Recently, I came across a dentist's blog that looked...manufactured. Each post was within a few words of the same length. There was always a professional, stock photo with an "airbrushed" model as the subject. There was often a video. Furthermore, I know this particular chap and he used to write his own blog. Those entries were mostly gone, and this pre-fab, purchased, sham blog had replaced them.
Yep. Not only were the recent posts store-bought, but they marched back through time to an improbably distant past. Shlogging via time machine.
I searched for the exact post titles and lo and behold--other dentists across the land were buying the very same blog and posting it as their own.
This is shameful.
There are many instances where content created by a third party is appropriate. All those instances involve transparency. For example, recently I was in my dermatologist's practice and they have a video quietly running in their reception area. It's highly informative. It's also obvious that my doctors didn't shoot it themselves. They're presenting it to us as created by a third party whose content they can trust. Similarly, many doctors (ourselves included) send emails to their patients as a group. These emails often contain articles that are informative and intended to prevent disease or trauma, and it's clear that they are third-party content.
But when Dr. Dullbur clearly labels his link and states, "Dr. Dullbur's Blog," now we've entered the realm of deceptive marketing practices.
I got so angry! Then my friend Bernd made me feel better with just four words: "Lame marketing easily exposed." Thanks, Bernd, and thank you for consistently building trust and permission for years:
For your reference, and in the spirit of consumer protection, at the end of this post is a list of the recent blog entries from whatever service is writing this stuff.
Actually, the dental marketing company manufacturing these blogs is http://mysocialpractice.com/ and it's spreading like the Borg. On their website they say, "Our writing team stays on the profession’s leading edge without you having to think about it." Ouch. Others I find online say things like this: "Our dental copywriters will compose 20 blogs per month for you."
And here we are in a changed world where all of us have the precious ability to stand up and say in public what we believe, what problems we are interested in solving, and what we want for our patients. We no longer need to ask for permission, we get to just do it. How can anyone throw that precious gift away "without having to think about it?"
There is a dichotomy in business, including in the business of medicine. There are people who are focused on the here and now, on extracting money, on More with a capital M. And then there are those who focus on building something sustainable over time, who are concerned with trust and listening, and who consistently show up and solve interesting problems for their patients.
In my experience, the vast majority of American dentists fall into that second category. It's just vitally important that those who narrow their focus down to the relentless pursuit of More are recognized as such. And transparency counts.
These blog post topics indicate a third-party purchased blog:
Amaze Your Friends With Four Amusing Mouth Facts!
Improve Your Oral Health By Improving Your Posture
4 Ways Laughter And A Confident Smile Are Life Changing
Where Are You When It Comes To Dental Visit Anxiety?
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is A Big Problem That Can Be Prevented
Happy Father’s Day
Could Alligators Hold The Secret To Human Tooth Regeneration?
How Sour Candy Affects Your Teeth
Regular Exercise Can Protect And Strengthen Your Smile
What Might A Toothache Have To Do With A Stuffy Nose?
To Moms Everywhere… Thanks For The SmilesStay Healthy And Save Money With Preventative Dental Care
Brushing At Work Is Good For Your Oral Health And Your Job
Be Sure To Protect Your Smile While Playing Sports
Some History About Smiling In Photographs
Are Your Brushing Techniques Hurting Your Teeth?
Why Your Smile Prefers Water Over Soft Drinks
Dispelling Misperceptions About Root Canal Therapy