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“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” — Ben Franklin

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” – Benjamin Franklin


Depression: Putting the full court “press” on the Big “D”

What would your day be like without a solid sports metaphor?! The best defense is a great offense. That certainly is the case in mounting an offensive against the Great Depression of the 21st Century.

Big D drains your energy, literally sucks the life right out of you, by putting the full court press on your attitude. Your employer, some friends, family can let you down - and it eventually knocks you on the canvas. Moreover, some of us have a predisposition towards depression. Your genes can most assuredly play a role if you allow them to. And alcohol, a depressant in its own right, adds to depressions oppressive speed rush.

But we can control the ball, and the clock, and get a lead and hold onto it versus this challenging foe.

Let’s game plan this:

  • Awareness: Realize that our lifestyle is contributing to this ever-present psychological predicament. Phones that do everything and are on our person constantly, our employer trying to do more with less despite our greatest efforts (leading to stress) are making us feel less empowered to deal with everyday life.

  • Once this challenge is understood, calling the right plays becomes paramount.

A) Proper nutrition is paramount. There is growing evidence that Omega 3’s….fish, and fish supplements can make an improvement in your overall mood.

B) More activity-Our sedentary lifestyle has left us flat-footed in the fight. At least try walking, at the minimum, 30 minutes per day, every other day.

C) Let the sunshine in. Particularly after long and dark winter, our mood turns dark. Not enough outdoor activity or sunshine harshes our buzz. Researchers are now even looking at “light boxes” to use during the dead of winter to shine the light on our debilitating mood.

D) Social support: Depressed people have a tendency to withdraw into their own little world when things feel like they are collapsing around them. Wrong thing to do. Spend more time with the people you connect with, and let them know you are going through a difficult period. If they are a friend, they will support you.

E) Sleep: We’ve become the self-medicating to deal with pain of every day challenges facing us. Stimulants, like energy drinks, or depressants, like alcohol, are common offenders when it comes to disrupting our sleep. Limit each. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime. You will have a harder time getting to sleep. If your room is very dark, your sleep will be improved.

F) Find meaning in your life. Try and help others.

G) Count your blessings. When your head hits the pillow, try to find ten things that were good about your day, or items that you are thankful for.

You can beat depression. And the effort is worth it.

Crisis Communication: “Now just a “New York Minute!”

By Benfrankliv!

You’re dutifully working at your desk as Media Relations Director after lunch and the phone rings.

It’s the local radio station, asking for comment when it’s learned that your CEO has received a “vote of no confidence” for his/her leadership, or lack thereof, by physicians. All of the sudden, you’re starting to taste Ruby Tuesday’s a second time - and this time around, it’s not agreeing with you.

What do you do?

A) Go on record as saying your President probably deserved it?

B) Tell the reporter you’re willing to go live because you’ve got a used car for sale, that you’d like to include in your organization’s response?

C) Inform them how upset you are that your Administrative team didn’t inform you of this, so that you could have formulated an appropriate response?

D) Buy time, preferably a couple of hours?

The answer is “D” - because this is figuratively your “D” day for your organization.

It is critical that your organization handle this with aplomb, limit the damage and perhaps even put a spin on it that will create a more positive communication climate for all involved.

Yet, how do you say you need more time, while being professional about it?!

Try something like: “Hey Bob-I appreciate the call (if, the reporter’s name is Bob) - I’m just back to the office (very possibly true) - and I promise that I will get back to you sometime this afternoon. What’s your deadline?”

This response will strongly suggest to Bob that:

A) You are not ducking them, despite the fact that you are perceived as being part of the “Duck” dynasty.

B) And Bob can tell his news director or assignment editor that his source will “deliver the goods” in a timely fashion.

C) Allow you to appropriately formulate a response that is in the best interests of your organization.

Crisis Communication is an art form, that Benfrankliv! has had both training and experience. We can help you to preserve your brand; in fact, even enhance your brand through a challenging circumstance.

Contact us at: Let’s talk. We’ll even wait until after lunch! 


Marketing for Health Care-A Different Breed of Cat

By Benfrankliv!

Ad agencies claim to know a lot about Marketing. Would you expect them to articulate otherwise?

Of course, they’ll tell you about their plethora of effective campaigns, that changed the competitive landscape for those they served for the better, making their clients top of mind for their geographic region.

Yet, when it comes to health care marketing, they quickly lose their credibility - because they simply don’t understand any of the nuances for hospitals. They think they can come up a clever tagline, find some pretty people for print and television ads, and they’ve got themselves a campaign - and the right to send an invoice to their clients with far too many zeros at the end.

Say what you want about Obamacare - if someone says they can tell you it’s a failure already - look at their motives. It’s certainly become a political issue. If someone had a crystal ball, they’d be in Las Vegas, and not worried much about anything other than cashing in. They don’t know. Period.

But let’s talk about what health care organizations do know. They know, if they’re sober, that hospital coffers are lined with dollars because they receive referrals to their hospital. Family practice doctors, such as internal medicine physicians, refer their patients to the hospital.

This means the hospital runs tests and does procedures, so that they provide good care for the patient, and hopefully, keep their hospital solvent after collecting the charges.

This type of information is lost on a regular ad agency. This type of information, and how to prime the pump for even more referrals, is not lost on Benfrankliv!

We can effectively generate meaningful marketing and communication branding strategies for your hospital or health care organization that can set you apart from the competition. Campaigns would have to be considered different too - from virtually any other industry.

Let’s talk more about this.

And remember: Seek ye first the Kingdom of Physicians - And all these things (mainly revenue) shall be added unto you (and your organization)!

Making Your Press Releases Meaningful

By Benfrankliv!

Hey! This is a big day for us! We’ve found a cure for insomnia! It’s the press releases regularly produced by snoozing corporate marketing and communications divisions! This could save you big money on narcotics or over-the-counter sleep remedies by reading some of that every day drivel!

Seriously, a lot of what you read these days could have been written by a first-year journalism student. You know, it’s the 5 W’s: Who, what, when, where & why and one “How.”

So, you ask “How” do you write a better press or news release? Something that makes you feel good or provides a call to action - or both, even?

It can be done! Let’s look at in this way: by “putting a face” on a story. To avoid imminent snoozing by your readership, find a person who this story positively affects!

Let’s say your hospital just acquired the latest and greatest x-ray machine or CT scanner and you’ve tried it out, and it’s good to go. Let’s also say that one a grateful patient (who is willing to sign a release, of course) - is pleased that the scan or picture recognized a problem in its very earliest stages, is potentially dangerous - but also very treatable, as a result of the scan. And happy to do interviews for it!

This screams Benfrankliv! Public Relations! You want your hospital to be “caught in the act” of doing something great for patients! With a little good fortune, your patient is willing to talk with gratitude about the great new technology, the great people - everything about your organization! Remember-personalize your story. Put a face on it!

Unfortunately, because your corporate team has read too much of their own stuff, they get into a rut, have other deadlines to concern themselves with, and their writing becomes stale.

Get help! Liven up your writing! It can only help your organization!

Treating insomnia has its role. And, so does giving your writing a tune-up.

Let Benfrankliv! wordsmith some writing for you. Email us at:


Sugar-The World’s Worst Health Hazard?

By Benfrankliv!

Why say “no” to sugar when it tastes so sweet to say “yes’?

University of California-San Francisco researchers chose not to sugarcoat their research: they say that we can attribute 35 million deaths each year by sugar consumption.

Processed sugar is now considered a toxic substance in a league with tobacco and alcohol (which also contains sugar-like substances).

How does sugar harm thee? Let us count the ever-increasing ways:

  • Diabetes

  • Metabolic Syndrome

  • Hyper and hypoglycemia

  • Heart disease

  • Cancer

(An ever-growing body of knowledge supports evidence that literally starving cancer cells from sugar is a way to defend against it.)

Many of the usual suspects, which contain the most potent amounts of sugar: cake, candy, beer, cookies. In fact, most of the aisles at your grocery store aisles contain shelves upon shelves of high carb food, which often contain high levels of this legally lethal white stuff.

The substance garnering lots of negative attention these days is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It has been reported that it causes selenium deficiencies because the mercury of it binds with the mineral, causing selenium levels to spiral downward. Selenium is important for the production of glutathione, and its deficiency has a correlation with higher cancer rates.

Drastically reducing sugar intake in your diet can dramatically improve your health. Eliminating, or limiting significantly, the aforementioned foods will cause insulin levels to return to normal and reduce the risk of a litany of health problems.

Before we go too much more into the “Sugar Be-Damned” elements, aside from learning this information, there are plans we can suggest to achieve more healthy lifestyles.


We know how much we are intoxicated by sugar, and stopping the sugar habit may not be on our list of priorities. Maybe we’ve tried and given up because it just seems impossible to do.

And guess what? Corporate America LOVES it that way!!!!

In Michael Moss’s brilliant book “Salt Sugar Fat-How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” Moss writes that scientists are hired guns for corporations aiming to capture your taste buds, and hold them hostage:

“They have on staff cadres of scientists who specialize in the in the senses, and the companies use their knowledge to put sugar to work for them in countless ways. Sugar not only makes the taste of food and drink irresistible. The industry has learned that it can also be used to pull off a string of manufacturing miracles, from donuts that fry up bigger to bread that won’t go stale to cereal that is toasty-brown and fluffy.

All of this has made sugar a go-to ingredient in processed foods. On average, we consume 71 pounds of caloric sweeteners each year. That’s 22 teaspoons of sugar, per person, per day.”

Moss reported that despite top executives of major food corporations being well aware of the situation, they rationalized the alarming findings regarding the foods they were making, and simply moved forward with their profit motive.

Clearly, these multi-national companies wish to manufacture food that satisfies our palates, yet addresses their insatiable craving for profits, at the dire expense of the consumer. As in, our fat selves, and our fat kids.

For each of us, maybe now is the time for a heaping helping of reality therapy. Now that we’ve realized that many corporations are not apt to guide us in making healthy lifestyle choices, its time to develop our own habits. And make better choices, regarding each and every food decision which we make.

It’s not a newsflash that there are do’s and don’ts for health. Getting into the routine of avoiding high glycemic foods is both healthy and wise.

Please accept these tips as ideas you haven’t considered. You may be able to customize a plan of attack because you “Know Thyself” - as Billy Shakespeare encouraged us to do through his writings.

Sometimes we get too caught up in what the latest “super food” is, or vitamin or dietary supplement that is allegedly a life changer. Remember that “Omission” - avoiding processed sugars in cakes, cookies, beer, soda, ice cream and candy will in short, make us fat. Getting out of the habit of wandering through those aisles at the store will help keep them out of our fridges and off of our kitchen counters.

Avoid these sugar-laden foods consistently, and you will be well on your “weigh.’

Back to habits. They make us or break us. When it would be so easy to make a quick trip to the store for your comfort foods, “take a hike” - or a walk. Try to work up to 30 minutes a day. The above two tenets alone, would have you looking and feeling better in rapid fashion.

Set a goal or two! Want to get back into those clothes from yesteryear when you looked especially good? Make it a goal, and create a plan for achieving it. Goals keep you motivated. Write them down and review them each day.

Find yourself a water bottle that you like, fill it, and keep it around for easy access. When you feel a pang that feels like hunger, take a sip. It’s zips your stomach’s lip until you’re ready to eat something healthier!

If you can quell your urge significantly for evening carbohydrates, your weight will steadily go on the decline. Basically, you can’t lose weight if you have the hormone insulin in your bloodstream. Carbohydrate consumption causes your pancreas to produce insulin. Maybe try a protein shake (Atkins shakes have limited carbs, fiber and they taste good) - an egg or a piece of cheese. No carb worries there.

You can do it. Believe in yourself. Concerning smarter choices, remember the mantra: “If it’s to be - it’s up to me!”

Post if you wish!

“Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin

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