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We covered a lot of great topics at the 2015 Practitioner Conference. One of our most popular sessions was the table talk entitled “Marketing your Conflict Practice” hosted by Matt Dreger, the Director of Digital Marketing for the Division of Executive and Continuing Education, and Dorie Michalik, the Assistant Director of Product Management for the Center for Conflict Dynamics and Mediation Training Institute. At these sessions, seasoned practitioners shared their thoughts with the group, and the CCD staff gained valuable insight into the support our certified partners need. A large list of ideas emerged from these session, take a look at some of the most mentioned feedback and suggestions.

Outline Industry-Specific Solutions

Many of our practitioners work within specific industries such as health care, corrections, and education, and they suggested the need for more industry-specific examples and materials to better communicate with these segments regarding the CDP assessment and MTI trainings. Ideas included industry-specific case studies, blogs, presentation templates and webinars. The CCD team has begun to develop a number of these industry-specific case studies, and we will continue to add to this throughout the year.

Improve Your Visibility

Most practitioners who identified themselves as having a successful practice mentioned their willingness to network. Word of mouth was still a strong avenue for driving new opportunities. Joining local civic and trade organizations provides practitioners with the ability to network and build relationships.

One of the areas discussed the most was how to leverage your website, social media, and blog posts as a means of communicating and generating opportunities for your business. Research indicates that a majority of people conduct research online about an organization long before they contact them. Most agreed that having a strong digital presence is an important foundation for your business or practice. Here were some ideas discussed in the session on how to improve your digital presence on your own and in partnership with the CCD.

  • Utilize MTI’s “Cost of Conflict” calculator and CDP’s “Hot Buttons” test as introductory tools with prospective clients.

  • By Blogging, you are offering your own perspective on conflict and current topics. This provides an opportunity to share your knowledge, as well as improve the results of your website in search results.

  • Keeping your website current with updated content and improving the engagement with visitors can be accomplished today through many turn-key website platforms including WordPress, Wix, and Weebly.

Additional CCD Team Support

There was a lot of discussion around opportunities we have as partners with our practitioners to enhance their experience with the CCD.

  • Offer brochures and presentation templates that can be branded with a certified practitioner’s information or an organization’s logo for use with client proposals.

  • Provide additional consultation by the CCD team with recently certified practitioners to assist with the utilization of the CDP assessment and MTI training materials in their role.

  • Refresh the MTI and CDP training and coaching videos utilized by practitioners in their programs.

These were all excellent ideas and the CCD team will be expanding upon these throughout the year. A survey will also be distributed electronically in the near future to all certified practitioners to further assist us in identifying the type of services our practitioners need.