Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rehabilitating Surveying and Weekend Wanderings



The blogging really took over yesterday. I had forgotten how addicting it can be. I added tools for readers to be able to favorite the blog, subscribe to RSS feeds, and to be able to share the blog with others using multiple different methods. Also, the blog has been registered with various blogging sites in an attempt to increase readership. I'd like to ask you subscribe to this blog using the big orange button to the right, and posting comments would be greatly appreciated as well. I'll make my best attempt to respond to comments. The real challenge here is balancing the two purposes this blog serves. First, it is a way for me to keep track of my work experiences in public relations to aid in reflection upon those experiences when the time comes. Second, I want to throw in interesting writing and content that may get some exposure at least once in a great while in the blogosphere. Some ways experienced bloggers recommend doing this is by starting a conversation with readers... ask open-ended, interesting questions, and actually reply to comments made in response to them. I intend to do that. So, on that topic what are some topics you'd like to see covered, and what do you think about two-way communication between bloggers and blog readers? What, in your opinion, makes a blog interesting in the first place? What keeps you coming back to a blog and reading periodically?

Well, onto the public relations discussion of the day. Today, I began research for a type of market share expansion project for a rehabilitation center. I have four primary objectives:
  1. Find ways to expand the market share. (The term market share basically refers to the percentage of the available market an organization "owns." In this case, the rehabilitation center's patients divided by the total number of patients in their service area. One center may have 25 percent of the market in a 75-mile radius from a city, while another may have 65 percent, and a third could have 10 percent.)
  2. Rank referral sources by likelihood of making a referral. (How likely is a physician, a worker's compensation manager, etc., to refer a patient to this specific rehabilitation center. Are physicians more likely to do so than other sources?)
  3. Determine factors that influence referral sources the most.
  4. Determine the likelihood of a source making a referral to the center in the next 12 months
Most of this research will be conducted via an online survey, and the data will be analyzed to find the needed answers. There are some roadblocks to starting a project of this magnitude:
  1. Determining the current market share. (I'll have to find out how many patients the center currently gets, which should be easy. However, we are looking at a 75-mile radius, and total numbers of patients for that specific geographic region may not be available from the Department of Rehabilitation Services.)
  2. Determining exactly who can be considered a referral source. (Officials at the center should be able to narrow this list pretty easily.)
  3. Getting referral sources to participate in the survey. (Physicians, etc., aren't exactly known for having a lot of free time on their hands.)
How would you go about this project, especially overcoming the roadblocks? What other things do you think would be beneficial to find out? I welcome your ideas!

So, tomorrow is Friday, which in my mind, is the weekend (perhaps I've been in the college environment too long). If you're in the New River Valley area, there's always Open Mic Poetry & Storytelling Night at the Courthouse Café parking lot in Pearisburg, Va. The café has great food and drinks, and I personally find the people from rural Virginia to be very friendly and welcoming. They have this event the second Friday every month, and there are local musicians on the first and third Fridays, all hosted by the Giles Arts Council.

Saturday, you could take a hike on one of the NRV's great trails, maybe even visit the Cascades in Pembroke, Va., if you haven't ventured there before or have yet to do so this summer. Saturday evening, there's always the Starlite drive-in theater in Christiansburg, which is showing The Incredible Hulk this weekend. It's sure cheaper than the Regal Cinema, and it's probably more romantic than some teeny bopper crunching popcorn in your ear.

Finally, there's Sunday, which is Father's Day this weekend. Make sure you at least send Dad a card and give him a call if you can't make it home this weekend. I recommend Best Buy for finding a good Father's Day gift.

What is everyone everywhere else doing this weekend? Any good Father's Day gift ideas? Have a good one!

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