The Magic of Connectivity

Connectivity is what it’s all about. We are talking about “social” media.  Being social means making contact and networking and networking is what allows you to build relationships, learn things and make important contacts.  In my line of work networking is essential.  Whether it be online through seminars and meetings or in person at workshops, conventions and presentations; networking keeps you current and vital in your business community.

I recently took part in a seminar evening at our Ottawa branch location. The event topic was “Learn How to Integrate Digital Scanning into your practice”.  This topic, for those of you who may not be part of the Dental Industry, is one the most sought after areas of information for your dentists these days.  I chose to attend this seminar because of its importance for information and because it was a great opportunity to meet some of the practitioners interested in scanning as well as some of the experts in the field.

While there, participants had the opportunity for a meet and greet with the presenters and other attendees. I had the opportunity to speak with a number of doctors including Dr. Brunet and Dr. Lorraine Thacker as well as some of the presenters from 3M and PlanScan. Its always great meeting with the Doctors outside their offices as they are more relaxed and free from the stress of the workday.

Often times they will tell you what issues they deal with on an ongoing basis and what they are thinking of doing in their practices.  Of course, it’s great to just speak with them as people and not customers.  Social is what really can make the difference.  As Field representatives, it’s our role to help the Doctors improve their practice, what better way to do that than to know what it is they need help with and not what we assume they need help with.

Over the course of the evening and after a social libation or two. Conversations become full on discussions with the experts and the Doctors, often times you find yourself as the advocate for the Doctor, quizzing the presenter on what they want to know.  It really does turn out to be an educational evening.  For this particular evening I came away with a number of great ideas and plans.  From my discussions and from the lecture I learned that there are far more Doctors considering making the move to scanning so I need to be more present with my own specific clients and provide them with the answers to the questions they have so that they can feel more comfortable with the change in technology.  I need to ask more questions, network even more and show my clients that this is definitely a technology that can enhance their practice and allow them to focus on patient comfort!  We all need to be more comfortable when we visit the dentist.  Oddly enough though one my main takeaways and something that the presenters wanted the doctors to take away was the idea that “the magic takes place outside your comfort zone”.  In other words, we need to get outside our own personal boxes, habits and routines.  See what’s out there and what is happening that could change our world and make things better.  The magic is what all want to have.

There is no doubt that I will attend many more of this style of seminar, in person and, as part of my getting outside my comfort zone, I plan to become more active in online seminars and meetings as well as looking more for other topics and themes; not just those related specifically to the world I work in. Expanding my knowledge and friendship base can only enhance what I do and where I am going both personally and in my career.  It’s a different way of thinking for someone of my generation.  Using technology to make friends and meet with people is something we’ve had to get used to.  Heck, I’ve got a conference call this afternoon.  My boss hasn’t quite gotten to the idea of “go to meeting” or some of the many other apps out there!

Remember, the magic takes place outside your comfort zone!




COM 0015 Blog Post #4 Out of the Box

So many voices and so many messages. What do I need to do to make myself be seen?  The answer is more complex than what you might think. No doubt, you have to understand your brand and your message.  You need to understand your competition and your audience.  Do all the prep work and you are still faced with the real challenge; how to differentiate yourself to make your social media marketing efforts a success?  Think outside the box.

There are so many applications and tools out there for you to use.  You will utilize Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Youtube and Instagram.  Broadcast your message  across most if not all of these  channels and your message is out there. Making your message stand out is what counts.  Examples that come to mind include the campaign by Sharpie in which they utilized their customers creativity to create an online community and develop content that was driven by the audience they were trying to capture.  Encouraging customer collaboration creates  sense of engagement and locks your audience in while at the same time increasing your exposure as your community grows through shares.   This was a brilliant use of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter applications.

There are many other examples of outside the box thinking with the mainstay applications, some include utilizing Facebook commentary to create conversation and discussion forums for your campaign. Creative use of Blog postings to educate and develop followers is another successful strategy.

There are also so many applications that you come across when developing strategies.  Applications such as Babbly which can help you amplify your message and exposure as described in the article Top 20 Social-Media Tools to Add to Your Arsenal in 2016.  Simply perform a Google search and you will find hundreds of tools just waiting to be used as part of your strategy.  Many lend themselves to creative use and can enhance your web presence as well as increase the likelihood of a successful campaign.  Just be certain that you’ve done the prep work to achieve the results you want.  Here’s an example of a quick search for Social Media applications: 7 Must-Have Networking Apps to Boost Your Social Media Marketing  .

The bottom line is to do your homework.  Know who you are, who you want to reach and how you want to do that. Once you’ve done that, you need to add some outside the box thinking and keep abreast of what’s new and trending and you’ll have a recipe for success.  Don’t panic, in today’s world of social media information and connectivity there’s bound to be an app for that!



Algonquin College COM0015 Applied Social Media in Business.  Notes and lessons.

Top 20 Social-Media Tools to Add to Your Arsenal in 2016.

7 Must-Have Networking Apps to Boost Your Social Media Marketing  .


COMM0015 Blog Comment #2, Convince and Convert Blog: Social Media Strategy and Social Media Consulting. B2B Marketers Are Working Harder Than Necessary.

This is an example of a blog comment for the Blog Post by Jay Baer, May 17, 2017.



Hi Jay,

I couldn’t agree more with your post.  A great critique of something that affects every business with an element of sales as a major component of its existence.  I work in sales for a major dental supply distributor and see this everyday at our company and with my clients.  All to often, the drive to increase sales and capture new customers is the “only” reason for a marketing campaign.  Whether it be internally or externally, the focus is almost always on new, forgetting that your base of existing customers is what keeps you going and enables you to look for the new ones.  Your use of statistics and the 80/20 rule is incredibly accurate.  When I’m at sales meetings I hear all too often that ” we need growth, what are we doing to find new accounts?  By the way, be sure to circle back with your current accounts.  Get them online ordering.”  My clients, dentists, will often lament that they see 20-30 new patients a month but when I ask them what their retention levels are like, they frown and mumble.

Your comment about “Treadmill Marketing” perfectly describes what should be as plain as day to anyone running a business whether it be B2B or B2C.  Failure to maintain your existing customers is truly akin to running in place.  I’m definitely going to share this one with both my colleagues and my customers.

Keep posting nuggets like this one.  Perhaps with on point presentations like this blog more marketing and sales people can get the message.  “Sometimes ya gotta dance with one that brung ya!”


COM0015 Blog Comment #1 Tuesdays With Transitions, Is the Millennial Generation Lacking Service Aptitude?

Note: Tuesday’s with Transitions is a weekly blog published by TGNA group, a practice management marketing group in the Dental Industry.  They have an official blog on their site, however I prefer the Tuesdays posts as they are usually posts from guest writers.  My comment is for a recent post from Katie Mares, Leadership and Customer Experience Consultant.


Hi Katie!

What a timely post!  Your topic is something that is being experienced everyday in offices and businesses throughout the world.  It makes sense that dentists as team leaders and business owners be more aware of how to work with the next generation in positive and productive manner.  I follow the TGNA blog and the Tuesdays with Transitions posts regularly, your post really caught my attention, it was completely on point!  Leadership and team management is critical to the success of any dental practice. When the doctor, the team leader has a deep understanding of what their staff is expecting from them, the result is better working relationship and greater productivity.  Its not just the what of your business its very much the how, especially in what is likely a 6-7 person team environment.  I couldn’t agree more with your comment about filling your practice with forward thinking, motivated millennials.  In fact this can be applied to new hires of all generations.  A positive attitude will yield positive outcomes for everyone, including your patients wouldn’t you agree?

I truly enjoyed this post and will definitely share it with my clients.  It’s posts like this that keep me grabbing my coffee and sitting down to Tuesdays with Transitions every week.  Thanks for posting.  Hope to read more from you in the future.

Happy To See You Again My Friend

It’s been another long day of work.  I think I’ll curl up with my I-pad and see what’s going on in my network of friends.  Not so very long ago that wouldn’t have even entered my mind.  The social web has definitely changed how many of us interact with each other.  These days, we’re far less likely to call someone we know or even drop in on a neighbor  because we now have the ability to reach out to anyone, anywhere, so long as they’re connected and are willing to connect with us.  The same ease of connectivity can also be found in our professional lives today.  We can have meetings with people across the globe without even leaving our homes.  We can work from our vehicles or right in the office of a client, all because of the social web; the key to being successful in this world of digital contact is to establish, maintain and grow your network of friends and co-workers.

With connectivity at our fingertips it can be very easy to just “cocoon” and work on the issues at hand.  Ignoring anything or anyone outside of what is immediately in front of us.  I know this statement to be true because despite the fact that I’ve been in sales for the past 15 years I am a shy person.  Everyday I have to get outside my comfort zone and nourish the relationships that I have.  I have to maintain and grow my various networks in order to achieve success at what I do.  There are a number of ways that I have been achieving that growth in my professional life.  One of the first things I do is to make certain that I attend as many functions or courses that are made available to our employees and clients; relevant to my line of work of course.  By attending these events, I’m able to put faces to the names and voices of the people with whom I converse daily on the phone or by email.  Attending a functions means that I learn something about my business and I learn something about the people in my business.  Being present, as I like to think of it, means that the opportunity to share outside the day to day is multiplied by as many members of my business or social community as are present.  Annual Conventions and seminars are a huge boost to developing my network, so much more can be exchanged over a glass of wine or a beer than what often passes for conversation during the work day.  This type of networking is absolutely a must in my line of work.  You never know when a friendship will be struck that may someday prove to be a lifesaver in a tricky client situation!  The people whom I have to come to know and work with on a professional level are all very accessible through electronic networking but that only lends itself to more pragmatic work situations.  Face to face, they become real, more 3 dimensional and its amazing what you can learn.

Every day is filled with texts, emails, websites, Citrix meetings, teleconferences.  All of them are important and then you move on to the next.  I’ve learned through my studies that each is important and that each are a relevant part of my own social network.  I’ve also learned that its important to have a plan and strategy for how I will utilize each aspect of my electronic networking.  As a result of my recent studies I’m now building a Facebook page, distinct from my personal page, that will allow me to have a professional presence and a base for my professional communication, perhaps even a blog.  With this page as my base I plan to become more involved in Twitter and Instagram, I might even experiment with a Vlog or two at some point.  I know for a fact that I will be involved in more online events as they are something I’ve never really participated in outside of work.  I can see a great many possibilities for learning and personal growth through participation.  Recently, I opened up a conversation with our Director of marketing related to our company’s social media efforts, something which I never would have done before my recent studies and something I hope will lead to bigger things for me professionally.  As I have been writing this blog entry I received an email from our Canadian President outlining the results of a Corporate Strategy session that took place the other day, number one on the list of takeaways….improve our online presence!

The social web is a wonderful tool to open up doors and make introductions.  Through our contacts online we can go offline and have the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and learn so many new things.  What we have to keep in mind is that we maintain a balance of work and personal involvement.  Find pleasure in everything you do and the work will be just as much fun and the personal.  It would be great if everyone we worked with was a friend, wouldn’t it?  I have to go now, just got a text to go golfing with a work buddy, lol.

COM0015 Blog#2 Strong and Weak Organizations

Social media strategies and campaigns are as diverse as the number of companies and individuals who are participating on the web.  Its inevitable that some will be great and others are doomed to failure or just swallowed up by the noise of all the other campaigns and strategies out there.  Everyday, companies strive to find ways to be seen and heard on the web.   Some companies get it right and when they do they create success for their company, brand, product or service.  These successful companies move ahead because above all else they have a strategy and they execute it!  One such company/strategy that I particularly like is KLM airlines with their “listening campaign”.  I came across this campaign in an article by Albane, dated December 22, 2015.  The article’s title is 5 Great Social Media Campaigns to Inspire Your 2016 Marketing Strategy, its on the site.  .  The article discusses 5 campaigns but I was particularly interested in KLM #Happytohelp in that they utilized one of the most important tools for success in Social media; they listened.  They listened to their customers complaints and comments as well as those of their competition.  They listened for a half a year and then they answered over a 5 day period in unique outside the box responses.  It was a huge success as you’ll see by the twitter metrics!

A second company that has it moving in the right direction is Sharpie.  From the article 7 Creative Social Media Marketing Mini Case Studies on  We all know and have used Sharpie, if not for autographs then to identify our socks or our childrens socks for camp…  Sharpie, the company used creativity and inclusion to create its successful campaign.  They utilized creative imagery combined with imagination in their blog and other channels.  They made the blog about sharpie but also included stories about their users to increase loyalty .  This also served to increase shares and hits.  Featuring your customer as an integral part of your campaign makes a powerful impact on the overall strategy to keep the brand in the forefront and users buying the product. Check out the article and others at   .

What drew be to both was the targeted and effective use of essential elements for successful social media strategies and how they utilized those elements in creative, outside the box campaigns and approaches.  Both companies weren’t passive and they created momentum!

In as much as there are companies with strong strategies and campaigns its inevitable that there will be those who aren’t so successful or perhaps are still working on it!  In this case I’m referencing my own company Henry Schein. There is no doubt that there is a strategy in place for Social Media as part of the overall marketing plan but at present it is still working its way from the top down.  The more global perspective described by Caroline Kretsch in her interview for Falcon.IO; Engaging B2B Communities on Social Media With Henry Schein;  has not yet made it to the National and local levels which can be witnessed when you look at the branch level Facebook or Twitter posts.  In this case it’s perhaps not so much the lack of a strategy as it might be the lack of a structure or team to put in place and implement the strategy by applying content and creating creative and effective campaigns.  We could benefit greatly by putting in place a team or group that would bring life to what is likely a great start to working with Social media marketing in a larger corporation.  I look forward to seeing where it would go.

Wondering what your thoughts are on the successful strategies vs. what is or isn’t happening within the example of a less successful strategy?


  1.  5 Great Social Media Campaigns to Inspire Your 2016 Marketing Strategy, site.  byAlbane, dated December 22, 2015
  2. 7 Creative Social Media Marketing Mini Case Studies on
  3.  Falcon.IO; Engaging B2B Communities on Social Media With Henry Schein;
  4. Henry Schein Ottawa Facebook Page.
  5. Notes and lessons from COM 0015 Applied Social Media in Business, Algonquin College.




COMM0015-Blog#1 Tools&Sources

Time to type.  It’s been a while since I last posted.  Of course at this point in my Social Media journey, my posts have all been the creative result of my various course requirements and I’ve not yet adopted my own “real” blog space or raison d’etre. I’m certain that what I’ve learned and am learning will be the inspiration for many future contributions in the area of Social Media.  Already, I have incorporated what I’ve learned into many aspects of my day to day career and home life, which brings me back to time.  Time to type.  One of the key things I’ve learned to this point is that in order for any Social Media campaign at any level to have success there has to be a commitment of time and consistency through planning.

We’ve learned throughout the program that you must have a plan and you must know and understand your market, your goals, objectives and yourself.  This type of information does not just appear like magic.  You have to put in the work.  Fortunately there are tools that can help at any level.  Whether you want to invest financially or keep it simple and no cost, there is a tool or two out there that you can use in order to make your efforts more effective.  At home and in my current career position, I’m only beginning to delve into what’s out there.  I work in sales for a HealthCare supply organization.  I’m in the Dental Division so as far as working tools and sources go, what I look for is related to industry news and trends that are affecting practitioners and manufacturers in the business. I’m also more of a content and anecdote guy so I tend to shy away from statistics and data as much as I’m able to do so.  Although I know that will change going forward.

Being a “words” guy means that when it comes to trends and monitoring I tend to keep it simple.  I don’t have a formal dashboard at this time but I’m sure that I will be making more use of that in the future.  I’ve used Google Adwords and seen Hootsuite.  I’ve reviewed many blogs that review some of the best monitoring tools and I promise to learn more about them in future  but for now I tend to use good old URL searches and Google Search for topic related blogs and articles.  I use Facebook searches and I do have an RSS app on my I-pad which is currently monitoring for posts by a blogger named The Dental  Warrior, as well as two or three Social Media sites like Social Media Today and others. The Dental Warrior is a site I found recently and I’m somewhat fascinated by the author’s take on many of issues in the industry as he really has a different way of looking at things. I don’t necessarily agree but  that’s okay too.  I usually spend about half an hour a day hitting Facebook and Twitter to see what is being posted by some of the manufacturers that I follow as well as seeing what my own company is posting.  So if I were  say what my two favorite social media trend/listening monitoring tools were I would have to say Google and Facebook’s search feature combined with my own sleuthing skills.  Pretty basic, but it works for my needs right now.  For personal interest like sports or music I usually follow the feeds from the various news outlets utilizing notifications and alerts.


As previously mentioned, Facebook, Twitter and Google combined with RSS feeds are my favorite tools for monitoring and listening at this point.  For news and updates, the big three are still my go to tools.  They allow me to simply search out the topics I’m following and scan through either the blogs or the articles that I am following or have searched for.  Within my industry there are any number of sources for news.  One of the most popular is Dental Economics which is the digital version of a print publication that covers most of the trending issues and topics in the world of Dental.  The various manufacturers pages and posts provide a wealth of knowledge for product information and trends.  Media pages and tweets keep me up to date with the state of the world, such as it is.  I won’t begin to discuss that topic here as that is an entirely different area of study, although not without relevance to our subject.

In short, I have a very simplified tool box for my needs.  My feeds, my searches provide me with what I want to learn about and monitor.  RSS does a lot of the work for me. It means that I do a little more work on my part but the  way I have things set up, its pretty automatic and that’s what I like and need at this point in time. You might be interested in some of what is out there for monitoring tools.  Here is a little blog I have book marked that briefly discusses what they consider the top 25.  .  Check it out and let me know if one of your favorites  is there.  Perhaps I can modify my tool box based on your feedback!





COM-0014 W-17 Blog post #7 Personal Reflection, “The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things”

And so, at last, we arrive at the end…or is it really just the beginning.  Looking back on this course, in fact this entire program, I’m struck by how much I’ve learned about social media and the world of marketing.  Perhaps the most powerful lesson I’ve learned is the power of story telling and its place within Social Media.  All of my career in sales I’ve been told “have a story to tell and people will listen”.  Sadly all too often in my business the story does get overlooked for the actual price.  But every now and then, you see an example of the power of the story.

Whether it be the success story behind a company or product or perhaps the incredible effort of an individual to succeed, you get to see it in action.  When it happens its magic.  But when you stop to consider the situation, its really not magic.  Its the power of truth and reputation. Once an individual’s reputation was his or her most precious possession and could effect their success in business and in life, they relied on what others believed about them to succeed in their peer group, in their profession and in their business.  This is still the same but now, because of digital platforms, that reputation is presented on a far larger scale.  Great care must be taken to ensure that your story, your true story is the one that your audience hears because that’s the one that will set you apart.  Consider the stories you want to tell.  I for one, am a believer in things that are of value to your audience.  The value doesn’t necessarily have to be tangible, sometimes advice or knowledge that you didn’t already have is worth more than anything you can hold or touch.  Perhaps that’s one type of story I might tell in future.

The careful crafting of your story and its presentation along with the proper understanding of your audience will allow your voice to be heard among so many others.  What happens is that one or two others will see it, hear it, read it and SHARE it.  That’s the secret…they will share it.  Social Media marketing is word of mouth marketing on a grand scale.  You can stand and scream “HELLOOOOOO” into the empty cavern or you can whisper to the group behind you to stand to the left for the best view of the scenery . Which one do you think actually has more impact?  I think I know and in just knowing I think I see a number of directions I’d like to explore.  One more to go!


Title Quotation: The Walrus and The Carpenter, Lewis Carroll, from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872


COMM-0014 Blog Post#6 So now you know the rest of our story.

Day in and day out, orders come in, they’re processed packed and shipped to customers who expect their delivery the next day on time and complete.  In the central warehouse alone, 50 to 60 people are responsible for keeping customers happy and supplied with what they need to carry out there own day to day duties.  Sounds like a simple concept; orders in, product out, nothing to it, such is the role of a supply company. But this company wants to be something different.  Oh, sure they can deliver the goods, but so can their competitors and sometimes they can do it for less.  So this company wants their customers to know that they offer more.  There is more that customers should be looking for and more they should expect from their suppliers.  The industry is changing and who better to help you adapt to the changes than the people with whom you have a daily relationship.  The Field Sales consultant who brings your information and helps you with your inquiries,  the customer service rep who assists you in getting the right supplies, they all want you to know that there is more and they can deliver it as well.

The world of digital is quickly advancing in the industry.  Diagnostics, communications and even your daily ordering are all being effected.  Who would you turn to for help with these fast paced changes?  The people you work with everyday want you to know that they can do more.  They want you to think of more than cotton rolls and resin re-enforced glass ionomers when you think of them.  Think of a network of over 240 digital specialists with training in laboratory products, software, hardware and training skills.  Think of a group of people who work with your colleagues every day and can do the same for you.  Experienced and exceptional, just like the people in your supply chain. Part of your supply chain.  We are more than supplies. We are Connect Dental and we can help you succeed.  We want to be more so you can do more.  We’ll focus on on your practice so you can focus on your patients.  This is the new indentity of Henry Schein. So now you know the rest of our story!

COMM0014-Blog#5 Personal Brand

So much importance is wrapped up in making that first impression.  How others perceive us will have a huge impact on how they relate to us as well as who they believe we are.  Corporations recognized the truth of these statements decades ago and began creating an image for themselves that we know as branding.  When referring to branding I don’t just mean what Nabisco calls its various cereals.  Branding today includes the notion of the various lines within a company’s offerings as part of the overall Brand of the company.  The” who we are and the what we do” is the branding that I’m referring to in this piece.

With the advent of the internet and social media, branding has now become an essential element in the lives of individuals.  What we once knew as our reputation is now measured and witnessed by others in a diverse number of platforms known as social media.  Its no longer just what you do in the meeting room or at a client’s office.  Today, your reputation, your brand is the culmination of your Facebook posts, your twitter posts, Instagram. blogs, vlogs and emails.  All of this social information, this permanent digital footprint is now a part of your perceived character whether at work or at play.

Coming from my demographic background and being a somewhat reluctant student of the digital world, I’ve struggled to deal with this concept that so much information now makes up what image the world has of me.  I’m never really sure, or for that matter comfortable with where my personal brand ends and where my professional brand begins.  If you were to search around you would find a couple of half started attempts at professional pages and abandoned blogs.  These fossils are the remnants of past efforts to forge a new brand or perhaps better define what actually I am doing right now.

As a Field Sales consultant to Healthcare Practitioners I prefer to be known for my relationship and consultative approach.  I deal with clients as a resource provider and a coach who is there to support and help them build their practice and business.  In both my personal life and my business life I’m known for reliability, knowledge and common sense.  At work I utilize the knowledge gained from 20 years of industry experience, training and education to support my colleagues and clients.  I know I’m not a strong speaker or lecturer so I don’t strive for that role but I am a person that people come to when they need advice. My time in the field and knowledge of the business allow me to play the role of trusted adviser and mentor, guiding others to success while allowing me to advance as well.  Colleagues would tell you that I’m a wealth of information with a great sense of humor. After all, we can’t be serious all of the time!

My down to earth approach to life and my desire to learn more and share what I know are what make me a go to guy.  That’s why I’m taking this certificate program.  I want expand my knowledge and my skills so that I can help others achieve as well. Although I don’t share many views or political thoughts with the well known activist Malcom X, I do believe in one phrase he is known for …”Each one teach one.”