The highlight of our summer for Nationwide’s Veterinary Relations team is hosting our veterinary student externs. This year, we added BluePrints Veterinary Marketing Group of nearby Costa Mesa to our externs’ itinerary, because these days a solid foundation of marketing and up-to-date knowledge of social media is essential to the success of veterinary professionals.
We work hard to provide an amazing week of experiences for these students. We introduce them the range of Nationwide’s pet health financial products, and we take them to visit other veterinary experts here in the greater Los Angeles area. BluePrints Veterinary Marketing turned out to be a perfect addition to our week.
This was my first visit to the BluePrints offices. Words cannot fully express how impressed I was with Robin Brogdon and her team!
The enthusiasm and passion for pets is palpable the minute you walk through BluePrints Veterinary Marketing Group’s door. We were first greeted by Denise Acosta with a big smile at the front desk; in the background was a sign “Welcome Nationwide”. Both made us feel at home instantly.
Robin kicked off the afternoon with an office tour and introduction of her team members. She followed with a presentation on her background, how she founded BluePrints Veterinary Marketing Group, and on the fundamental principles of veterinary marketing. Her key point was the importance of thinking through the strategic intent of a veterinary practice’s marketing and communication goals before tactical decisions are made, communication pieces are created, etc.
Sue Kim followed with a presentation on social media. She made it clear to our externs that this is a rapidly growing and changing area of marketing that is critical for veterinary practice owners and managers to understand. Word of mouth recommendations have always been the backbone of veterinary practice success. Today, with online review sites providing a voice for veterinary clients, word of mouth (and having the skills to manage poor reviews) has never been more important.
Next we heard from Emma MacMillan, who shared with us the essential components of art and design. We learned the acronym “CRAP,” which stands for: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. Emma stressed that each is an important component to the design and visual appeal of any message.
To finish up the afternoon, Linda Kaplan took us through the principles of media relations. We watched a couple quick videos of “what to do” and “what not to do” when engaging with members of the media. We also learned the importance of communicating with members of the media in a veterinary practice’s community on a semi-regular basis in order to create a symbiotic professional relationship.
All in all, our two veterinary student externs, Chase Schoelfkopf from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Erin Tolson from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, could not have asked for a better afternoon. What a terrific business experience for us all!! Even I learned a few things, as did Nicole Numbers, the Veterinary Relations associate who manages the extern program.
I want to extend a huge thank you to Robin Brogdon and her immensely talented team at BluePrints Marketing Veterinary Group for their time in preparing and presenting priceless marketing information that will make a huge difference for our externs. This is exactly the information they need as they move into their veterinary careers and become leaders of our profession.