Connect with your community online and off

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The Web offers all sorts of new ways to reach out and touch your clients. But are all of these new technologies boons or boondoggles for your practice? They can be useful, says Dr. Ernest Ward Jr., owner of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C., if used with care.

“I recommend social networking in a limited professional fashion,” Dr. Ward says. “I set up a Facebook and Twitter account for our hospital and, by proxy, me. I send out pet health and human health stories, and so on.” However, he cautions, you need to limit how personal you get with these mediums. “If you allow too much intrusion into your private or off time, you lose that healthy boundary,” he says.

Of course, the more old-fashioned networking tactics still work. Pam Weakley, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and practice manager at Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic in Battle Creak, Mich., says one of the veterinarians at her practice hosts a local radio show Saturday mornings. It's a great way to demonstrate his love for pets, educate and engage the community, and create goodwill for the practice, she says. And don't forget the value of heading out for one-on-one visits in your community with scouting groups or students during school career days.

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Angela Elia, BS, LVT, CVT, VTS (ECC)
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