Public Relations, Charity

     & Media Exposure

Presented here are many years of successful branding efforts that focus on orthodontic benefits for the patient. From the outrageously fun to the serious and thoughtful, these campaigns are meant to help grow the practice, for sure, but more importantly they are meant to create a branding awareness that highlights orthodontics in its most engaging and flattering light. Much of this branding involves charitable enterprises.  This entire family believes that one of our most important missions is to give back to a society that has been so kind to all of us. There is a huge difference between marketing and advertising.  Marketing is how you live your conscious business life every you answer the phone, how you communicate, how you take care of others, and how you treat cases.  It is, quite simply, your culture. Advertising, on the other hand, is using some form of media to make known who you are and what you do.  Advertising usually fails when the marketing strategy is not thoughtful.

Click on the logo above to get access to

100 great, tried and true marketing ideas to help grow your practice.

Hilgers-Tracey Marketing Manual

This is our Portfolio Book. It is a softcover book made in iPhoto and reflects good examples of all of the kinds of cases we treat.  It focuses on the office in the beginning of the book and finishes with well treated cases.  This book costs about $20.00 each and is given to potential referring dentists along with a number of items that typify the way we practice orthodontics. We usually take all of these items as well as some appropriate goodies to potential referrals but it can be used lots of other ways and we have been known to just give them to special patients who are our best ambassadors.

Double click picture to watch movie

Our Smiles and Smiles Ahead e-mail celebrates the removal of active orthdontic appliances.  This e-mail, conceived on a Photoshop template and then imported into a template, is e-mailed to the patient and it allows them to send on "just the picture" to a friend or family member.  It can also result in a Facebook like or shared on Google+.  We have affixed a small icon in the lower left hand corner of the picture. These pictures are also included in our "Hall of Fame" digital photo album shown daily at our front desk. This is a very special day in the patient's life and we want to share with them a wonderful picture to commemorate the day.

Giving back has always been an important part of the Hilgers' credo.  From an early age all of the members of the family are mentored to give back to society and to think in terms of the 'good for all." Dr. Mike Hilgers has consistently lived up to this calling by yearly treating some patients in dire need at no charge. This can be one of the most rewarding and pleasurable experiences of practicing orthodontics.

We have had an overwhelmingly good response to our twice yearly Lunch-and-Learns for local dentists and more importantly, their staffs.  We registered with the state for continuing education credits (2) and serve a hand-held lunch so the participants can sit and listen while they eat.  The whole meeting is from 12:00-2:00 and we always try to add a little zest with a drawing for a nice prize.  The presentation needs to be top-notch and we have given L&Ls on Diode Lasers and Mini-screws to show them what modern technology is all about.  We always finish up with a clinical demonstration of the idea we are sharing, which adds to the credibility.

We had a lot of fun with our "Pick Your Nose" contest.  We took impressions of all of the staff's noses and a few wild animals for good measure and had a contest to see which of our noses was most "pickable." Even the adults got into the swing of things and it was funny to watch everyone staring at our noses all day long as they filled in their "match the nose" form that we had at the front desk. We gave away a few iPods and some lesser prizes so a lot of people went away happy.

Remember the crazy Y2K scare when we all thought our computers would implode or explode and all our data would be lost forever?  Well, we had a bunch of fun with that with our Y2K Jelly (tongue in cheek). It was Hot! Hot! Hot! We just soaked the label off of some hot store bought jelly and slapped our label on it. We gave it to every mother that had a good sense of humor and told them to give it try.  Not a big branding item but fun anyway.

This gift kinda backfired on us.  We bought a bunch of pumpkins and Happy Fall Y'all wooden poke-in features.  It was a nice thought for the Thanksgiving season.  Well, we didn't know that when you poke holes in pumpkins they start to rot from the inside immediately.  So, you can imagine what happened when they sat on the warm front desks of multiple dental offices over a long weekend. Didn't make any new friends with that one.​

When we are planning our gifting one of the criteria is that we don't want to give throw-away or disposable items.  Flowers are nice but don't last very long. We like gifts that keep on giving and when the user sees it they are reminded about who gave it to them.  One of our favorites was the stylized and hand painted, labelled cereal bowls. We've heard about doctors using them after many years.

One of the least expensive but best liked gifts we ever gave was a CD filled with that years' awesome music. We started off with pop hits then realized that some people liked Boccelli and some people liked Brooks & Dunne. No problem, we made CDs of all kinds of music and called them "A Special Gift For A Special Person Like You."  They became so popular that we started handing them out to adults in the operatory for doing a good job.  We just asked what kind of music they liked and gave them a CD.  One of the easiest yet most appreciated campaigns we ever conducted.

For many years, Drs. James Hilgers and Steve Tracey gave a course for 25 orthodontists that dealt with modern and up-to-date orthodontic techniques. It was combined with two exciting adventures that included driving Daytona race cars to sleeping with the animals at Lion Country Safari to zip-lining.  Often the doctors would be part of an in-office course where the patients could participate and get this nice sense that they were involved in the latest and greatest. These "Adventures" courses definitely improved the panache' of the practices and credibility with patients.

One of the most brightly conceived and beautiful brochures ever used in our office was entitled "Face Change." It used​the uplifting and playful smiles of children in the process of doing what they do.  The mantra was "You can help change the world, all we can do is change your smile."  The brochure offered a free examination and was so pleasing that we have used the pictures and sayings in many, many other marketing campaigns.

Double click picture to watch movie

Our in-office 42 inch flat screen TVs are used for orthodontic education and to tell the patient about services that we offer that they probably don't know about.  These include TMJ therapy, laser whitening of teeth, sleep apnea therapy, Invisalign™ and computer designed braces.  But mostly they are used for fun and we have included hundreds of funny (but non-controversial) off the internet photos just to give our patients a giggle (without the noise!) And yes, we do doggie-ortho.

This is a movie of Dr. Shannon Hilgers Nissen being interviewed about her experiences taking an Ormco sponsored Mini-screw (commonly known as TADs) course.  She describes her initial trepidation followed by comfort with the process.  This movie is used on the in-office digital TVs so that patients can become more aware of the types of orthodontic interests and skills our doctors have attained.

Double click picture to watch movie

It's always great for patients in the waiting room to get to know you and your staff a little more personally.  So, our "Lettuce Book" comes to the rescue. We usually have 2-3 copies of the Lettuce book interspersed with with other magazines in the offices.  The object of this book is to highlight the personal lives and credentials of each and every one of our staff as well as the doctors and their families.  Patients need to know that you are just like them and have all the same wants and needs that they do.  This book, designed in iPhoto, is updated and renewed yearly to get rid of the dog-ears (yes, it's looked at that much, which is cool!)

We all have our 15 minutes of fame. In this clip from Good Morning America (recognize a young Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley?), Dr. James Hilgers invites Dr. Art Ulene into his office to discuss a new orthodontic technology, Lingual or Invisible braces.  It's funny to hear the comments from Jane Pauley when the interview is completed.

Double click picture to watch movie

Decisions, Decisions, Delicious Decisions was started as a Christmas gift to all our patients.  The first year, each of the staff contributed 3-4 favorite family recipes and we would rename them after that staff member.  For example, "Ann's Unbelievably Hot Tamales."  We had them printed and bound and tied a red ribbon around each one for the holiday.  Well, they were such a huge success that we kept adding more recipes so that now it would rival Julia Child's in thickness  . One thing we learned - make lots of extra copies of the pages the first year and you'll save lots of moola as you go along.  Now we give a copy to each new patient as a small gift and to add a little bit of personal touch to the patient assimilation process.

Where In World Are You? Our summer game has our patients sending postcards from their vacation sites. We give out lots of little gifts for the furthest away, the most exotic, etc. We usually get quite a few sent from a block away but we make sure we have lots of winners! Each postcard is connected to a world map with colored dental floss.

Temporary Tatoos. You make them up in Photoshop then upload them to an internet site. Google it. Weeks later you've got a bunch of water soluable temporary tatoos (little kids love em, mothers put up with them.) One note: make sure you flip your design horizontally or instead of SMILE POWER you will get REWOP ELIMS on their little arms.  ;-)

The OVS or Orthodontic Veneer System was developed by Dr. James Hilgers. In this movie, Dr. Hilgers demonstrates a simple technique to add to the size and shape of undersized lateral incisors. This is done until a final ceramic veneer or crown can be placed by the restorative dentist.

Double click picture to watch movie

Christmas tree ornaments are great but why not decorate your tree with your most prized possessions...your patients. We use an old fashioned Polaroid Instamatic camera and have a big ole' box of reindeer antlers, Santa hats and elf ears the patients (adults too) can wear for their picture. We then punch a hole in the picture, afix a ribbon and have them decorate the tree.  Have the patients write their name on the back so you can send them to them after the holidays. Guess who's the angel on top!

Double click picture to watch movie

C's Candy. The Big Kahuna Halloween Candy Buyback.  Each year, to cut down on some of the candy highs and cantankerous kids, we buy back their surplus candy (can there ever actually be surplus candy??) at 50 cents a pound. We then donate the candy to folks over at Leisure World and they are happy to enjoy it because they don't get cavities in their dentures.  One word of caution: the first year we paid $1.00 a pound and the kids figured out they could buy it cheaper than that so... some of our mini entrepreneurs made lots of dough and we got a huge pile of candy.

Orthodontics is great.  As long as you are doing a good job of treating patients (a serious business) you can all have a lot of fun (an unserious business).  We love JibJab in that regard.  We took a cute picture of each of the staff members and loaded them on JibJab and trimmed them.​ Periodically, for fun, or a birthday, or a holiday, or for no other good reason, we'll send out a JibJab video (an example of which is on the left) to a local dentist or a patient or whoever just seems like they need a chuckle. So, for a few mere dollars a year, JibJab lets you have a little lightness and frivolity.

Double click picture to watch movie

Brace removal day should be BIG!

We start out with a great a huge chocolate covered apple with their name written on it in white frosting.  A local vendor that also make chocolate covered fruit will come by the office once a week and drop off and pick up the names of the next weeks debands.  Don't take the braces off...not to worry. The apple will last for several weeks in the frig.

One of the most heartwarming campaigns we ever created was a brochure that tugs at the heartstrings.  It is about the best gift you can ever give...a smile.  And it ranks right up there with all of your other great childhood memories.

Double click picture to watch movie


The C&C or composite and chain is a method for oral surgeons to attach to impacted, surgically exposed teeth.  The technique, demonstrated in this movie, involves using a PVC form in which a gold chain is inserted.  This allows the surgeon to attach the gold chain to the tooth using only composite. Cleaner and easier to remove.

Double click picture to watch movie

One way to constantly acknowledge patients is with a bi-monthly ad in the local newspaper lauding the accomplishments of our patients.  By keeping our ear to the rail (mothers love to talk about their kids' feats) we can grab a quick B&W photo and email it in a template to our local newspaper.  Kids love to see their pictures in the paper!

In-office laser tooth-whitening is one way to put a gleam on a beautifully treated orthodontic result.  This brochure, at our front desk, describes the in-office whitening procedure and we don't just limit it to our treated patients. Some moms and dads also want to have their teeth whitened a little more aggressively than with just Crest White Strips.

This YouTube movie was created by

Dr. James Hilgers and Dr. Shannon Hilgers Nissen and it describes the 

use of a patented new wire, single strand micro-etched Retanium as a

splint type retainer when the patient had severe crowding and overlap of the incisors at the beginning of treatment. This movie discusses the techniques involved with it's placement.

Double click picture to watch movie

Kelly Hilgers+Pediatric Dentistry+Avondale+Arizona+Michael+Hilgers+Orthodontics+HNC Orthodontics+Shannon+Hilgers+Orthodontics+Dentistry+Pedodontics+dental movie+Mission Viejo+California

In this informative webfomercial, Dr. Kelly Hilgers introduces you to her alligator dental mascot, Charlie, and her lively,​ innovative pediatric dental practice. It highlights her personal philosophy and gives an enticing overview of her office "experience." 

Dr. Hilgers defines her office goals and aggressive approach to preventive dentistry.

Double click picture to watch movie