by Ronn Levine
Pride 50th anniversary: Five ways you can be a better ally dentist
Q&A: Discussing protests, supporting black community as dentists
Those are two June headlines from a new blog on the American Dental Association site called New Dentist Now. The days of blogs simply conveying an opinion or delivering information have passed. Blogs still do that but they can be so much more. Especially in these difficult times, blogs can give your association a place to air more diverse voices, promote inclusivity, offer resources to your community and open you to new communities.
“Here are five ways you can become a better ally and ensure your office is welcoming for LGBTQ+ community,” writes Dr. Alex Barrera, who practices general dentistry at Avenue 360 Health & Wellness in Houston. “Be visible as an ally… Little things such as decorating your office for pride month (June), making a post on social media, or advertising in an LGBTQ+ magazine will show your support as an LGBTQ+ affirming dental professional.”
In the article about supporting the black community as dentists, Dr. Yvette Weir, a Canadian general dentist based in the U.S., offered some tips to the dental community. “Dentists can be intentional during this time by setting aside an extended huddle or lunch and share for an in-depth discussion. If the office is not diverse, or if the dentist is not comfortable, he/she, could consider bringing in a speaker/facilitator to guide the process.”
I believe the term “blog” remains quite positive and indicates a fresh take on content. You don't click on a blog and expect something from six months or a year ago at the top. Now you’re seeing many more video and audio blogs. Here are a few ideas for more successful ways to use a blog:
Be of the moment. The Million Dollar Round Table won three 2019 Excel Awards for blog posts, and it’s easy to see why. I rushed to read a post titled, “Virtually working smarter, not harder” because I fall in that bucket. Today’s post is “Beyond a bathrobe and slippers: Survival skills for working from home.” “Could you benefit from creating rules, using folders and getting your electronic communication under control once and for all?” Yes.
Promote your offerings (and videos). For a post titled Author Introduction to The Child Medication Fact Book, Carlat Publishing uses a five-minute video with the three authors to promote the book. They are all personable and easy to listen to— Elizabeth Tien, in particular, shines—and it delivers information while not feeling too salesy. "...this book offers guidance, clinical pearls, and bottom-line assessments of more than 70 of the most common medications you use and are asked about in your practice."
Highlight great photos. Education Week has many excellent blogs, among them a photo blog called Full Frame. In this post from 2019, titled, What It Felt Like to Be at the Los Angeles Teacher Strike: A Reporter's Perspective, "Education Week reporter Catherine Gewertz and photographer Morgan Lieberman set out on a rainy day to cover the Los Angeles teacher strikes." The photos are striking. Previous posts include Photos of the Year, A Class of One at a Rural Wyoming School, Tackling Football and the Flute, and In a Grieving Texas Town, a Class Reunion Becomes Something More.
Align with your other COVID-19 resources. We’ve seen the increased engagement that COVID-19 microsites have brought associations and publishers. Adding blog posts to those can only add more eyeballs. Another 2019 Excel Award winner, Sigma Xi, has a blog called Keyed In. A recent post was headlined, How Scientists and Engineers Who Aren't on the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Outbreak Can Help. “Below are opportunities that people from all backgrounds in the STEM community can use to help fight COVID-19 and support students who have been displaced from campuses.”
Reach out to a younger audience. North Coast Media posted a fun blog post about a city donut tour titled, Donut Tasting and Panel? Donut Mind If I Do! "Engage! Cleveland serves as a hub for young professionals in Cleveland to connect and share their stories through organized events such as the donut tasting and panel. The purpose of Young Professionals Week is to allow the city's young and working adults to explore what Cleveland has to offer and network with community leaders." Another post was written by an intern and titled, "How to Intern Like a Boss."
Attract sponsorships. TransUnion sponsors blogposts for insideARM; one was titled How to Encourage Consumers to Handle Their Debts During Tax Season. The content is informative and presented in an easy-to-digest manner. At the end of the post, you get a tasteful sales pitch: "While you can't abandon trying to collect from those people, you can focus more of your efforts on the people more likely to pay. That's where TransUnion's Account Prioritization comes in."
Ronn Levine is editorial director of SIIA.