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You Should Know: Meisa Salaita and Jordan Rose

Superheroes are often depicted wearing capes and flying around bustling cities in their bright and extravagant costumes. Jordan Rose and Meisa Salaita may not look the part, but they have become superheroes in their own important way by celebrating and promoting Atlanta’s thriving scientific community.

Jordan and Meisa are the co-founders and co-directors of the Atlanta Science Festival, a riveting 11-day celebration (March 15-25) of local science and technology right here in Atlanta, Georgia. The festival is designed to bring people together around a shared love for science through 100 individual and creative events. With experiences such as cooking and eating bugs, discovering the science behind brew-making, walking through Atlanta’s forests to witness the local wildlife, and stopping the zombie outbreak, it’s no wonder that the festival has seen remarkable success in a few short years. There is something for everyone, and no one will walk away from the festival disappointed at its offerings.

Behind it all are Jordan and Meisa.

Meisa Salaita holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, and is no stranger to working within scientific culture. Prior to co-founding the festival, she worked with two different National Science Foundation Centers for Chemical Innovation. She originally came up with the idea of the Atlanta Science Festival when she heard about similar festivals happening in Europe. After that, she decided that Atlanta needed to have one too. Thanks to Meisa’s passion and determination, the Atlanta Science Festival has grown from a collaboration between the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Tech, and Emory to a can’t-miss Atlanta event for the scientific and non-scientific communities alike.

When asked why the festival means so much to her, Meisa spoke about her passion for spreading the love of science: “It’s really important to make science a part of culture and to showcase how science is interesting, fun, not scary, and important! By having events that connect science to everyday life and to things that people are already interested in outside of science, we are able to achieve that.”

The co-architect of the festival is Jordan Rose. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology as well as his Master of Public Health degree in prevention science from Emory, Jordan has gone on to hold multiple scientific roles. From working as the Associate Director of the Center for Science Education at Emory to becoming the Executive Director of the Georgia BioEd Institute, Jordan’s love for science has followed him everywhere he has gone.

Jordan’s passion for the festival is evident when speaking to him. He believes that, for a lot of people, science leaves a bad taste in their mouth, perhaps because of a negative experience in their education. To Jordan, the festival is a way to bring those people back into the fold and break down the stereotypes that exist over scientists and science alike. To Jordan, it all boils down to one idea, “We’re trying to show people that scientists are people too.”

You can check out the Atlanta Science’s Festival schedule here. Learn more about the people behind the Atlanta Science Festival here.

Lenz is proud to market, sponsor, and support the 2017 Atlanta Science Festival.

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Lenz is proud to present the 2017 Amplify Decatur Music Festival on April 22, 2017

Lenz is proud to present the 2017 Amplify Decatur Music Festival—to be held outdoors on the Decatur square on Saturday, April 22. The event is produced in partnership with Eddie’s Attic and will feature three-time Grammy Award winner, Lucinda Williams and her band.

Additional acts include Noah Gundersen, John Moreland, Harold Holloway and Co., Packway Handle Band, and Kristen Englenz. Every dollar raised will be directed to Decatur Cooperative Ministry to support their efforts to prevent and alleviate homelessness in and around Decatur and DeKalb County. Last year’s event raised $30,000 for DCM.

Here’s a look at last year’s festival!

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7 Thoughts on Healthcare Marketing

VP of Marketing Mike Killeen recently spoke to a healthcare marketing class at Valdosta State University. Here are the notes from Mike’s presentation.

1. Marketing healthcare is noble work

It connects doctors and patients who need them

Marketing often gets a bad rap. For some, it is the dark side of business, purely focused on making the cash register ring. But the purpose of marketing is to connect people with products and services they desire.

In turn, healthcare marketing exists to connect patients with healthcare providers and services that can help them stay healthy, get well, and live better lives.

Sure, marketing has been used to sell cigarettes to children. That’s bad. But more often it helps patients in need find a doctor that can care for them. That’s good.

 

2. Patients are people, too

They drink Coke and vote in elections

Effective healthcare marketing has more in common with consumer product marketing than most people realize. Why? Because patients are people, not some foreign species that exists only to receive medical treatment.

In other words, we’re all consumers, making choices everyday about what soda to drink, which political candidate to vote for, and where to take our sick kids for care.

Consumers arrive at buying decisions for different products in similar ways. They want value. They want to make choices with confidence. And, most of all, they want to associate with brands, organizations, and products that reinforce their views of themselves.

That’s true whether they are choosing a doctor or a can of sugar water.

 

3. Healthcare is jazz

Overnight shipping is the symphony

Patients may not be a foreign species, but doctors and healthcare executives often are!

That’s a joke of course, but the point is that the most singular aspect of healthcare marketing isn’t the patient audience, but working within the healthcare ecosystem, which presents a set of dynamics very different from other industries.

The healthcare industry is a constellation of loosely associated components striving to move together in a positive direction – kind of like a jazz band. Hospitals, physician practices, government, private insurance groups, pharmaceutical companies, and non-profit organizations all play a role. Sometimes they are well coordinated, and sometimes they are not. Overnight shipping, on the other hand, is more like the symphony: a well “orchestrated” set of activities arranged with a single goal in mind.

Today, the healthcare industry is experiencing a rapid transformation toward consumerism, where patients make independent choices about their care team instead of relying entirely on physician referrals. Most senior physicians and leadership entered the industry and built successful practices before the rise of the Internet and healthcare reform helped create this new reality.

So, understanding how patients make decisions is the easier part. Understanding how to effectively communicate the value of direct-to-patient marketing to a healthcare organization’s leadership requires a deeper understanding of the industry.

 

4. Nobody cares until they do

Then it’s all that matters

There is a segment of the population that is always in the market for a new guitar. If they had the money, the space, and their spouse’s approval, they would buy a guitar every day. But on a given day, relatively few people have an interest in or need for an orthopedic surgeon. Their backs, knees, and shoulders feel great. So, they probably wouldn’t even notice a TV commercial for an orthopedic group. But an ad about a holiday special at Guitar Center? That gets their hearts pounding every time.

There’s an old healthcare marketing joke about the guy who injures his knee and turns on the radio, waiting to hear the first ad for an orthopedic surgeon, so he knows where to go for help. The point is that that’s not how it works. By the time you injure your knee, the well marketed practice has probably already won your business, even if you didn’t consciously notice their TV ads until you were hurt.

Healthcare is a service that most people don’t think or care about until they need it. Once they do, it’s all that matters to them, and then they want to act fast. The lesson is that healthcare marketing requires branding—establishing a preference in the mind of the consumer before they have a need—and patience until the need arises. It’s an investment, but one that pays off.

 

5. All doctors are experts

And everybody cares

If you are a physician in America, there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the public recognizes you as an expert. The bad news is that they think the same of your colleagues and competition.

The message is that clinical expertise is rarely a differentiator. Word of mouth based on bedside manner and even wait times are more likely to separate a physician from the pack—as is an association with well-esteemed and well-branded institution.

Marketing works best when there is an appropriate balance between functional and emotional appeals. But the classic healthcare marketing mistake is saying, “we are experts” (functional appeal) and “we care” (emotional appeal).

Expertise and compassionate medicine are examples of the “price of entry” concept—where what is most important to the consumer is also expected by them, and therefore does not differentiate one product from another. A healthcare provider promoting expertise and compassion will be about as effective as a restaurant promoting its clean kitchen, or an airline promoting safety. In either case a stronger position, or differentiator, is required for success.

 

6. Big data is coming

But will patients accept it?

In some ways healthcare marketing is the ultimate branding platform. Historically, very little data has been published about patient outcomes, and treatment expenses are largely hidden from view.

So, what do patients compare? Their perceptions and the reputations of the healthcare providers they consider. In other words: their brands.

This may be changing. Soon, we will see more healthcare data than ever before. Healthcare reform and the advent of Accountable Care Organizations are tying payment models to patient outcomes. Medicare has begun releasing physician-payment records annually, providing public access to how billions of dollars are spent on healthcare each year. And high deductible insurance plans are helping accelerate the retail medicine movement.
Together, these changes further contribute to an increasingly consumer healthcare environment where patients will have the opportunity to consider the more functional components (like treatment results and pricing) rather than relying on physician referrals and quality perceptions when making healthcare decisions.

The questions are whether, and how fast, patients will embrace the opportunity.

 

7. Dear Doctor: It’s not about you

Tell your patients’ stories, not yours

For whatever reason, doctors really like promoting their backgrounds: the schools they attended (all four of them), their certifications, prior hospital leadership positions, the conferences they attended, and the papers they’ve published.

But their audience—the ones who make or break their businesses—are patients who want to hear about the things that affect them: the treatments they have to choose from, what they’ll experience on their first office visit, and whether their insurance is accepted.

If they do care to hear about their doctor, it’s not where they went for residency, but why they entered medicine, what they are passionate about, and which former patient had the greatest impact on their life – all things that will help discerning patients understand what they can expect from their doctor.

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Lenz creative director receives worldwide recognition

A work by Lenz Creative Director Ben Barnes recently received worldwide recognition, when it was hosted at a museum in Milan, Italy.

The poster, entitled “Sow,” is the first in a series of three posters. Ben created the poster back in the mid 2000s based on the World War II Victory Garden Posters, most notably borrowing their militarist feel with a strong call to action. When asked why he made the poster, Ben said, “I wanted to do some good with the skill set that I had.” Ben wanted to motivate people to help the environment, and the poster does so by encouraging everyone to plant a garden.

When Ben began creating the poster, a professor that inspired Ben pointed him in the direction of a contest. The contest, called Green Patriot Posters, was hosted by two professors at the Rhode Island School of Design through an idea they called the “Canary Project.” The professors, just like Ben, wanted to use design as a way to do good and help the environment. The contest called for posters that had an aspect of environmental activism, and Ben’s poster fit right in. A year after the contest, the Canary Project picked Ben’s poster to be a part of a book produced from other art entered in the competition, alongside artists Shepard Fairey and DJ Spooky. The book received recognition from multiple online sources, including wired.com.

From there, the success of the poster snowballed. A year later, Ben was asked if his poster could be included in a large format calendar which would be released in Germany. Of course, he said yes. Fast forward yet another year, and the poster was included in a nationwide design museum tour alongside several other graphic design works. The exhibition was called “GRAPHIC DESIGN: NOW IN PRODUCTION,” and its travel list would make any voyager jealous. From New York to Texas to Los Angeles, Ben’s poster traveled across the states.

But the poster’s journey wasn’t done. Ben’s work made it all the way to Milan, Italy at the Triennale di Milaon Musuem. The poster joined other photographs, publications, and graphic materials produced by artists, architects, and community gardeners from across the globe. The exhibition, called ‘Urban Orchard’ and a part of the events of the 21st Triennale International Exhibition, presented a series of subjects related to urban agriculture.

Ben says, “It was all overwhelming, shocking, and surprising! I wasn’t expecting anything to come out of it. I was just thinking that this is something I could do and maybe use for my portfolio to show potential employers where my head is at. It’s just nice to feel like I could do more.”

Ben also said that, to him, his design and work isn’t about the recognition or awards. It’s about doing what he loves.

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Lenz is proud to support the Atlanta Science Festival

Mark your calendars! The 2017 Atlanta Science Festival will be held March 14 – 25 and will feature over 100 events plus one big party (the Exploration Expo) across locations throughout the city of Atlanta. Lenz is proud to be the marketing agency and a sponsor for the festival, providing marketing, graphic design, and social media services to promote this annual celebration of technology and science.

Lenz recently developed a festival insert in the March 2017 edition of Atlanta magazine, featuring the new astronaut mascot, a schedule of events, event details, and other important festival information.

The Atlanta Science Festival welcomes people of all ages to explore the science and technology in Atlanta and to see how science is connected to all parts of their lives. Scientists and educators from museums, local schools, universities, and companies will uncover mysteries and explain discoveries in a variety of hands-on activities, facility tours, stimulating presentations, and riveting performances to expand the community of science enthusiasts and inspire a new generation of curious thinkers. Over the course of the festival, 100+ activities and events will be held that are suited for young children to adults. To close off the celebration, the Atlanta Science Festival will host the Exploration Expo in Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta’s biggest interactive science event that is free and open to the public.

To learn more, visit the Atlanta Science Festival’s website or check out the March 2017 edition of the Atlanta magazine!