It’s not just pets that can bite. A veterinarian group launches a cyberbullying hotline for its members.
What is it? The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has developed a confidential 24/7 Cyberbullying Response Assistance Hotline to assist members who have been victims of online attacks. Online harassment may involve false online reviews or threats of physical or financial harm. Members who call the hotline will receive a free 30-minute consultation with Bernstein Crisis Management, which helped AVMA develop and implement the benefit.
Why it works: AVMA is hoping the hotline addresses an emerging concern in the field. According to a 2014 survey, around 1 in 5 veterinarians said that they or their colleagues had been victims of cyberbullying. Dr. Kim May, an assistant director in AVMA’s Marketing and Communications Division, says that she receives one call per month from veterinarians asking for cyberbullying assistance. The hotline is a pilot program; its effectiveness will be assessed after a year of operation.
Other benefits: The new hotline isn’t the only reputation-management perk. AVMA also offers marketing and client-service tools to help vets promote their practices. Members also have access to personal financial-planning tools, career webinars ,and scientific reference materials.