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a blog by Chris Barrow

How to get noticed.

Did you see the BBC News story CLICK HERE about the mystery war veteran whose photograph has gone globally viral?

I’m not going to repeat the detail of the story but it makes for a fascinating read, including the ludicrous and innacurate claims that have been as to his nationality, background and history.

I couldn’t help but see this as a metaphor that would help those who are wondering how best to populate their Facebook Page, other social channels, blogs and newsletters.

No – I don’t mean lonely war veterans featured as patients – IT’S A METAPHOR.

The tearful Russian (as it turned out) survivor touched the hearts of millions – it was share-worthy and shared, because of the emotions kindled by the scene.

Those emotions can be positive or negative.

Remember the evocative images of my home town on New Year’s Eve and that Renaissance-like art photo that went viral?

I’m sure the Manchester tourist board were thrilled.

The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is incorrectly attributed at varying times to Confucius, ancient Chinese proverbs and Japanese folk-lore.

The reality is 19th Century America, where it appears in both dramatic literature and newspaper reporting.

The earliest printed example found is from the text of an instructional talk given by the newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane to the Syracuse Advertising Men’s Club, in March 1911:

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”

Perhaps if Mr. Brisbane were lecturing today he would add “or a brief video”.

The purpose of posting, blogging and broadcasting is to get shared – period – because that’s how you grow your audience, how you expose yourself to the risk of people seeking you out to solve their problems.

So what’s the long-suffering dental practice owner, manager or marketer to do?

A starter-pack might read:

  1. make sure there is always a camera around (smartphone-easy nowadays)

  2. buy a selfie-stick

  3. be prepared

  4. find those true-life stories from within your patient population and your team.

With the appropriate consents, become an investigative journalist and photographer combined and seek out those moments that are so evocative that our tribal instinct is to share.

If you are struggling to find a thousand words – find a picture.

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