New resources help members battle Dark Side of social media

CyberBullying-We-Can-Help-350x350Whether you like it or not, social media and review/rating sites are here to stay, and they’re gaining ground with consumers. Consider a few statistics:

These sites can give your veterinary practice incredible visibility and unparalleled opportunities to connect with your clients and community, but there is a dark side. A Harvard study found that approximately 16% of restaurant reviews (both positive and negative) are fake. Cyberbullying is a growing concern as well, and attacks on veterinarians can cause significant stress for the veterinary team and can impact your business.

We can help you defend your online reputation

If you’re an AVMA member, we can help. In addition to offering online reputation management resources on our website, AVMA has now partnered with Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. to provide a 24/7 hotline to assist our member veterinarians and clinics who face attacks and cyberbullying. Members calling the hotline will receive up to 30 minutes of actionable consultation with an experienced crisis management team at no charge to you. If you need additional help, you can pay for additional consultation at a significantly discounted rate, as an AVMA member.

Your online reputation is part of your overall reputation, and preventive care is just as important for your practice’s online health as it is for your patients’ health. Monitoring and early response can help prevent the crises that arise from overlooked problems that escalate.

To assist you, we’ve also partnered with Bernstein Crisis Management to offer a significant AVMA member discount on the DVM Reputation Guard program. This is a subscription-based service that tracks and notifies participants of reputation threats before they are overwhelming, and then helps you respond. This discount offer is available to AVMA members through the AVMA Member Advantage Program, which also provides discounts on car rentals, clothing, framing and other services.

One thought on “New resources help members battle Dark Side of social media

  1. In 2011 I was cyber bullied by a client who repeatedly was rude to me and my staff during every visit, complained about her invoices every visit, refused to follow treatment and rehab recommendations for her horse, and then finally put me in a dangerous situation with her horse in which I sustained rope burns to my hands. I had a verbal confrontation with her at that time (the only time I was verbally hostile to a client in 26 yrs. of veterinary practice, and 15 years of human medicine prior to my veterinary career). The following day I wrote her an email and apologized to her in the email. She wrote back a very mean spirited email response, and continued to send nasty emails every week or so for the next 2 months. I eventually had enough of her nastiness, and responded to her with a nasty email response to hers. She also owed me money, refused to pay, and I took her to small claims court and won the claim. Immediately after that, she filed a complaint against me with the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Board, for unprofessional conduct. Her horse did well, she never paid me, and I received a “censure” reprimand from the AZ State Veterinary Medical Board which is now causing licensure problems for me in other states. 99.999% of my clients are wonderful, and I have always had the reputation of being very fair, very honest, extremely pleasant to work with, very progressive, and exceptionally good at equine medicine and surgery. I was very upset that the AZ State Veterinary Medical Board would penalize me for having to put up with ongoing abuse from this woman, without eventually being able to verbally reprimand her for her unprovoked bullying. And now, that bully, is limiting my ability to become licensed in other states that I would like to become licensed. I am still very depressed about this situation, and still upset with the lack of support from the AZ State Veterinary Board. At one point in 2014, I was so depressed about it that I almost quite veterinary medicine. I sought counseling, and regained some of my interest, but I take a much more defensive posture with clients now. I’m not sure why the AZ Board felt that they needed to punish me for having a verbal disagreement with a very nasty client, but they did. I think more insight from these types of programs by the AVMA, will help protect the veterinarians from these very nasty clients, and educating veterinary board members may make the boards a little more supportive of the veterinarians they are charged with protecting, as well as punishing. Usually, if a veterinarian is not nice to clients, they get a reputation for being nasty, and they lose clients, and the situation takes care of itself. I have a verbal disagreement with “one” very nasty client, and the AZ State Veterinary Medical Board supports her, not me. This was not a veterinary negligence or malpractice case. Why does the bully get to win? Can the AVMA help me get this off my record with the AZ State Veterinary Medical Board? It will continue to haunt me for the rest of my career.