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Organizational Marketing Research Initiative
Kerr & Downs Research
Organizational Marketing Research Initiative
Kerr & Downs Research
Project Director: Phillip E. Downs, Ph.D.
2992 Habersham Drive - Tallahassee, FL 32309
Phone: (850) 906-3111 Fax: (850) 906-3112
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section A Executive Summary & Strategic Recommendations
Section B Member & Nonmember Results
1 Value of Membership
11 AGD vs. ADA
18 Benefits of Membership
28 Professional Concerns
32 Interest in New Products & Services
55 What Makes AGD Unique
60 Continuing Education
68 Sources of Continuing Education
73 Tracking Continuing Education
75 CE Rules & Regulations
81 Value of FAGD & MAGD
97 Growth of AGD
105 Marketing AGD, General Dentistry, and Dentists to Patients
110 AGD Leadership Issues
113 Professional Attitudes
Section C Annual Meeting Results
1 AGD Annual Meeting Experience
6 Changes to Annual Meeting
14 Positioning of Annual Meeting
26 Most Critical Attributes of Annual Meeting
34 Profile of Attendees & Non-Attendees
The Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) Organizational Marketing Research Initiative (OMRI) included
two major studies:
• A broad-based image and needs assessment study of AGD members and non-members
• A study focusing on AGD’s Annual Meeting
Summary results for each study are presented in the Executive Summary. Strategic recommendations based
on research results are also presented in this document.
Member & Non-Member Study
Value of Membership
The value of AGD membership can be summarized as moderate to high. Some findings indicate members
derive high value, while other findings do not. Significant findings are summarized below.
• 93% of members stated that AGD offers day-to-day value
• 87% of members claimed there is prestige in belonging to AGD
• 65% of members indicated there is value in having an AGD plaque on their office wall
• 19% of members said AGD benefits exceed costs; 17% claimed the opposite
• 36% of non-members reported that benefits of their association exceeded costs1
• 34% of members gave AGD an 8 or higher on a 10-point scale for return on investment
• 42% of non-members gave their most valued association an 8 or higher on a 10-point scale for
return on investment
• 61% of members would definitely recommend AGD membership to young general dentists
• 52% of non-members would definitely recommend ADA membership and 15% would definitely
recommend AGD membership to young general dentists
Benefits of Membership
Benefits most valued by members during their first five years of practice:
• 77% Tips on running a business
• 66% Convenient access to CE
• 57% Finding a mentor or coach
• 56% Opportunities to meet other dentists to discuss issues
• 55% Learning to build a dental team
• 51% Techniques for motivating and rewarding staff
1 More often than not, this association was the ADA.
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 1
Benefits most valued by experienced members and non-members:
74% 73% Convenient access to CE
60% 32% Computerized tracking of CE
58% 69% Tips on running a business
52% 58% Techniques for motivating and rewarding staff
47% 52% Tips for decreasing risk of litigation
46% 60% Learning to comply with government regulations
45% 46% Opportunities to meet other dentists to discuss issues
Most pressing professional problems:
38% 28% Finding competent staff
37% 27% Running an efficient and profitable business
33% 22% Third party payment
30% 12% Keeping up with technological changes in clinical
28% 17% Marketing to fee-for-service patients
19% 16% Motivating and rewarding staff
19% 27% Dealing with patients
• 46% of members thought of AGD as innovative – 38% of non-members felt this way
• 83% of members perceived AGD as caring and compassionate in reviewing CE and membership
• 73% of members and 31% of non-members reported that AGD is relevant to general dentists
interested in life-long learning
• 65% of members did not think of AGD as an elite study club
• 37% of members believed AGD’s product portfolio was too narrow
• 58% of members and 48% of non-members perceived AGD as a leader in dental technology
• 77% of members viewed AGD as a leader in treatment protocol
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 2
• Most important in selecting continuing education providers:
67% 67% Held near by – no air travel
57% 39% Participation courses offered
55% 43% No commercial bias
48% 42% Low cost
54% 47% Big “brand” name speakers
46% 31% Intense, high-level courses
Earning a lot of CEs in one day was more important to non-members
• Most preferred delivery methods for continuing education:
85% 80% Local one-day seminars/conferences
70% 50% Hands-on courses
65% 43% Regional two to three day conferences
63% 44% Local one to two hour seminars
57% 40% Local half-day seminars
56% 30% National two to three day conferences
• Most common sources of continuing education:
63% 7% AGD
44% 28% ADA
39% 26% Universities
• Attitudes toward Fellowship:
• 64% of members and 27% of non-members perceived FAGD/MAGD as extremely valuable to
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 3
Attitudes toward Fellowship (continued)
• 26% of members and 10% of non-members viewed FAGD/MAFGD as extremely valuable to
• 46% of members agreed that one should be able to obtain Fellowship through home study and
• 72% of members disagreed that one should be able to obtain Fellowship without taking an examina-
• 63% of members claimed attending the Fellowship ceremony should be optional
• A plurality (47%) of members believed that FAGD/MAGD should be certifications rather than
awards or designations
§ Attitudes toward CE tracking and regulations:
• 26% of members rated AGD’s CE tracking as excellent
• 29% agreed they had trouble getting CE credits recorded with AGD
• 94% of members agreed that AGD should establish systems so CE hours can be
forwarded seamlessly to AGD from all providers
• 54% of members agreed that AGD should accept CE courses taken prior to one’s membership
• 59% of members agreed that AGD should give credit for residencies completed prior to AGD
• 72% of members and 48% of non-members believed AGD value would decrease if 75-hour
membership requirement were removed
• 64% of members agreed that AGD should have 1 set of rules for accepting CE for Fellowship, from
DART, for membership maintenance, from institutes, etc.
• 31% of members perceived AGD’s rules for accepting CE for Fellowship as arbitrary and rigid
• 41% of members reported that AGD should focus more on meeting general dentists’ professional
needs and less on rules and regulations affecting membership and CE
• 52% of members and 50% of non-members thought AGD should increase advocacy and represen-
• 24% of members and 15% of non-members thought AGD should work more independently of
ADA on advocacy issues important to general dentists
• 78% of members wanted AGD to focus on state-of-the-art CE, while only 22% wanted it to focus
more on advocacy
• 47% of members thought AGD should enhance its advocacy efforts while continuing to partner with
• 75% of members wanted AGD to lobby states to accept licensure by credentials
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 4
New Products & Services
Percentages of members and non-members who were extremely interested in new products and services
from AGD were as follows:
70% 17% Online, interactive CE transcript service
46% NA Boot camp for young dentists
36% NA Online support to assist members in finding ways to fulfill
75-hour membership requirement
34% 22% Online education
32% 24% Training resources for dental staffs
32% 15% Relicensure tracks
31% 22% Online archives of Journal of General Dentistry (favorite
journal for non-members)
28% 19% Business management courses
• 56% of members agreed that AGD should devote resources to creating virtual communities among general
• 61% of women members reported they would attend AGD’s Annual Meeting more frequently if there
were a track on prospering in dentistry as a woman
• 42% of members maintained that AGD should develop a patients’ bill of rights
• 68% of members indicated that AGD should focus only on attracting general dentists who were committed
to a requirement of life-long learning
• 61% of members preferred that AGD be positioned as the “go to” resource for general dentists, legisla-
tors, and regulators
• 88% of members believed that AGD should have a greater presence in dental schools in an effort to
enhance recruiting of young members
• 88% of members agreed that AGD should offer dental students real-life experiences and insight into dental
• 71% of members agreed that the most effective way of getting dental school students interested in joining
was to offer them practice management courses and tips
• 62% of members reported they would serve as coaches to younger AGD members
• 44% of members would pay a promotional assessment for an Oral Health/AGD Marketing Campaign –
typical contributions ranged from $50 to $100 annually
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 5
Growth Strategies (continued)
• 52% of members were willing to serve on an AGD Speakers Bureau
• 82% of members were willing to place oral health promotional materials developed by AGD in their
waiting rooms – 49% claimed they would personally distribute materials to patients
• 86% of members maintained they actively and consistently discuss the link between oral health and overall
health with their patients
• 79% of members named the Journal of General Dentistry a “must read”
• A plurality of members (42%) wanted the Journal of General Dentistry delivered in print only
• 74% of members indicated that AGD Impact was a “must read”
• 49% of members preferred that AGD Impact be delivered in online version only
The most valuable journals/publications to members and non-members were:
72% 28% Journal of General Dentistry
59% 57% Journal of the American Dental Association
44% 42% Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry
26% 24% Practical Procedures & Aesthetic Dentistry
• 75% of non-members named Dental Town as one of the most valuable publications compared to
only 38% of members
• 74% of members named AGD Impact as one of the most valuable publications compared to only
10% of non-members
76% of members agreed that AGD staff is responsive to members’ needs
56% of members agreed that AGD’s board is responsive to members’ needs – 38% were uncertain
• 75% of members rarely if ever get involved with AGD
• 75% cited time and distance barriers to involvement
• 37% claimed they have never been asked to get involved
• 30% reported that AGD leadership is cliquish
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 6
55% of members and 80% of non-members had solo practices
Typical members and non-members had been practicing for 17 and 16 years, respectively
The typical member was 44, while the typical non-member was 47
4 out of 5 members and non-members were male
4 out of 5 members and non-members were white
AGD Annual Meeting Study
AGD Annual Meeting Experience
Reasons for attending the Annual Meeting:
• 50% Pursue high quality CE opportunity
• 45% Participate in AGD governance
• 38% Receive FAGD/MAGD
Preferring to attend meetings closer to home was the number one reason for not attending.
62% of attendees claimed the AGD meeting was better than other meetings.
Key benefits received from the AGD Annual Meeting were:
• 81% High quality CE
• 57% Camaraderie and networking
• 55% Free lectures
• 53% Wide range of CE
• 49% Earn credits toward Fellowship
Tactics that will increase attendance included:
• 39% More ½ day lectures
• 37% More participation courses
• 27% Greater price differentials for members vs. non-members
• 26% Discussions on equipment purchases, hiring practice management consultants, buying &
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 7
Changes that will enhance the Annual Meeting included:
• 34% Repeat popular courses
• 25% Offer more free CE
• 21% Increase the number and variety of multi-day hands-on courses
• 49% of attendees felt that governance activities should not be conducted at the Annual Meeting
• 48% of attendees claimed the Annual Meeting was too focused on governance – 15% said it was
too focused on family vacations
• 27% of attendees would definitely still attend if governance activities were eliminated from the
Annual Meeting Topics
Demand for courses/topics was significantly segmented. Most popular topics for attendees and non-
Implants/restorative aspects Dental forensics
Dental forensics Implants/restorative aspects
Medical emergencies Implants/restorative aspects
Esthetics Health promotion/wellness nutrition
Oral pathology/oral medicine Oral pathology/oral medicine
Operative dentistry Health promotion/wellness nutrition
Esthetics Restorative dentistry
Restorative dentistry Operative dentistry
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 8
Incubator tracks in the following areas were most desired:
• Cosmetic Dentistry
• Surgical phase of implants
Positioning of Annual Meeting
• 42% of attendees and 16% of non-attendees would attend every year if the meeting were targeted
to the entire dental team
• 46% of attendees and 42% of non-attendees thought the Annual Meeting should be positioned as
CE and a family vacation
• 80% of attendees maintained that AGD should continue to partner with other dental associations for
its Annual Meeting
• 70% of attendees believed the Annual Meeting should continue to be held in family-oriented destina-
• 76% of attendees indicated that some courses should be free with registration while others should
require a separate fee
• 64% of members, but only 34% of non-attendees preferred national annual meetings over local and
• 22% of members agreed that AGD’s Annual Meeting should be held in conjunction with a major
• 54% of attendees agreed that AGD should offer significantly more CE outside the Annual Meeting
• 57% of attendees believed there should be less emphasis on governance at the Annual Meeting
• 54% of attendees indicated that there should be more emphasis on participation courses
• 52% of attendees wanted more CE courses taught by specialists
• Attendees preferred the Annual Meeting be held in the summer, while non-attendees preferred
spring and fall dates
• 47% of attendees and 45% of non-attendees preferred vacation-oriented cities such as Orlando,
Las Vegas, and New Orleans
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 9
Member & Non-Member Study
12 on-site and telephone focus groups with members and non-members
1,166 telephone and internet surveys with members
311 telephone, internet, and mail surveys with non-members
Annual Meeting Study
2 on-site focus groups with attendees
28 on-site in-depth interviews with exhibitors
182 internet and telephone surveys with attendees
387 internet and telephone interviews with non-attendees
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 10
Strategic Implications from the Academy of General Dentistry’s
Organizational Marketing Research Initiative
The following strategic recommendations emanate from one-on-one interviews with AGD leadership and
staff, focus groups with members and non-members, and internet and telephone interviews with members
Enhance the Image of General Dentists
The most pressing issue facing AGD is to enhance the image of its general dentist members. An ancillary
element of this strategy is to enhance the prestige associated with achieving FAGD and MAGD designa-
To finance a promotional campaign designed to enhance the image of general dentist members, a promo-
tional assessment of $100 per member should be applied annually. With the $2 to $3 million generated by
this assessment, AGD should hire a marketing/advertising/pubic relations firm to leverage AGD’s promo-
tional investment. Details for the promotional campaign should be developed by the firm AGD hires, but
should focus on some of the following:
• Developing collateral materials for dental offices
• Generating paid and unpaid media coverage
• Creating talking points for AGD’s media representatives
• Creating events and partnerships to promote AGD’s name, logo, and tag line
Reposition the Annual Meeting
AGD must energize the Annual Meeting and attract more attendees and exhibitors. The former, of course,
will attract the latter. AGD faces two diametrically opposed options:
• Change the meeting to more closely resemble other annual meetings
• Tweak the existing model
The following tactical recommendations are more in line with modifying the existing model. Kerr & Downs
Research recommends a course of action that includes some immediate changes that should have impact
based on survey results, and some more drastic changes that can be implemented over time as the organiza-
tion prepares itself governmentally and attitudinally for transition.
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 11
Reposition the Annual Meeting (continued)
Immediate issues include the following:
• Stress high quality continuing education – attempt to distinguish AGD’s meeting from other options
through speaker selection, course offerings, and promotional materials.
• Offer a significant amount of free continuing education. A significant competitive challenge is for the
Annual Meeting to be perceived by members and non-members as a cost competitive alternative to
the many other meetings and continuing education options in the market place.
• Continue to offer a wide range of continuing education. The combination of low cost, high quality,
and broad offerings will position AGD favorably in the continuing education market. “Brand name”
speakers (clinical and non-clinical; dentistry-related and non dentistry-related) will help convince
members and non-members that AGD is worth the time and money. Partnerships with businesses
must be developed to defray costs of top speakers.
• Increase offerings in short courses (1 to 2 hours and ½ day courses) and participation courses.
Also increase offerings in multi-day, hands-on courses.
• Develop 4 basic types of educational tracks:
o Business management track
o Clinical education track
o Dental team track
o FAGD/MAGD track
Allow attendees to sign up for tracks during registration. Of course, some courses/seminars will
apply to more than 1 track.
• Offer at least the following incubator tracks within the clinical education track:
o Cosmetic Dentistry
o Surgical phase of implants
• Repeat popular courses throughout the meeting.
• Keep positioning the Annual Meeting as a family vacation option, but add social activities for singles/
attendees who do not bring their families.
• Select first tier cities for the Annual Meeting and select cities that have not held one of the major
dental meetings within a year of AGD’s meeting date. Certain large venues, for example New York
City, Los Angeles (not Anaheim or Long Beach), and Chicago can be exceptions to this recommen-
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 12
Reposition the Annual Meeting (continued)
• Keep the Annual Meeting in July/August for at least the next 3 to 5 years.
• Market the Annual Meeting aggressively within a 100 mile radius of the venue.
• Enhance networking opportunities:
o Work with AGD constituencies to market “local” social gatherings at the Annual Meeting.
o Work with regions to market “regional” gatherings at the Annual Meeting.
o Develop formal organization and activities at the Annual Meting to make all attendees
(especially first time attendees) feel comfortable and wanted.
• Enhance business opportunities for vendors:
o Hold a shorter, more intense trade show – 2 days is sufficient.
o Provide and encourage opportunities for vendors to meet with general dentists outside the
regularly scheduled continuing education and trade show hours.
o Hold continuing education courses adjacent to the trade show (unlike Anaheim).
o Have no overlap between trade show and continuing education program.
o Facilitate vendor-sponsored technology demonstrations during the continuing education
• Utilize aggressive and personalized marketing:
o Send electronic promotional materials repeatedly to prospects.
o Do not send printed brochures unless requested.
o Follow-up with telephone calls - have “talking points” available for callers.
Long-term strategic recommendations emanating from OMRI findings include the following:
• Remove all governance activities from the Annual Meeting.
• De-emphasize FAGD/MAGD activities at the Annual Meeting.
• Give the short-term changes three years to have an impact, then if not successful, move the Annual
Meeting to the spring or fall.
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 13
Assist Members in Running their Businesses
While members have come to expect AGD to provide excellent clinical education, members have more
difficulty with day-to-day issues related to running their practices such as customer service, attracting fee-
for-service patients, dealing with third party payers, marketing, human relations, finance, strategic planning,
etc. Specific tactics that can help members with these issues and enhance the image of AGD with non-
members include the following:
• Provide discounted HR, marketing, finance, etc. expertise.
• Develop customer service training modules.
• Create a job board for the entire dental team.
• Create a purchasing cooperative.
• Develop “boot camps” that are positioned as mini MBAs.
• Place greater emphasis on practice management issues at the Annual Meeting.
• Create a listserver for practice management issues.
Broaden AGD’s Product Portfolio
Create new products, services, and events. Possibilities based on OMRI findings include the following:
• Develop an online interactive CE transcript service.
• Start a practice management listserver (also covered elsewhere).
• Develop a business management boot camp (also covered elsewhere).
• Expand online CE opportunities.
• Offer regional CE events in partnership with AGD constituencies.
• Offer online support for fulfilling 75-hour membership requirement.
• Offer relicensure tracks.
• Offer CE tracks for FAGD/MAGD at the Annual Meeting.
• Offer incubator tracks at the Annual Meeting (also covered elsewhere).
• Offer a Women’s General Dentist Forum.
• Develop a new meeting focused entirely on governance.
• Develop two new annual 2-day meetings (in the spring and fall) with each focusing on one of the
o FAGD/MAGD track
o Incubator track
o Dental team track
o Business management track
In broadening continuing education opportunities, it should be noted that segmentation must be the norm not
the exception. Content, delivery methods, pricing, and promotional tactics should vary based on specific
membership segments’ needs.
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 14
Increase AGD’s Presence in Dental Schools
AGD’s long-run viability is dependent upon being more successful in attracting young general dentists. AGD
has several programs such as Fellow Track and mentoring that already reach out to young general dentists
and dental students. Yet focus group discussions consistently revealed a need for AGD to have a greater
presence in dental schools. Additional efforts to reach out to dental students include the following:
• Establish coaches (experienced AGD members) in dental school towns.
• Sponsor events, tables, meetings, socials, etc. on campuses.
• Market more aggressively to individual students including emails and printed materials from head-
quarters and telephone calls by local AGD members – there should be at least 1 personal contact
with each graduating dental student every year.
• Offer a boot camp to dental students focusing on issues critical to new general dentists.
Position AGD as the “Go To Resource” for Life-Long Learning for General
Functioning as THE “Go To Resource” involves producing some original educational content, a greater
emphasis on being a gatekeeper and facilitator of content, and constant and consistent messaging and
customer service. Part of this strategy involves image control. This includes reviewing AGD’s logo and tag
line to ensure that they are appropriate for the direction and image AGD wishes to pursue.
Second, AGD must establish tight controls over use of the logo and tagline. Each should be used consis-
tently and pervasively. All materials including the website, all CE programs, all events including the Annual
Meeting, CE tracking efforts, all listservers, all aspects of the Annual Meeting, all communication with the
public, member library, all constituents’ websites, all constituents’ materials, etc. should consistently and
pervasively utilize AGD’s logo and tag line. A single AGD staff member should be charged with ensuring
consistent and pervasive use of AGD’s logo and tag line.
AGD should play a stronger role in generating “AGD brand” content. This content can be produced by
AGD and produced by speakers and companies that partner with AGD.
AGD must not only play a stronger role in developing its own brand of content, but it must also play a
stronger role as a gatekeeper for dental education content. The ultimate objective is for general dentists to
skip Google and go directly to AGD’s website when seeking information.
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 15
Change the orientation of rules and regulations for membership and continuing
education from policing and restrictions to advancing members’ interests
This strategy focuses less on changing actual rules and regulations than changing AGD’s attitude about
regulations and rules and how they are enforced. For example, the 75-hour membership requirement need
not be removed, but it can be positioned in a manner so that it in essence becomes superfluous. Nearly all
general dentists are required by their states to obtain enough continuing education hours annually that will
qualify them for AGD membership. Altering AGD’s policeman role can gain goodwill for the association
while fostering a continuing education environment.
Specific adjustments to AGD’s rules and regulations include:
• Accepting virtually all continuing education prior to AGD membership for FAGD/MAGD designa-
• Accepting virtually all continuing education from residencies taken prior to AGD membership.
• Accepting virtually all continuing education from nearly all providers.
• Establishing 1 set of rules for accepting continuing education.
• Permitting FAGD/MAGD to be achieved entirely through internet and home study.
• Removing the requirement of attending the FAGD/MAGD ceremony.
Support ADA’s advocacy efforts – seek opportunities to protect general dentists
with & without ADA
Part of the effort to strengthen AGD’s image should come through advocacy efforts in behalf of general
dentists. AGD should continue to work with ADA and seek opportunities to protect general dentists when
ADA’s efforts are not sufficiently targeted to general dentists.
Advocacy work, like nearly any product or service, is part tangible, part perceptual. AGD should tirelessly
position itself in communications to members, non-members, and the media as taking a leading role in joint
advocacy efforts with the ADA. Consistent and pervasive communication of AGD’s efforts, positions on
issues, and legislative/regulatory successes must be synthesized and distributed to members, non-members,
and the media. Bullet point summaries (talking points) should be the currency of AGD’s advocacy commu-
The impact of AGD’s advocacy efforts on members can be strengthened by mimicking methods of labor
unions. Staffing, organizing, funding, and “acting” (us vs. them) as unions can strengthen a sense of solidarity
among general dentists. It is “us against them”: general dentists vs. specialists, general dentists vs. third
party payers, general dentists vs. regulators, general dentists vs. legislators, etc.
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 16
Enhance the Value Proposition of Membership/Establish Emotional Ties with
All of the preceding recommendations are designed to increase the value proposition of membership.
Broadening the product portfolio, helping members run their businesses, removing arbitrary membership and
continuing education barriers, repositioning the Annual Meeting, etc. are all designed to add value to mem-
As stated in the previous recommendation, all products and services have a tangible component and a
perceptual component. Americans were convinced to pay more for a middle of the road Swedish vodka
(Absolut) because of creative advertising and packaging. Americans became so convinced through years of
marketing that Volvo was the safest car that young drivers who were not concerned about safety shunned
the brand necessitating a new line of vehicles and marketing targeting younger drivers.
What AGD says to members (and non-members and the media) is just as important as what it offers to
members through its broadened product portfolio. In today’s fast-paced, media-laden environment, saying
less and saying it more frequently is important. So is establishing relationships with members. AGD must
transition from a one-way communication model to a two-way communication model with members. A
two-way communication model requires that AGD offer value to members for their feedback. The objec-
tive is to establish a relationship of mutual benefit and trust, and to establish meaningful interfaces with
A two-way communication model must be centrally organized so AGD is consistent in how it interacts with
members. In every interface, AGD’s focus should be on providing benefit to members, not on selling
members the newest CE program, book, or DVD.
The importance of establishing emotional ties with members is demonstrated by the following figures from
the OMRI study:
• 75% of members rarely or ever get involved with AGD.
• Three-fourths of members cite time and distance as barriers to involvement.
• 37% claim they have never been asked to get involved.
• 30% maintain that AGD leadership is cliquish.
• 54% state that AGD is present or past oriented rather than future oriented.
• 41% want AGD to be less concerned about rules and regulations and more concerned about
These members are not strong advocates of AGD – they experience membership from a distance. They are
detached, unemotional. AGD’s challenge is to engage these members. New and enhanced products,
services, and events can help. More meaningful interfaces between AGD and these members can help.
Changes in AGD’s attitude regarding membership and continuing education rules and regulations can help.
Being a stronger and more visible advocate for general dentists can help.
Academy of General Dentistry OMRI 2004/2005 - Kerr & Downs Research 17