This post was published at, and has been shared by the APHA Blog.
It is provided so you can find it in a search here at myAPHA.org, but you'll need to link to the original post to read it in its entirety.
Find the link to the entire post at the end of this excerpt.
Putting WOM to Work for You
One of our AdvoConnection members got in touch after a talk he gave to his local Rotary Club. He was disappointed in the turn-out and wondered whether all his effort was worth it. After our brief email conversation, it seemed that sharing some of the important points might be a good idea since you might run into some of his same issues. Those issues are based on presentation and expectations. So let’s take a look. Public Speaking, whether there are 5, 50, 500 or 5000 people in attendance is a great form of WOM – that is, word of mouth marketing. In fact, there is no more powerful form of marketing than word-of-mouth. And perhaps the best part – not only is it free (the cost comes in time and effort, but not money) – but sometimes, when you get good enough at it, you might be paid to do public speaking, too. Public speaking may not be word-of-mouth in the traditional sense (someone else’s word from someone else’s mouth) but it’s WOM nonetheless. Here’s why WOM is so powerful for patient and health advocates: it creates a sense of trust. People hear you speak, they see who you are as a person, they observe how well you think on your feet, and they decide for themselves what your capabilities might be. That sense of trust is huge for our patient-clients who are putting their lives, and their money, in our hands. Our member’s concern was that he had been promised many more attendees would be there. He had worked with the Rotary Club president on the topic, “ObamaCare” and was told there would be 15 – 18 people in attendance. Only 10 people showed up. When he told me the title of his talk, I cringed, and immediately wondered if the title of his talk had kept people away. Why? Because that title is so fraught with political meaning, that there could well have been some people who stayed away because they just didn’t want to listen to someone whose opinions they might not share. According to the member,…