Breakfast Bingo

Flyer with Fall leaves and Bingo graphics announcing details of Breakfast Bingo event for seniors

Happy Fall Y’All

“Breakfast Bingo” Senior Appreciation Events are happening as the holidays get going. South Los Angeles seniors are invited to join T.H.E. (To Help Everyone) for a little fun and learning.

These casual gatherings are your opportunity to:

  • Ask questions about services at T.H.E
  • Learn about your Medicare options and ways to save money
  • Enjoy a little Bingo (for prizes)! And Breakfast, too!!

Every senior gets a gift and a chance to win a door prize.

Register now to save your space!

TIME:    9:30 AM to 11:30 AM

DATES: November 22, November 29, December 6

PLACE:  T.H.E. Western Health Center – basement, 3834 S. Western Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90062

Seating is limited, so reserve your spot now by calling 323-730-1920, ext. 3. Do let us know if you will require transportation so we can make arrangements.

We hope to see you there!

Monkeypox

One of the challenges of messaging for a community health clinic is striking the right balance of disseminating correct information without needlessly alarming people — or further stigmatizing marginalized groups. Enter…monkeypox and Los Angeles which is always a hotbed of activity.

When it comes to monkeypox, my go-to health resource will be, of course, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. But when it comes to graphics, I need something a bit more than what I have been seeing. It is time to create my own bit of video, using their information. So now I am using this blog post to create a script to add into a Lumen5 video to-be. Stay tuned.

This information below is from the Los Angeles County Health Department

1. What is monkeypox and how does it spread?

Monkeypox is a disease caused by infection with monkeypox virus.

Monkeypox can spread when a person has close contact with a person infected with monkeypox virus or when a person comes in contact with materials (e.g., bedding, towels) that are contaminated with the virus.

Symptom onset ranges from 5-21 days.

The monkeypox virus can spread by:

  • Touching monkeypox lesions on a person’s skin
  • Touching contaminated objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, towels), and surfaces that have been in contact with someone with monkeypox
  • Coming into contact with respiratory droplets or secretions from the eyes, nose and mouth from a person with monkeypox

2.   What does monkeypox look like and what are the symptoms?

Early signs may include fever, muscle aches, headache, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, and sometimes cough or sore throat. A rash may develop often beginning on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.

3. Steps to help prevent monkeypox include:

Avoid contact with materials, like bedding, that has been in contact with a sick person infected with this virus

Keep infected patients away from others

Wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with infected  humans.

There is a vaccine that can prevent monkeypox and can be used, under certain circumstances, for the protection of people who are at high risk of exposure to this disease. If you have concerns about monkeypox exposure, please speak to your provider. If you do not have a regular provider, call 2-1-1 for assistance. In addition, people that have developed a rash can access services at Public Health’s Sexual Health Clinics.

For more information relating to monkeypox, visit publichealth.lacounty.gov/monkeypox

UPDATE: Using Lumen5 and the above “script” from Los Angeles County ‘s website to generate text, Lumen5’s AI did indeed generate a video. However, it did put forward a video with traditionally ominous scary music that I replaced with more gentle music. We have all had enough of scary background music!

Still, there something wasn’t quite right with this messaging either. Somehow the AI made monkeypox too much about touching clothes and bedding — which is almost as scary a public threat as bad, vague messaging is. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

Update: I conquered the AI and inserted the key notes. Somehow it had omitted the fact that monkeypox was transmitted by direct contact of lesions/sores. You can see how that version of the video could be kind of frightening. Here is the finished the product — with a watermark because it is free and a lower resolution than I might like…but then it was free, while I was testing it out. It was a rather nifty tool to have in the toolbox.

Upselling and Happier Patients: Why Your FQHC Should Use Its Own In-Clinic Digital Network

Is your FQHC still relying on bulletin boards to inform in-clinic patients of various programs, services or events? It’s time to come in from the cold and go digital. Here’s why:

  1. Maintaining bulletin boards is not cost-effective. To keep them updated requires precious staff time and they never are as up to date as they should be. Not really.
  2. Unless you have a bulletin board on every single wall in the line of sight of patients, most won’t see your important update.
  3. If you serve patients who prefer to speak languages other than English, you need to add those to the walls space. This adds more paper clutter to your walls and at the same time reduces efficacy of messaging because visually you are competing with yourself against your other flyers/posters. And they still may not be seen by your patients due to point #2.
  4. All those flyers on the wall? They are not truly “seen” by most patients except as an unpleasant distraction in the waiting room (where patients don’t want to be in the first place). Even pretty flyers on a wall, when surrounded by other random not-so-pretty flyers, will detract from the patient experience when you could have something aesthetic for people to enjoy while waiting to see a care provider. Again, per rule #2, unless you have plastered your flyers everywhere, they just won’t be seen in detail on a consistent basis other than being “wall clutter” of their own.
  5. Meanwhile, if you are showing anything other than your own soothing programming (with your services info on the side) you are missing the best way to enhance the patient experience in your clinic while upselling services, which leads us to point #6.
  6. Prospective customers are nice and all, but guess who your most important customer is? The ones you have in your clinic. You have already succeeded in attracting them and for a fraction of the cost of other advertising, you can inform these very real patients of additional services at your clinic while they are being entertained at one or your locations. A busy mom with kids seeing their pediatrician may not be aware her FQHC has added optometry and the ease of scheduling a visit until she learns about it in-clinic.

With that in mind, I recently reviewed three different in-clinic digital networks to replace current programming for an FQHC that somehow got stuck years ago with a service which provides stale information with content that does not even reflect the patients that we serve. The services I looked at were Everwell, UpShow and ItsRelevant. All of them work with a small, dedicated USB type box that connects to your clinic televisions (like a Roku). They were all delightful in their own way, but there was one clear winner from an FQHC point of view.

All three providers allow for integrating with your social media or other graphics to allow for messages and QR codes that can be scanned by patients with smartphones, leading them to surveys or programs. So, your patients can enjoy programming you put together with side messages promoting services of choice. Additionally, all three options reviewed here provide for a way for your FQHC to generate revenue to offset costs if desired by selling ad space to your own vendors or partners if you so choose. In theory, you could make your in-clinic network its own source of income. At the end of this post, I will let you know which digital network provider stole my heart. For now, here is an overview of these three digital infotainment providers.

Everwell has an impressive look and a huge library of content to program from, which is no surprise once you learn it is/was connected to AccentHealth. Now it is a brand of MediVista Media. If you like polished health-themed content, this might be the ticket for you. I personally am not a big fan of “health videos” in-clinics (for cultural and language reasons), but one of Everwell’s plusses is its access to soothing webcams across the world. Nature and animal video channels are a brilliant way to entertain diverse patients who may all speak different languages. Meanwhile, with rotating multilingual messages on the side of the universal webcam, you can reach all your patients in the language of their choice in a very subtle way. Everwell also offers other exciting programs, but when it comes to medical type videos, they have a deep library. To find out their costs, you will need to do a demo with their sales representative.

UpShow is a service I checked out three years ago when it was a fledgling company offering a way to bring social media posts to screens in clinics. I liked it then…and I must confess I have totally fallen in love with it now that it is all grown up with added entertainment. Even better, it interacts with your Canva accounts to seamlessly deliver your unique content. Like its counterparts, UpShow has different professional entertainment options you can pick and choose from based on the tier system you buy into. What sets it apart is the ability to niche program from TV screen to TV screen. Any FQHC which has a general waiting room, a pediatric waiting room, a women’s health waiting room, a dental waiting room, an EITP waiting room and so on – well, you can see why you can use in-clinic programming with different screens for different patients being served. Another bonus? You can scale up if you decide to go digital signage in all your exam rooms. And why wouldn’t you? If flyers in your waiting room are a waste of time, space, and patient experience, guess what? They are also missed opportunities in the exam rooms. To check out pricing, visit this link. But really you will have to schedule a demo to get the actual price for what you truly need if you are an FQHC with social media.

ItsRelevant says it combines the best aspects of TV, digital signage, and social media: “We keep the TV on your TV, letting you attract the attention of your visitors with programming they’ll enjoy, and gently deliver your messages to them.” Indeed, Its Relevant TV is uniquely able to filter out inappropriate content with both general and super specific keywords that can be defined by your medical practice. Its infotainment/news focus is to be lively without being divisive. Like the other channels, you can display social media automatically. They do provide a lot of family-friendly entertainment, as they license over half a million TV programs, and they continue to add to that. You can check out their pricing at this link.

Bottom line: The winner in my book? UpShow, hands down.  Its interface with Canva for programming combined with the ability to scale up to deliver digital signage to all your exam rooms – each with its own programming – makes this an easy choice. Bonus: it was the least expensive option up front for multiple locations and waiting rooms. For these reasons, the rose goes to UpShow.

Messaging Checklist 2021

It has been awhile since I shared an updated version of the messaging checklist that I use as a guide to develop integrated marketing campaigns that involve multiple channels. Gone are the days I fuss so much about the particular sizes of images (thanks to Canva, Adobe Spark and Promo) or characters in a tweet. Now I focus on creating coordinated images and stories to be delivered along a combination of different channels depending on what the goal of the campaign is and who I am trying reach.

The mort important thing is to think with fresh eyes about who your customer is and how to get your program or event in front of them. Use out-of-the-box avenues where feasible — Next Door, Eventbrite, Google Business posts, for instance. Nonprofit doesn’t mean noncompetitive. It’s up to you to get your story across in a place your audience will find it.

Messaging Checklist

  • Website
    1. Banner
    2. Page with additional information
  • Flyer(s)
  • ECW bilingual messages
    1. Email
    2. Patient Portal
    3. Text
    4. Robocall message/voice mail
  • Social Media
    1. Facebook/Instagram Post(s)
    2. Twitter
    3. YouTube
    4. TikTok
  • Additional channels:
    1. Newsletter
    2. Google
    3. Bing
    4. NextDoor
    5. Yelp – special offer?
    6. Community Partners or Leaders
    7. Eventbrite
    8. Direct Mail
    9. Press Release
    10. Other:______________________________

924 Days Later…

It feels like a lifetime ago since I last posted here 924 days ago. In a way, it has been a lifetime. Forgive my absence, but my beloved partner of 20 years died 209 days ago, after a long and chronic illness which at times overwhelmed us both. A bit of an optimist, for the first 14 years we were together, I was certain Ruben was going to get better “in the next two weeks.” Except, something always happened. A blister, turned into an ulcer, followed by weeks and months or years of off-loading that usually were successful — but sometimes not – leading to a couple of amputations of toes. Then it was his eyesight, followed by kidney failure and dialysis. After a transplant in 2013, I was sure we were on our way to living a normal life. Except, we weren’t.

In 2014, I adjusted my hopes. I thought, if Ruben didn’t recover “in the next two weeks,” then perhaps we could just maintain things as-is forever. His diabetes, blood pressure and kidney function were all great. The status quo was my big plan. But then 2017 came along and stripped me of hope courtesy of Facebook reminder pics which began popping up, sharing images of Ruben past and present on my timeline. The difference was shocking. Even I could see we weren’t maintaining things, we were losing. His nephrologist gently suggested we should work on his Advance Directive.

I didn’t have a name for what was wrong with Ruben, I just knew he was dying ever so slowly before my eyes and there was nothing I could do about it.

Since April of 2018, everything just got harder every day even as I loved Ruben more and more as he struggled with physical impairments that day by day robbed him of so much. Meanwhile, I was deep in the weeds of being a caregiver, and I didn’t even know it. In retrospect, I did many things the hard way before reaching out for resources which saved me, including a caregiver support group through USC and beginning a daily meditation practice.

My Ruben passed away at home on April 30 as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic was unfolding. The lockdown in March did speed up his demise, as we were unable to access feeding tube services which would have extended his life for a few more months. I had always thought I would be with Ruben near the end, but to my horror I couldn’t be with him at the hospital when he was there for about 10 days until they sent him home for hospice which lasted less than a day when he was not really conscious. There was no memorial service to bring closure with his friends and family. Like so many others around the world during this dark time, I was all alone in grief. He was my world, and then just like that he was gone.

For the record, I hated every single day in May this year, and didn’t have a very high opinion of June or July either. Luckily, I had good old girlfriends to re-connect with virtually, and I found an online grief support group through reddit where people didn’t try to “fix” others’ grief – they just listened or shared — which was exactly what I needed. Strange, how a mix of real friendships, family and random strangers on the internet can get you through a bad spot.

Nothing will ever be the same again, but I will go on. Now I have time to pick up some creative things I left behind – like this blog —  and to start writing new work that has been left undone for more than two decades while I was looking after my beloved. I miss him so very much. I don’t know why I thought everything would go on forever, but I did. Clearly, it doesn’t.

So here is what I know now:

  1. Ruben and I had a very complete and thorough love. It was crazy at times, but it was magical and unconditional and unbreakable. It continues.
  2. Life is short. Seize the day!
  3. Be active. Eat right and be healthy.
  4. Create – -whether it’s people or art or whatever your talent is, use it while you are here.
  5. Love is the most important thing you can do in life, so love the people you are with. Love your friends and family and even random strangers on the internet. They might save you one day.

To learn more about my wonderful Ruben or hear a few of “our” songs, check out this link.

Social Media for CEOs Who Hate Social Media

scary social media

This post is written especially for CEOs and Executive Directors of all the nonprofits out there. You know who you are. You don’t like social media. Not really. It’s not how you grew up because you are a Baby Boomer. You were happy just to have a website for your nonprofit which you grudgingly update once a decade. And then everyone came along and said you had to do social media, too. Bummer. Because, busy you, you don’t have time to understand what all the fuss is.

As a CEO, you are in good company. Most senior executives I work with aren’t even on Facebook, let alone Instagram or Twitter. You may not even be on LinkedIn because, again, you don’t see the point of it. Where is the ROI, you wonder? But if you have paid good money for a CRM system and aren’t using your social media team to use that to identify and cement donors to your cause, then you are just leaving money on the table. Lots of money.

Why? Because your nonprofit social media isn’t just a marketing vehicle for your cause– it is an amazing donor development tool.  Here are five specific ways for you to make it work for you:

Notebook with Toolls and Notes about CRM,concept

Use your CRM system to identify social media profiles of your donors and prospects. Now, if you decided to save a few dollars on your CRM module when you set it up, and skipped getting the social media profiles, it’s time to revisit your plan and upgrade. CRMs know who’s who on social media channels, and that’s where your gold is.

ICÔNE OISEAU DORÉ tracé de détourage inclus

On Twitter, have your team follow every single donor and prospect from your CRM. Separate them into lists so you know who is who. You should make the lists “private” to your own account (don’t let competitors know where your nonprofit treasure is), but keep in mind that people will see when they are added to a list what that list is called. So, make the names of your lists complimentary, like “VIPS, Influencers, Community Leaders, Thought Leaders, Experts.” Mark top prospects and donors so your team gets an alert when they tweet. The goal here is simple: these individuals are to be treated as your New Best Friends. Your social media team should follow them with utter devotion, liking every tweet. Whenever they mention anything at all that might possibly intersect with your mission, retweet that. Connect, connect, connect.

 

instagramLikewise, with Instagram, follow and like prospects and donors. When they post about anything that intersects with your mission, your nonprofit should comment. Again, connect, connect, connect.

When it comes to your Facebook Page, the real opportunity is targeted paid promotions to “Look Alike” audiences. What is that? This is where you build out a list of your top supporters who actually give to your cause because they believe in it. So, don’t include, say, a donor who gives to your nonprofit because they are personally related to you. Focus on those altruistic donors who give because they believe in your mission. Compile a list of those top 10-20 profiles from your CRM system. Feed this information into a Facebook promotion which will save this information. Using this information, you can create a “Look Alike” audience through Facebook, which will create a similar audience of Facebook users who like what your control group likes. These facebook.pngpeople are the people who will be most receptive to your message and may better connect with your mission. Also, you should know you can feed email addresses on Facebook to create targeted ads just for your specific audience.  To learn more about Facebook Look Alike audiences, visit the source, Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/business/help/164749007013531. It’s an awesome feature.

linkedin.pngLinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers. It’s a great place to connect with donors, prospects, and influencers. You can even connect with corporate partners and win grants by connecting with someone who knows someone on LinkedIn. So, make sure your nonprofit has an official LinkedIn Page and update it regularly with important announcements or news. And then make sure everyone on your Board and senior team is on LinkedIn. Then, use it in the same way. Like, comment and share anything you can about any prospect, donor or influencer in your community.

So, that’s it in a nutshell.  Your social media team should be an integral part of your fundraising operations. More than PR, social media is supposed to be social and interactive. Your CRM + social media = ROI you’ve been looking for. Have at it.

 

Stay Fresh

Looking back at projects I have been working on the last few months, one thing that jumps out is the importance — and challenge — of keeping not just messages fresh, but yourself, too. You have to keep learning new tricks in order to present information in new and effective ways. It seems like every new tool you learn how to use, leads you to another.  Frankly, I love learning new things. This month alone I have added these new skills:

  • started a new newsletter via MailChimp — which was also a new program for me. I use another program I inherited for another organization, but  I am totally in love with MailChimp now. I am still mastering some of the size issues on graphics, but was pleased to learn how I can re-send emails to people who didn’t open the first email.  Not that I am a Glenn “I’m not going to be ignored” Close stalker, but by gosh I will resend an email to non-openers at least once.
  • completed a company newsletter and improved my InDesign skills. Check out the newsletter at Newsletter Summer 2017.
  • learned a super smart way to use Google Doc’s talk-to-text feature to take real-time meeting minutes. I just learned about the talk-to-text feature which I was using to transcribe interviews, but had not thought to use it for meeting minutes within an ongoing meeting until I saw it being done on a conference call. Genius! Because, let’s face it, meeting minutes are just an awful, awful thing, but so sadly necessary. It’s just a fact of life.

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Using Facebook to Grow Your Chapter (or Non-Profit)

social media icons

In case you missed it, here is a link to my webinar for the Grant Professionals Association on how to employ social media (mostly Facebook) to grow your local organization. This is for intermediate users, referencing the basics of Facebook Page creation but jumping in more deeply into HOW you then use your Page to get your Event info in front of prospective consumers. That information — plus tips on extra programs — make this a power-packed hour full of tools you can really use.

GPA Social Media

My Love Affair with Canva

If you work for a nonprofit that has a big budget for graphic design and glitzy images that you can order on a weekly whim, good for you! Meanwhile, back here on Planet Earth, pulling graphics together to power up your social media messages and related fliers on a timely basis can be an overwhelming challenge for nonprofits.

Exciting images that support your brand have to be created, quickly and on a shoestring budget.  So what if I told you there is this amazing free tool available to you online that can unleash your inner graphic artist?  There is. It’s called Canva and a little dabbling goes along way.

Canva provides pre-sized templates for you to build from (or set your own custom sizes), using images or layouts you can use to create just the thing you need. Load your own photos, drop in your logo, and download your creation in handy shareable formats (JPEG, PNG, or PDFs).

And, best part — it’s FREE and doesn’t require quite the same level of icon knowledge that some programs use.  Not that I am naming any names, but you know who I am talking about.

My one caveat: Canva is addictive. I have been on a rampage of photo collages because they are fun and effective at conveying the warmth and excitement of different events. They make great “Thank You” inserts, letting donors see what their contributions made possible.

Of course, Canva does not replace the need for a proper graphic designer to design the look of some elements of your messaging. It does make it easier to benefit from professionally designed graphics as a template and blend those elements into your everyday messaging, using basic layout rules that hopefully you’ve learned along the way (you don’t want people looking “off” the page, proper use of white space, balance, etc.).

Here below are some examples of Canva created projects used for social media as well as fliers and event collages.

The Power of “Yes And”: Improv for Business

Yes Triumphs Over No

If you’ve ever been to a good improvisation show, you’ve probably wondered how these comedic geniuses manage to come up with delightful, unique responses that captivate.  The reality is their work — and it is work — is based upon not just talent but principles of scene building that also apply to good business dynamics. Taking improv comedy classes can make you see new ways to present information in business.  Plus, it’s just fun and you’ll get to meet and interact with some of the funniest people you’ll ever know.

I once had the pleasure of taking a few improv classes in Hollywood. Years later, those lessons of scene building still resound and apply to any professional endeavor. Here is the Number One lesson learned from improv comedy:

YES AND vs NO BUT

“Yes” is a very powerful word. Combine it with “and” in a brainstorming meeting at work, and you might end up with enchanting results. When students first try doing improv scenes together without rules in place, often one person will have an idea where they want to go with the scene — but another person has another idea. Improv comedy shuts down when one person takes over the scene by saying, “No/But” and taking the character or situation in a direction that conflicts with a previous statement.  Whenever you see a “but” someone is denying someone else’s words or ideas. If others in the same scene “but” back, the work can just come to a grinding, unproductive halt. Just like at the office. Neither situations are fun for anyone.

When you commit to saying “Yes and” instead of “No but” automatically to ideas, it opens up your world to truly inspiring opportunities. Why? Because it forces your team to listen to each other. In order to add new information, participants have to hear what is being said in the first place, and then dig deep to find that new bit of information that will add to what was presented. It works in improv and it works in business, too.

Indeed, “Yes” is a powerful word. People love to hear “Yes” whereas when they hear “No” reflexively it can cause them to stop trying. Add an “and” to your “Yes” with new information and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. Want to see how it works for yourself? Sign up for some basic improv comedy classes near you. There are even more excellent scene building rules that will burnish your professional skills. And, again, you’ll have a really good time while learning how to be a better listener and team player at work.