“Mand training is an essential component of verbal behavior training for any individual who lacks this skill,” is the opener of an article on the website of the National Institutes of Health, discussing the treatment of children with autism.
“What are mands and why do we need to teach them?” is the title of an “advertorial” for the Applied Behavior Center for Autism published in the little Indy Kids’ Directory I picked up at the grocery store.
That entire page, I thought, helped “position” the professionals at the Applied Behavior Center as SMEs (pronounced “Smee-s”), or Subject Matter Experts. According to About.Com, “a Subject Matter Expert is an individual who understands a business process or area well enough to answer questions”.
“Provide valuable information to people who need it, and let word-of-mouth marketing do the rest.” When readers “take home” or access the content of our blog posts, even if they are not yet clients (and therefore do not yet have proof of how well we are going to take care of them), the hope is that they will, in fact, share that content with others. Nowhere is this more effective than for professional practitioners’ blog content.
“It takes a lot of time and consistency, but teaching things how to request things open up a whole new world for them, the Indy Kids’ Directory article explains. ”Once a child learns ‘I talk, I get’, it is likely their ability to communicate will increase.”
Even if readers are satisfied they have gotten value out of the article, they may or may not choose to follow the Call to Action. In this case, program director Jen DeRocher is saying, “If your child isn’t currently a patient at the Applied Behavior Center for Autism and you’re interested in finding out more information, contact us today at…….
The one critique I might have of the DeRocher piece is that she does not make clear what differentiates that practice from its peers (Are there any peers in Indianapolis?). Primarily, though, I think the article is very successful in conveying value, which is what every blog post must do. Whether or not readers of a practitioner blog convert to buyers, there must be information, skill enhancement, or a new way of looking at the topic.
Practitioners blog so that they can be viewed as SMEs!