Thursday, 5 February 2009

I am an Inventor.....Presenting the HOWES birth Mirror

I am feeling quite proud of myself this morning for two reason. One reason is that I have invented a new product for my profession and it feels like it is going be a success.

Having released the details of my lovely new Howes birth mirror I sold some straight away!

Of course some of my dear colleagues had already ordered one from me, but I was never quite sure they thought it as great as I did and weren't just ordering one to be supportive (or they felt sorry for me), but to get orders from the public via my website Kent Midwifery Practice , and even an enquiry from the USA, had me jumping around like a teenager.

The second reason I feel proud of myself is that the hours, days and weeks I have spent recently learning about public relations have paid off. I know that because, having released the details of the Howes birth mirror through a prestigious press release wire distribution service, I not only got great feedback from them that I had written and presented it professionally, I also had several calls from journalists and publications saying they want to do a feature on me and my new invention. WOW!!!!!
You may wonder why that is important to me? Well, I was voted press secretary of Independent Midwives UK a couple of years ago and I want to fill my obligation appropriately in order that my colleagues can have full confidence in me.
The job has not been without heartache, worry, humiliation and sleepless nights over the last year and at times I wanted to retire and just stick to what I know I am best at (being a mother and a midwife) but, as the old saying goes, "if you stick your head above the parapet you get shot at" and, using the words of another strong woman, "I am not for turning".

So, after a short spell of feeling ridiculously sorry for myself after some public midwife-bashing, I dusted down and took myself off to meet a lovely man by the name of Richard Milton, journalist and writer of 25 years, who runs a PR training course in London. I spent a ridiculous amount of money for a self employed, moderately-paid midwife, but every single penny was worth it. He taught me so much about dealing with the press and getting your message to the right audience.
Midwives can really get a raw deal - most of us are too busy with midwifery to play the politics game, unlike our doctor colleagues, whose skills in debate and satirising their opponents are honed during their training.
This could be because midwifery as a profession - both independent midwives and those working in the NHS - is not well represented in the media.
Things that midwives say - and write - can be misunderstood and misrepresented, and as a profession maybe we all need to work on putting our case more clearly - and carefully!
Now I just have to learn about marketing and selling........

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