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A Blind Man Inspires Strategic Change

A colleague of mine shared this little story with me years ago. I always loved it, and reflect on it often. This story is a great reminder that strategies don’t necessarily need to be grandiose in order to achieve a goal. Sometimes just a little fine-tuning or different plan in the attack may be exactly what is needed to achieve a different result.

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One day there was a blind man sitting on the step of a building with a hat by his feet and sign that read “I am blind. Please help!”

A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. The publicist dropped in a few more coins and, without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it. That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of dollar bills and coins. 

The blind man recognized this publicist’s footsteps and asked if it was he who had rewritten his sign and he asked what he wrote. The publicist responded: “Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little bit differently.” The publicist smiled and went his way.

The new sign read: “Today is spring and I can’t see it.” 

Sometime we need to change our strategy. If we always do what we’ve always done, then we will always get what we’ve always gotten.

[Now print this out, and post it in your office on your cork board. That's where its been for me for many years.]  :)  

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Hunting for a Healthcare PR Job Got a Lil Easier!

If you’re looking for a healthcare PR job – it just got easier! And if you’re in a position where you are recruiting for healthcare PR talent – it too just got easier!

There was a time when my phone would ring and the emails would roll in from recruiters of all type contacting me about open healthcare PR and communications jobs… During that same time messages via word-of-mouth or via email would roll in from PR friends and colleagues looking for a new gig. There was one week where I was contacted on 40 different occasions about positions. And often I would count up to 8 to 10 messages received in one single day. Because of this, I often found myself (and still do) playing matchmaker.

I take a genuine interest in all people and networking has imagesalways been something that I felt I’ve done well with throughout my career. Given that I have a large network of healthcare public relations and communications colleagues, I am in a position to “match” and “connect” people. And this is something I have found myself doing over the years. Frankly, it’s easy for me to connect people. However, it can be extremely time consuming and it could be a full-time job. So I just created something to solve this. Plus, in this economy, so many people need help with leads for jobs and this method can really serve as a help.

I started a Twitter handle called ‘Healthcare PR Jobs’ which can be found at @hlthcarePRjobs. I started this group to help connect healthcare PR/communications pros with executive recruiters and agency and corporate HR recruiters looking for good healthcare PR/communications talent. I also started it so everyone can share opportunities as they learn of them. It’s going to take a little bit of time to build up but I am hopeful that soon enough it will be a great resource to use to learn about healthcare PR jobs and to forward along to friends and colleagues who are looking.

So what do you need to do from here?  Follow @hlthcarePRjobs on Twitter; also know as ‘Healthcare PR Jobs.’ (If you’re not on Twitter then get with it and make this your reason to finally join!). Once you start following @hlthcarePRjobsyou can follow, post a job, retweet (which means to forward a post) jobs that you see, share info, and connect with professionals who you may not have known previously. [If you aren't familiar with how Twitter works, def have a friend or social media colleague show you...]

My plan was that beginning in November of 2009 I’d begin holding weekly Twitter chats on Tuesday’s at 9:00 PM Eastern at #HCPRjobs and talk about job hunting issues, challenges in the healthcare PR job environment, salary issues and much more. We haven’t started this yet. However, Twitter chats create forums where many people join, chime in and share their knowledge. Chats are also an opportunity for you to connect with more people and expand your professional network. I will feature three jobs per chat. If you have a job that you want me throw out there to the participating chat group and highlight, get to me early enough in the week I will feature your job.  [Stay tuned for the date of the first chat!]

Hope to be seeing at @hlthcarePRjobsimagesCATNJ0LC

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PR Budget Cuts or Reallocation?

The other week I attended the ExL Pharma Communications/Public Relations Summit. Approximately 150-200 attendees who work in healthcare/pharma corporate communications and public relations were present. Many issues were addressed and discussed from crisis communications to social media.

One session I attended, “Doing more with less. Communications is increasing and Budgets are Shrinking” was well attended, with Mary Lou Panzano, Director U.S. Internal Communications at Bayer Healthcare, Bob Laverty, VP of Communication at Eaisi Pharmaceuticals, and Stefanie Mendell Director of Communications at GlaxoSmithKline on the panel. Great conversation.

The audience in this session was polled and it was found that 2/3 of the attendees have felt impact on their PR budgets. We didn’t get into great discussion on ‘where’ the impacts were actually made, but several industry polls are showing that while budgets are being cut, money is being reserved or shifted over to social media spending. And that is making sense as 60% of Fortune 100 companies are engaged in social media in some way, shape or form as I type.

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What is it like for many of you? How are you deciding where to place your budget dollars these days? And where are you placing them? And how much of your communications/PR dollars are going into social media (not actual amount, just percentage).

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