My Recommendation on Three Things to Do

David Glickman, our conference keynote speaker, said everyone at WHPRMS should implement three things. I don’t know whether that’s ambitious enough or not. It’s better, as he said, than sticking the conference three-ring binder on the shelf as the proof of attendance.

I suggest these three, not because they are by themselves the most important, but because they are, as the conference theme says — “Sure-Bet Strategies” — gateways to continued learning that will help you hit the jackpot.

Start a blog. Go here for tips on where to find places to start one for free. Link to this blog as part of your Blogroll, leave comments, or use Trackbacks. There’s no better way to learn than by doing, so just go for it. It costs nothing except your time. And by participating in even just a few blogs that talk about issues that interest you, you’ll begin to get the feel for how blogs work, and their power. If you’re not naturally a hands-on learner, using this blog in particular, asking questions and joining the conversation, will be a way you can get tutoring from the community.

Get an RSS feed reader, or aggregator. Newsgator and Pluck are examples. Subscribe to the Lines from Lee RSS feed, so you can follow the conversation. A feed reader can help you keep track of hundreds of web sites without visiting them, multiplying what you know while trimming the time it takes to keep up on the news. Here are a few other sites where you can see examples of RSS feeds: the New York Times, Washington Post, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Mayo Clinic. You see that you can subscribe to a very specific kind of news.

Get iTunes and subscribe to some podcasts. For Immediate Release is a good twice-weekly podcast on communications and technology.


I’m at the Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society annual meeting in Green Lake, Wisc. I’m listening to Gerard Braud deliver a session in the Media Relations track called “Profit form Communications.”

He started out with a list of things communications professionals can and should bring to the table, if they want the proverbial “seat at the table.”

    Media Training – When doctors say everything they know in an interview, you never know what message will come through in the story. That’s why it’s important to do media training so the key messages get through to the audience.

    Crisis Communications Plan – Gerard showed some really bad examples of crisis communications plans with no calling trees and no detail. He also said that when hospitals do disaster drills they should rent a mob of reporters to show up at the ER and also have people posing as family members of accident victims calling to jam the switchboard, because in a real disaster those things would happen. PR professionals should have the crisis plan with an exact “what to do, step by step” in a three-ring binder.

    Presentation Training – You never know who might be in a presentation and blogging about it (including me!) Doctors who go to medical meetings should be aware of this, and communications professionals should take the lead in getting them prepared.

    Ambassador Training – Techniques and tools to change the direction of an awkward conversation.

He showed a great piece he had edited of Mayor Ray Nagin and his “chocolate” remarks on Martin Luther King Day, as an example of his principle: “If you could attach a dollar to every word that comes out of your mouth, would you make money, or would you lose money?” Ray Nagin lost money for New Orleans.

Gerard gave a strong presentation. I’ve been a co-presenter with him at previous conferences, but never had attended one of his sessions because of conflicts. I’m glad I got to hear him. You can contact him at, or through his blog.

More on WHPRMS, our experience getting to Heidel House Resort and our lack of phone access in a later post.

Dr. Ronald Petersen on TODAY


Originally uploaded by LeeAase.

Dr. Ronald Petersen, a Mayo Clinic neurologist, was on NBC’s TODAY show this morning discussing prospects for a cure of Alzheimer’s Disease. This is part of a TODAY series on how far medical science is from cures for various diseases. Research from several other institutions was featured in the set-up piece, and Dr. Petersen, who was President Ronald Reagan’s physician, provided the overall perspective as the in-studio guest with Matt Lauer.

Dr. Petersen leads the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic and has extensive on-camera experience, both live in-studio and satellite interviews with broadcast networks as well as taped interviews for produced segments.