Our Clients Need This ONE Skill the Most

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Our Clients Need This ONE Skill the Most

Twenty years ago, prior to self-employment and work in patient empowerment and advocacy, I was the marketing director for my local community college. In so many ways I loved that job. It was different every day and allowed me to meet and get to know people I never would have known in any other way. It required me to get out into the college community to meet faculty, other administrative departments, and students. It required me to have good relations with the press, and because it was during a recession, it required me to be creative and clever to bring in new students. Community colleges attracted so many non-traditional students — those who were older, or had been laid-off, or wanted to change careers; they had such interesting backgrounds and dreams. And the biggest challenge – the advent of using the internet for marketing. Can you imagine? Attracting students by using the cool new surfing tool – the World Wide Web! As I said… I just loved that job. But, unfortunately, yes, there was a downside, too. The politics! Like all bureaucracies, the power was in the hands of a few, and they wielded it in so very many uncomfortable ways. Long before I took the job, the discord had given rise to powerful unions, ingrained cynicism, an undercurrent (and sometimes not-so-under) of distrust and disdain, pervasive in every meeting, every conversation between administration and faculty, college and county government, or even (too often) faculty and students. All that negativity ranged from the sublime: Faculty, frustrated with stalled negotiations of their contracts stuck bright orange signs to the exterior windows of all the campus buildings in protest. To the ridiculous:  Enraged, the County Executive grabbed the college president by the necktie, right under his chin, and threw him up against a full-length window. Shortly afterward it was the college president who… um…. “resigned.” Turbulent times, for sure.  And then…. A few years of transition, after which a new president was hired — by those same power brokers who somehow must have decided that they needed to soften their image. The…

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