely with social media experts to find ways to promote your hospital websites and through our amazing network of more than 400 reporters.
Keep watching the VNN Media Insider for tips, hints and new ideas to incorporate social media into your marketing and publicity plans.
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Dear VNN Reporters:
One thing I have noticed in the last twelve months is that trying to make sense of all of these new social sites and technology is a little like making that New Year's Resolution to hit the gym and work out every week.  At first, it looks fun, but you can quickly become overwhelmed with what to do next and then even allow other tasks to knock you off track and away from your resolution.
There is good news...Dr. Jim and I can be your "personal trainers" for social media.   As he has mentioned in his articles, we are reviewing the social sites, jumping into the mess and finding ways to make your social experience less confusing and more efficient.
Our message to you this week is simply...take the plunge.  You don't have to do it all this week or even this month, but you do need to start somewhere...even if it is simply creating accounts on some of the sites.   Dr. Jim has two "call to actions" in his article below.  When you find them, act on them.  That's the first step to insuring that you won't be playing catch up six months from now.
Here's my call to action for you.  Visit my personal Facebook page and click the Info tab at the top of the page next to my smiling face.  Scroll down until you see the title "Pages" and click the "See All" link to the right.   This will take you to my list of pages and groups that I follow.   Listed here are many of your fellow VNN Reporters' Fan Pages for their individual hospitals.  You can see what they are doing to help market their practices and stay involved with social media.
Don't get overwhelmed and discouraged...just take these couple of steps that Dr. Jim and I have mentioned.  In the coming weeks, we will give you more steps to take and ideas to help you join this evolution in communications!
Social Media Evolution and How You Profit
Dr. Jim Humphries

Next month I travel to WVC specifically to teach Social Media Marketing on Wednesday of the conference.  For all of you not able to attend, I will make the PowerPoint slides available on my Linkedin home page.  But further, I'll share with you some of the valuable summary points here in my Media Corner over the next several issues. 
First let me say that Tom and I have found two Social Media gurus who can hold webinars for our group.  These webinars normally cost users from $50 to $100 to attend.  However, we are able to offer these to you for only $20.  Better yet... I'll make you a deal.  If you will link your hospital web site to our forums at, your entry to the call will be free!  Dr. Markee Kuschel at Deer Creek Animal Hospital in Denver is a good example.  See her home page here at: just scroll down to the bottom and see how she posted the logo and link. 
We are planning these webinars because we feel so strongly that the entire media profession is moving rapidly into this area.  WE, as a media network, and YOU as a media contributor, MUST begin to get a basic understanding of this 'evolution' and then build on that.  Here at VNN we are taking this responsibility very seriously and are fundamentally changing the way we deliver stories to you in order to accomplish just that. 
There IS ROI.  Most think of ROI as Return On Investment - and that is true.  But in this case I mean "Risk Of Inaction".  You will be left behind if you don't jump into this raging river of social media.  WE are here to help you do that!!
So for today:  Change, It is Not Hard, and Be Social. 
Let me begin what will be several weeks of installments of the golden nuggets from the WVC two hour course.  We can also set this up for a one hour review via a webinar if you guys want. 
The changing world of media is changing the way even the major moguls look at communications.  Many at our nation's newspapers and directors at major market television stations are still head scratching on how to deal with this impending threat to their audience.  Some have begun to figure this out.  Others are very resistant and find their audience growing smaller.  24 of the top 25 papers are at record low circulation numbers.  They must change - or die.  That change must find its way to you quickly or you will be seen as behind, out of touch and not relevant. 
You are a media veterinarian - so frankly this will not be hard for you.  You understand mass communications and probably have the personality to match.  So it is a matter of learning the lingo, tools and diving in. 
Let me say up front, this is not hard.  It may seem complex and confusing.  The terminology and concepts are very strange.  But please remember this: (and you will hear this time and time again), Social Media Networking or Marketing is NO Different from what you have been doing both for your hospital and in your media work in previous years and even decades.  It is being social, communicative, fun, informative and compassionate / passionate about your profession. 
Frankly, anyone can be high tech!  Any youngster can learn to push the buttons, click links, post and tweet.  But NOT everyone is "social".  That is the "art" of social media. 
As veterinarians and practitioners you are social, personable and know how to connect with people.  Social media is simply using a key board, a glowing screen and a few sites (tools) for the purposes of communications....and further for information, visibility, media attention all of which makes your front door swing! 
In other words, people with the social skills of a 'root canal' won't do very well in social media networking.  The good news is you have this crucial part down.  In the outside chance you are somewhat social challenged, fear not.  These social sites allow many to socialize who hate to socialize.  That is to say, to be social (online) without being social (in person).  But the goal is to turn an online relationship into an "off-line" one - in your exam room, and that you can handle. 
As Dr. Carey Waterhouse in Washington state recently found out, as soon as you jump into the social media raging river, you can quickly gain client AND media attention.  His local NBC TV station began following him on Twitter just a week or so after beginning.  And this can lead to a relationship with traditional media which is one of the new best ways to gain the respect of the media gatekeepers!  (had in hand at the front door with a resume and a tape is now very old fashioned)
I'm almost out of room.  So here are the bullet points for "being social" face to face or online: 
  • Don't criticize
  • Be sincere
  • Engage
  • Compel the audience
  • Be genuinely interested
  • Smile
  • Use the person's name
  • Encourage them to talk about themselves, etc. 
Does this sound a little familiar?  It's all from the best social media networking book ever written; "How To Win Friends and Influence People".  (You can buy it on Amazon for fifty cents!) 
Then simply overlay that with the tools (which we will discuss here and in our webinars) and You Are There!! 
In simple form I'll be teaching the WTFFLB tools.  There are thousands of others, but if you get these down you will be golden!  Your Web site, Twitter, Facebook, Forums, Linkedin, and Blogs. 
Just for fun, go now to, create a profile (it does not have to be perfect - you can tweak it later), then search for me (Dr. Jim Humphries) or simply use
Then send me an invitation to join you on Linkedin!  At the upper right hand side of my profile page it will say "Add Dr. Jim Humphries To Your Network". Click and send me a personal note.  Let's see how many of you will do this in the next two weeks.  The surprise benefit will be revealed next time. 
Don't forget to visit and apply for certification as a veterinary journalist.  More on this exciting organization is coming as well. 
Cheers and here's to the new technology of communications.
Dr. Jim Humphries
Veterinary News Network
719-495-2100 Direct Line
888-254-9946 Fax
719-963-6852 Cell
Executive Director
American Society of Veterinary Journalists
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