Carly Simon, Ketchup and an Advocate’s Secret Sauce

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Carly Simon, Ketchup and an Advocate’s Secret Sauce

Many readers of this blog (members of The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates) know we’ve been burning the candle at both ends trying to complete the build of the new APHA membership website.  Short of raising my two daughters, I think it’s the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken – just enormous – hundreds of resources and thousands of pages – and I’m happy that it is now complete! (Or at least as close as it will ever be – these things are never truly complete.) Along the way, I’ve learned a few lessons about how to approach the work that can help you, too. And here is the bottom line to those lessons: (Remember Carly Simon and the ’70s ketchup commercial?… ) Anticipation has paid off in a big way. Understanding what APHA members want and need, combined with the knowledge of what the organization wants and needs, has created a win-win situation for us all. Why anticipation? Because it’s proactive. It showcases the investment we have made in our members. We built the new site predicting how it will be used, by answering questions such as: Will members be most interested in this information, or that information?  Will they look here for it, or there for it?  If I were an advocate, what would I need to get started in my own practice?  How can I combine all this great information with some marketing and SEO, too?  We’ve surveyed. We’ve asked individuals for their opinions. We even did a small usability study to help us build a site that is – well – usable!  Bottom line: We ANTICIPATED what members would want and need, and then used that as the platform to build the new site. So how does this translate to your work with patient-clients and their families? We’ve made the case here many times that one of the most important reasons someone hires an independent advocate is because patients don’t know what they don’t know. They realize sometime during their journey through the system that they aren’t getting the help they need. Coupled with their inability to…

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