Around the Town: Learning about a new kind of marketing

Michael Hannigan teaching at Cedar Lake.

The Lead Pencil Society is just somebody’s dream group, I guess. I Googled it and didn’t find much. It is supposedly composed of folks who avoid technology—especially computers and therefore internet, like the plague. They want a slower, richer way of life. If there were such a group, and if my friend Jo Ann Surls was a joiner, she would be prime for membership. She has built that kind of life, lives in a beautiful, peaceful place, and she doesn’t need the distraction. I really admire her life. I wish mine was more like it. But it’s not. I’ve been struggling with computers and the internet almost since they became available to common folks, and I have never understood how to deal with them very well. But I keep struggling to sort of keep up. For one thing, I kind of like talking to you guys in my column both in the newspapers and on the internet. I got a kick out of it when a guy stopped me at the flea market and asked me if I’m the lady that got in trouble trying to save a turtle, and I like it when every now and then somebody comes up and jokingly tells me they just want to meet a celebrity. But there is also a business reason I need to try to keep up. Many of you know Doug Humble and I have owned Cedar Lake Nursing Home for 50 years now, and Cedar Lake Home Health and Hospice for 30 years.

We have never done a whole lot of tooting our horns, just took care of people and let our reputation speak for itself. But today we have a lot of good competition, and more opening up all the time. And these other guys do a lot of marketing. So we figured maybe we’d make sure everybody knows we are here.

And we figured the best way to do that was to ask for help from my great friend, Michael Hannigan, of Henderson County Now, formerly the well-loved editor of The Malakoff News. While he was still working at The New,s Michael watched as more and more people began getting their information from the internet. He proceeded to learn how to work with social media sooner and better than anybody around here. Then he and Jeff Weinstein put their heads together and created Henderson County Now, which has been an amazing success.

Last week Michael generously came over and taught a bunch of us Cedar Lake people just a little bit of what he knows, mostly about how to use Facebook in this session. We will learn some of the other stuff next time. We want to use it in a way that can be truly helpful, delivering good helpful information in a way that people will want to read, so they don’t forget us.

It is going to be fun and easy to fill up the nursing home pages. There is so much good history the people who live with us can share, and something fun is happening down there just about every day. This week is National Nursing Home Week, and they are outdoing themselves. Yesterday they had a carnival with a dunking booth, pie in the faces of saucy staff members, cupcake walks, petting zoo, to mention just a little. Today was Hat Day, Mardi Gras Day and Pimp Your Wheelchair Ride, topped off by an Ice Cream Social. Facebook is a great way to show the community—and friends and relatives across the country– what their elders are up to. It is also a great way to look for volunteers, to let people know the different ways they could be a part of these great people’s lives. We are going to have a lot of fun with this.

Our Home Health and Hospice Facebook pages are a little more challenging. There are a lot more privacy concerns for people living at home, it seems. We are still brainstorming on ways to make these pages interesting enough you would go to them. If you have any ideas, I’d appreciate your input.

Now let me change the subject and urge you once more: by the time you read this, there will only be one or two more performances of Animal Farm at HCPAC in Athens. Please try to get them to let you in. You do not want to miss the chance to see folks you know hamming it up as bad pigs or many other animals. You may never get this opportunity again. Call 903-675-3908 and beg them to make space for you. You will not regret it.

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