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VNN Media Insider Newsletter February 11th, 2010
In This Issue
MSNBC Slams Veterinarians
ASVJ Accepting Applications
Social Media Evolution...And How You Profit!
Featured Article
Big News graphic
Once again, it appears that some in the mainstream media are devoted to portraying veterinarians as money-grubbing opportunistic con artists.  A recent MSNBC article details how "pets pay when veterinarians make mistakes"
This type of sensationalistic story will be repeated locally over the next couple of weeks as media outlets smaller markets find a way to do one of these "gotcha" type of stories.
We have already created a set of Message Points that addresses this story.  Special kudos go to VNN Reporter Dr. Krista Gibson for her quick and alert "news eye".
One of our good friends and radio media expert, Mark Willis, has already recommended that veterinarians take this story as an opportunity to promote the good things that you do (like protecting public health, low cost spay neuter, or other animal related charities).  Don't be afraid to brag about the positive things that this amazing profession does on a daily basis!
Mark's comments can be seen on our VNN Facebook Fan Page under the posting about this story.
Featured Article

In case you have missed the announcements, you can now apply to become a Certified Veterinary Journalists through the American Society of Veterinary Journalists. 

Applications are being accepted at
Congratulations to Drs. Brian Hurley, Steve Hotchkiss, Bernadine Cruz and Diane Levitan for passing the ASVJ exam and meeting standards for certification within ASVJ.
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Dear VNN Reporters:
Normally during this time of year, we are busy making final preparations for the "News Hour" we produce at WVC each year.  Sadly, we won't be doing that this year.  BUT...there is good news!   Dr. Jim will be teaching a lecture on Social Media at Western Veterinary Conference this year.  If you are on your way to WVC, make sure you get a chance to sit in on this presentation. 
Also, although Dr. Jim will only be there for one day, he would love to say hi to you.  Make sure you have his cell phone number handy and you might be able to meet with him briefly.  His cell number is 719-963-6852.
For those of you who routinely blog, there are a couple of good stories that will make excellent blog material this week.  The first is noted in the sidebar article to the left.  This article delves into the price paid when veterinarians make mistakes.  Another couple of interesting news items come from New Zealand (Boy steals his injured dog before euthanasia) and from Washington State (family cat euthanized by shelter).  We have already started blogs at PetDocsonCall on these topics, but you are welcome to share your thoughts by commenting or using our material to spin your own opinions in the blog-o-sphere.
Social Media Evolution and How You Profit
Dr. Jim Humphries

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Jim's upcoming presentation at WVC.  The entire set of notes can be found be clicking on the link that follows.
The World Is Changing:
Whether it is communications, education, media, marketing, research, or even earning a living, the world is rapidly changing.  This is not new. Fundamental, even dramatic, changes occur with most generations. But the stunning shift of media and communications caused by interactive, instantaneous world-wide communications is a true evolution that is changing forever established industries and even the way you will communicate with your clients. 
Besides veterinary medicine, my 32 year career has been largely in the media communications.  What I now see happening there is stunning.  The surge of new technologies is forcing change in a deeply established industry.  Print media is failing rapidly.  24 of the top 25 newspapers have shown record declines. Daily newspaper readership is down 7 million, yet "on-line" readers are up 30 million!  Further, this access is increasingly mobile with smart phone use up 19%.  Advertisers are steering away from traditional media in all forms and turning to the "new media" for marketing their products.  Some now call it "social influence" marketing.  That demonstrates the thinking (and the panic) at major advertising agencies.  Most have quickly formed "social media" divisions in order to offer their clients these services before they leave in droves to the small creative firms that will lead companies into the land of new media marketing. 
Here are two important new media definitions:  Web 2.0 and Convergence.  The term Web 2.0 began to be used in 2004 and is defined as a major evolution of web communications where web applications became more interactive with the user.  Where there is more information sharing, collaboration and user-centered design. Simply stated, it is when the web went from being a one way medium (info delivery) to TWO WAY and INTERACTIVE communications. If you think way back in the pre 2004 days, the web was a library-type resource where you could find and print or read just about anything.  Now however, it is extremely user interactive, searchable, findable, customizable, and mobile.  Plus today the whole thing can be in the palm of your hand.
Convergence is quite simply the coming together of technologies.  In terms of use in the world of new media, technological convergence means the removal of entry barriers across the Internet, telecoms, media and consumer electronics industries. 
What does this mean to you?  These changes are affecting the way people communicate, behave, connect, and evaluate a business or a practice.  It means you must learn new ways of communicating with a highly connected population. 

Learn what steps you need to take by downloading and reading the entire article.
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, CVJ
Veterinary News Network
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