Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SEIU goes Googling

It is impressive and instructive to note the many ways the SEIU has chosen to spend money on advertising about BIDMC. I mentioned before the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on radio, television, mobile billboards, and bus stop ads. The latest purchase, apparently to reach the social media audience, is an ad that appears when you do a Google search on BIDMC, Beth Israel Deaconess, and who knows how many other topics related to BIDMC.

Try it. In the upper right hand corner of the search results page, you will see this ad:

Eye On BIDMC
High costs, patient problems
What does Beth Israel have to hide?
www.eyeonbi.org

For those of you who own stock in Google, I hope you see an easy way to enhance your company's revenues. Just do a search for BIDMC and click through on the SEIU ad!

For the record, if you really want to know the many things that BIDMC does NOT hide, including one the most open presentation of clinical outcomes in the country, follow the Google search link to our website instead and click through to Quality and Safety.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable; this is a ridiculous amount of spending and some cleverly insidious campaigning to get the site popping up everywhere. It's a little scary, actually. How do they claim this is improving healthcare again? And, are they now going to run ads on Partners, too?

Anonymous said...

I guess the SEIU failed to read the Sunday Globe where it said that MGH and B&W are 15 to 60% more expensive.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the SEIU would spend the money and energy used in this negative advertising to instead directly improve patient and employee safety, and quality of care??

I fail to see how their organization is going to make a postive difference in the lives of employees or patients.

Jaime said...

Please take Paul's advice and click on their ad. Every time someone clicks on it, the SEIU will get charged a "click-thru" rate by Google. Let's all work to run up their tab!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to figure what the free and fair election issue is.
Who is for or against secret ballots?
If there are no secret ballots what is then suppose to happen?

I have been trying to look into it but cannot find out what the problem is and why there is a "fight" over it.

I take it that it is not as simple as having a vote and the majority wins...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:21;

I can only answer your question to the extent that I have been trying to find the same answers. So here is what I know -
"Free and fair election" seems to be a code word for what's called a card check method of election. That is, if the union can get more than 50% of workers to sign a card in favor of having a union, then the union wins in that institution. The current method of union election is by secret ballot, which on the surface seems to be the obvious way to do it, right? But apparently, some institutions are able to intimidate workers in this type of election. As I was told by a newspaper columnist, the institution (say, a factory) first fires the union organizers, then threatens to move the factory to Mexico, and takes retaliatory action against any pro-union employees. So the unions look to a card-check as being somehow "more fair". And then, evidently, the National Labor Relations Board has done a poor job of protecting union organizers from the retaliatory actions of the employers, which are illegal.
I don't pretend to understand most of this, but at least now I know what a card check is! Anyone feel free to correct any FACTS (not opinions) I have wrong.

nonlocal MD

Anonymous said...

"Free and Fair Election" in SEIU terms actually refers to an agreement or "code of conduct" reached between the employer and the union to guide each party's behavior and resolve disputes during an organizing campaign. It includes an NLRB secret ballot election to determine whether or not the employees want to form a union - it is not a card check.

Anonymous said...

But, as I understand it, the so called "free and fair" elections process amounts to what is effectively a gag order for the management team of the entity that is targeted for unionization. I don't get why stopping open deliberation and discussion would be considered a good thing by anyone. The union will of course argue that it is necessary to do so, so that management does not "intimidate" employees. Never mind that if a management team were to do that, it would be so insulting to staff that it would be surest way to usher a union in the door. The irony, of course, is that it is clear that the biggest bully around, with the most resources, is the union that is seeking these changes in the federal process! The SEIU play fair? I think not - not if the last few months have been any indication of things to come. I still fail to see how anything that they are doing will improve employee or patient care.

Anonymous said...

"..."Free and Fair Election" in SEIU terms actually refers to an agreement or "code of conduct" reached between the employer and the union to guide each party's behavior and resolve disputes during an organizing campaign. It includes an NLRB secret ballot election to determine whether or not the employees want to form a union - it is not a card check..."

If it includes secret ballot then what is the argument about? I find it amazing that I cannot even figure out what the issues are....

e-Patient Dave said...

Boy, I gotta get out more. Too much fascinating stuff going on here.

As fate would have it, I manage PPC (pay-per-click) advertising for my company, and Jaime is right: every time someone clicks on an ad, the advertiser gets billed. It can be as little as pennies, but usually it's a few bucks per click - it all depends on who else is bidding for that keyword. It's a highly automated instantaneous bidding system, and it's so effective that it provides all the money for all the free things Google serves up, like Google Maps, Google Health, blogspot.com (which hosts this blog for free, and mine), etc.

So have at it: click away. Search for "BIDMC" and click on the ad, over and over and over, back and forth.

More interesting, though, I'm under the impression that an advertiser is not allowed to hijack somebody else's brand name and make their ads show up. I'm checking with my PPC consultant to find out.

(A further amusement: in the Web marketing world, people pay close attention to how many visits their site receives, aka "web analytics." People who traipse all over a site without reading it can cause real havoc with the analytics. Aw, snap!)