This is going to be a quick one! I have to do website updates and email newsletters for O&P patient care facilities, vendors, manufacturers and state associations and AAOP chapters regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting…LIFE.
My parents both have Parkinson’s. That is tough. It was even tougher when they could not participate in programs, support groups, seminars or other face to face events because they couldn’t drive to them pre-COVID-19.
This morning my mom sent me an email from NeuroChallenge.org. She’s on their email newsletter list. Neuro Challenge is a foundation that puts on all kinds of great programs and events for people with Parkinson’s in the Port Charlotte, Florida area. Her email said, “Programs which were too far away from us to attend are now virtual – A silver lining!!”
Neuro Challenge improvised, adapted and overcame which led to a silver lining for my parents.
What are you going to improvise, adapt and overcome that will bring a silver lining to your patients, customers, stake holders?
Orthotics and Prosthetics, as a field, is MADE for pictures. So get your smartphones or your old-timey digital cameras and, after everyone you intend on photographing, has signed their release forms, start snapping (or clicking) away!
While you are taking new pictures have someone else head to the basement or the attic or your archives and have them dig up all the old pictures they can find. It does not matter how long you have been in business – you have “old” pictures. What to do with all the pictures??
Find your platform
First, figure out which platforms you want to use. Facebook, of course, because you know how to use it and it is so easy to put pictures into albums. Kids, pets and high tech are album categories you should absolutely be using. Everyone loves kids, pets and cool gadgets. If you do not believe me, go take a look at Facebook. What about staff? Patient-of-the-month? Birthday celebrations? Awareness days? Put your thinking cap on!
What about Instagram? It’s huge. If you’ve got pictures it is where you need to be. Thousands and thousands of pictures are being shared every second. Instagram photos can also be shared on Twitter and Facebook. You can kill a lot of marketing birds with the Instagram stone.
Throw it back
Second, get nostalgic. Everyone loved “Throwback Thursday.” They still do even though the actual term “Throwback Thursday” might not be as cool anymore. Here is where those old photos are useful. Who doesn’t like seeing guys in short shorts and knee high socks or girls with the sky high 80’s hair? Throwback is fun. I know O&P patient care facilities and vendors that are second, third or even fourth generation. If you are a first generation facility it doesn’t matter. Start a “this time last year” album. Uh, you were a baby once, right? You’ve got baby pictures. Use them. Remember everything doesn’t have to be work-related. Just throw back to the past. School pictures. Prom pictures. College. O&P school. Start throwing!
At CEC, we love using throwback pictures as part of our clinical course presentations. What a great way to really introduce yourself to your audience – and get them to know, like and trust you – when they see you are brave enough to share your baby pictures with them! (Cute baby, right?)
Before and after
Third, use before and after photos. Orthotics and Prosthetics is all about changing people’s lives and bodies. Before and after pictures are easy pictures to take and the results are obvious to see. Patient in a wheelchair – patient with a running leg – patient running. You can also show a patient with severe plagiocephaly – patient with a plagiocephaly helmet – patient with a gorgeously shaped head. Another option? Patient with Charcot ankle collapse, unbraced, and same patient with orthoses. I do not have to tell you what makes for a great before and after photo. YOU do it every day!
Share and share alike
Fourth, do not be stingy. You do not need to create new content for every single platform that you want to use. Use the pictures for both. More importantly, make sure your followers can share your content and that your customers can share their content with you. If you have got an Instagram-addicted mother who just loves taking pictures of her baby with the Spiderman cranial remolding helmet on, it would be a shame not to let her share her photos. Many hands do make light work so do not feel like you have to do it all by yourself. Friends, family, patients, coworkers can all help lighten that marketing load. The entire concept of social media marketing is that it is SOCIAL and it revolves around SHARING so do not make it harder than it has to be!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: ELIZABETH MANSFIELD, BOARD CHAIR, US ISPO
ADMIN@USISPO.ORG, 833-487-4776 DIRECT
US ISPO to Bring Uplifting Ultratriathlon Documentary “1500 MILES” to MAUI
Join this special one-time screening of a film that celebrates amputee athletic triumph.
LAHAINA, HAWAII, JANUARY 6, 2020 – US ISPO will be hosting the Hawaiian premiere of the award winning documentary “1500 MILES” at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa on January 21, 2020 at 1:30pm in the Maui Ballroom.
“1500 MILES” chronicles the accomplishments of 27-year-old amputee/ultratriathlete Nicole Ver Kuilen, in which she and a support team of three additional women completed a two-month, 1500-mile triathlon (called “Forrest Stump”) from Northern Washington to Southern California. The ultratriathlon event was undertaken to call attention to the discrimination against aspiring amputee athletes who are denied insurance coverage of appropriate prosthetic technology, allegedly to cut costs.
Nicole Ver Kuilen is an amputee athlete who challenges herself to swim, bike, and run from Seattle to San Diego. She has the endurance and passion to make it to the end. The biggest question is: will her prosthesis survive the journey?
Immediately following the premiere, Nicole Ver Kuilen and Natalie Harold of Forrest Stump (http://www.forreststump.org/) will join an international panel of rehabilitation medicine experts to discuss the issue of access to care for the limb loss population.
The film is being screened in association with US ISPO (https://www.usispo.org/), the United States Member Nation Society of ISPO (https://www.ispoint.org/page/About). ISPO is a global multidisciplinary organization, of over 75 member nation societies, that promotes access to appropriate and equitable rehabilitation, mobility devices, and other assistive technology to improve the quality of life for people with reduced mobility.
“I just want to run. I want to be free to move. I want to be an athlete. I want to be like everyone else.” said Nicole Ver Kuilen. “I hope one day our society can become more compassionate and empathetic to understand the struggles people without privilege face, and use that knowledge to guide decision making. You don’t need to walk a mile in my shoes to understand; you need to open your heart to being more compassionate.”
7. Create information that educates. People enjoy doing business with those they know, like and trust. Create a top ten list such as that you can distribute to patients and referral sources alike. Sharing information that educates, and doesn’t just try to sell, establishes trust and credibility.
6. Ask for feedback. Everyone loves to share opinions. What they don’t like is to fill out boring, cookie-cutter forms. Make the form (paper or online) fun and easy. Don’t ask stupid or leading questions. Get creative. Then “talk” about any changes you made based on the feedback. Changed your hours? Let everyone know that it’s a result of the feedback. Open on Saturday mornings now? Let everyone know! Offering a different line of prosthetic socks or types of skin cleaner – let everyone know.
5. Record a podcast. Who doesn’t have a smart phone or access to a computer? Recording a podcast of FAQs (“Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Wearing a Scoliosis Brace”) and submitting it to iTunes puts you in front of the millions and millions of iTunes podcast subscribers.
4. See #7 but change it to YouTube. My mom is having trouble with carpal tunnel syndrome. She just watched a bunch of Bob and Brad videos on YouTube. Bob and Brad are “the most famous PTs on the internet.” Bob and Brad get it. They know people watch YouTube to learn….and who better to teach people about O&P than YOU! (They’ve got over 1.5 million subscribers, just fyi.)
3. Hold a contest. The prospect of winning anything is alluring. Do you need a name for a new product or service? Ask your target markets to come up with a name for the product and then pick the winner. Are you launching a new Web site? Tell your target markets that you will donate a can of food to the local food bank for every unique hit your Web site gets in its first month. Not only will you engage your target market to participate, you’ll be doing something newsworthy.
2. Got jobs? High schools, colleges and vocational tech schools all have career fairs. Put together a visually stimulating display of orthoses and prostheses and participate in a career fair as an unique way to market your company.Some manufacturers or sales reps might be able to provide you with an interactive upper-limb prosthesis display that people can actually use. Having students connect with O&P technology at a local level creates buzz.
1. Create a speakers’ bureau…starring YOU. With all the advancements in technology and the current media fascination with anything related to O&P, knowledgeable speakers are in demand. Offering to speak at non-O&P (think physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehab-adjacent, Rotary, churches, etc., etc.,) meetings, events and conferences can give a big boost to your marketing efforts.
The 17th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) was held in Kobe, Japan, from October 5 to 8, 2019. This successful international event drew more than 4,400 participants from around the world, provided a range of learning opportunities, brought together multidisciplinary experts to report their scientific innovations, and showcased global industry solutions to improve mobility and services for people who use prosthetic, orthotic, and other assistive technologies.
The ISPO World Congress 2019 in numbers
4,400 participants from 97 countries (63% Japanese participants)
154 exhibitors from 38 countries (including 35 organisations in the International Community Lounge)
The ISPO 17th World Congress was very successful. More than 4,400 participants from 97 countries came to Kobe in Japan to learn about the innovative possibilities of rehabilitation and assistive technology. In addition to the high-caliber scientific program, ISPO also brought numerous globally active societies and aid organisations together to discuss global assistive technology needs; including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Red Cross Committee (IRCR) and Handicap International (HI). This makes the ISPO World Congress one of the most important international platforms for mutual exchange and cooperation, which underlines the importance of this event in the industry and for society. The success of the World Congress was also due to the tremendous support by the Japanese government, the Science Council of Japan, the Hyogo prefecture, and the city of Kobe whose representatives welcomed the attendees during the Opening Ceremony.
Inspirational Keynotes The personal life experience of David Constantine presented in the Knud Jansen Lecture masterfully interwoven with the development of the Wheelchair sector and the role ISPO over 30 years was both a riveting and emotional experience for the audience that filled the World Hall. The audience responded with a standing ovation to express their appreciation. Desmond Tong delivered the IC2A Inspirational Lecture and also took the audience on his journey as he adapted to his life as an amputee and can now have great pleasure on focusing on his family, work and leisure pursuits. It was both a very informative and an emotionally charged Opening Ceremony that set the scene for the coming days, inspiring all for the four days of the congress and beyond.
Focus on Innovation The industry’s innovative strength was clearly demonstrated in the two fully booked exhibition halls, where 154 exhibitors from 38 countries presented state-of-the-art prostheses, orthoses and many other assistive technologies for people with physical disabilities. A major highlight was the Robotics Exhibition with high-tech solutions. Particularly outstanding projects in the prosthetics and orthotics field were honored during the congress. The Forchheimer Prize went to Lis Sjoberg, Helen Lindner and Liselotte Hermansson for their paper “Long-term results of early myoelectric prosthesis fittings: A prospective case-control study.”
About the ISPO World Congress The ISPO World Congress takes place every two years in a different country and is held on different continents to reach a variety of markets. Special attention will be given to the respective host country’s national participants and neighboring regions. Recent congresses took place in Vancouver in 2007, Leipzig in 2010, Hyderabad in 2013, Lyon in 2015 and Cape Town in 2017. Participant profiles vary from country to country. About ISPO International: http://www.ispoint.org
The ISPO is a multidisciplinary organization that operates worldwide and aims to improve the quality of life for persons who may benefit from the rehabilitation practice of prosthetic, orthotic, mobility and assistive technology by: Promoting multidisciplinary practice; Facilitating professional education to provide quality care; Promoting research and evidence-based practice; Facilitating innovative and appropriate technology; Fostering international collaboration and consensus; Facilitating knowledge exchange.
Its members include prosthetists, orthotists, orthopaedic technicians, physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, orthopaedic shoemakers, nurses, and engineers. Currently ISPO is represented by more than 3,500 individual members in over 100 countries all over the world. ISPO International is committed to a world in which all people have equal opportunities to fully participate in society.