Stairway to Better Health

Stairway to Better HealthWhen you see a really good idea, you absolutely have to share it with everyone you know.  It used to be that we’d simply email a cool link to our friends and colleagues, but this one is worth talking about.

My hat is off to Volkswagen and thefuntheory.com.  From pianos to pinball, they have collected some great ideas to inspire healthy behaviors.

For all of my clients with offices on the second floor or higher, let this be an inspiration to you to use the stairs.  At a minimum, consider equipping your stairways to health to help fight obesity by giving it a fresh coat of paint.  Hang some artwork, include an inspirational message or two.  Maybe install Wii Fit stations on a landing, or wire up a video board so employees can compete with one another on the number of trips up the steps.   Please add to the list of possibilities by posting a comment.

Healthcare Leaders: Think About Your Personal Brand

whitewater 4+Twelve business owners from Vistage Group 3416 (a Kansas City executive leadership group) recently joined for four days in Beaver Creek, CO, for ziplining, rafting, fly fishing and some more serious leadership adventures. It was as much a time to escape from the day-to-day struggles of business ownership as it was a time for a deeper dive into it. Our goal is to become better leaders, make better decisions and achieve better results…and achieve better balance in our lives. The retreat gave us insights not only into ourselves, but into our colleagues and how they work, live and play.

So while there’s no “so what” marketing message for today, I did want to encourage you to think about how you can “strategically withdraw” or retreat to take time for yourself. And make it a point to “be present” in the midst of a busy day no matter who you’re with. Make it a priority and part of your personal brand to engage at a deeper level with yourself, your family, friends, staff and business partners. It’s amazing what you learn and what you get back in return.

Workplace Wellness Plans Do Work!

istock_000008819019small Imagine if you will… happier and healthier employees, fewer sick days, improved productivity, better bottom-line. Sound like a fairy tale? It could actually be your in company’s future. Many companies that have adopted employee health and wellness programs are reaping these rewards as we speak. I came across an article recently that described how companies are handling rising health care costs and what they are doing to encourage employees to make healthier decisions.

The idea of employee health and wellness programs is not new but now it’s becoming more widespread.  And as part of President Obama’s health reform plan, I think we will be hearing more and more about it. So go ahead and participate in your company’s program. And if your company doesn’t have one, suggest one.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

istock_000003679023xsmall_cropMay is finally here!  No more cold and snowy weather. It’s time for fun in the sun with outdoor barbeques, weekends at the lake, gardening and a host of other outdoor activities.

But before you step outside, is your skin protected?

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is by far the most commonly diagnosed cancer here in the U.S. But there are some guidelines you can follow to help reduce your risk.

So remember to take a few minutes each day to protect your skin and if you’ve never had a screening, get one on the calendar. I’ve got mine scheduled…do you?

Real Moms Text! (Or, if you can’t reach ‘em, text ‘em)

We’re into social media here at Dobies. But unlike the cobbler’s kids who have no shoes, our kids are social media gurus. That’s why, when we recently dove into the world of moms and will-be-moms to research and write a marketing plan for a hospital client’s obstetrics department, I was able to passionately endorse the strategy that we reach new Gen-Y moms via text messaging. Because younger moms text. Heck, now even old moms text. Of course, I’m an old mom – my kids are teenagers and ‘young adults’ (it’s hard not to smirk at that description, but that’s another blog).

I’ve come a long way from the short, one-syllable words that beginners use like yes, no, huh? I’m even able to have complete arguments by text, a necessary line of communication with teenagers. I even have actual conversations with other grown adults about important stuff. For example, last week, Kelley (who works here at Dobies) and I discussed via text what newspaper ad to run for a client. I happened to be having lunch with this client at the time, so Kelley sent a text asking me to discuss this particular topic while we ate our chips and salsa. So, I did. Thirty seconds later, we were all content because we had checked something quickly and efficiently off our lists.

But compared to Generation Y women (those aged 9-31), my accomplishment is mundane. Our next generation of moms has been raised in a world of instant information and connection. To effectively reach these young women, we need to join their world, because they’ve left ours way behind. In this case, ‘joining’ means offering pregnancy and parenting information via opt-in text messaging. I haven’t felt this good about a communication strategy since I texted my daughter to ask her to text a friend to text her mother to ask if she was interested in car pooling. It worked.