Jul 21 2016
When I was a reporter, I was skeptical of any “news” issued by businesses or other organizations. At the time (I’m dating myself here), that “news” was in the form of press releases and the occasional (rehearsed) media interview or press conference. Even when we did report on company-generated news, we researched the heck out of it to make sure it was objective – and to make sure we identified bias and included other points of view.
Fast forward to today. As a PR professional, I’ve used my skepticism to help organizations develop and deliver newsworthy content. But it wasn’t until recently that I gained a new found respect for how seriously a growing number of organizations are taking the responsibility of being a respected news source. It happened when a health care client of ours asked us to help them build a world-class news operation.
Now this client already had a well-run media relations and consumer news operation, but realized that in today’s competitive and cluttered news environment, it needed to become even more proactive and efficient in leading the discussions around health topics of interest – not just those that involved their own achievements. The challenge was finding an efficient way to involve multiple internal…
Jul 7 2016
Fitting in a doctor’s appointment during the week is no easy feat. By 2016, I thought I would have adapted to virtual consults – but so far that’s not the case. While technology continues to transform healthcare, whether it be fitness trackers or online communities, the majority of patients still prefer to discuss their personal health face-to-face.
According to Fierce Healthcare, 62 percent of people rely on their doctor for information. However, online patient portals are growing in popularity, with 21 percent of patients using this technology to communicate with their physician. Data like this makes you wonder…
Where are we at with telemedicine?
It is projected that there will be 1.2 million virtual doctor visits in the U.S. this year. With more than 300 million people in the U.S., you might expect that number to be higher. However, according to the American Telemedicine Association, more than 15 million Americans received some kind of medical care remotely last year, and those numbers are expected to grow by 30 percent this year.
Jun 30 2016
In the wee hours of Sunday, June 12th, Orlando Health’s Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) was thrust into the spotlight as the Level 1 trauma center responded to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. 49 dead, 53 injured. 44 of the victims arrived in the emergency department at one time.
A nightmare on every level.
ORMC has been praised for its response to the tragedy. The hospital has received an outpouring of support locally and nationally, recognizing the heroic efforts of the medical team.
Thankfully, this tragic scenario is an unlikely one for most hospitals, but it does demonstrate that organizations have to be ready for the worst – sometimes even worse than they could ever imagine. As health care communications professionals, what can we learn from the ORMC response?
1) Plan for the worst – and drill for it regularly
In a recent blog post, Brian Ellis, PadillaCRT’s Crisis and Critical Issues practice leader notes, “In crisis management, the name of the game is speed. The faster a crisis team can get ahead of the issue, the less damage will be caused to the company. Speed is based on three factors: the flow of information
Jun 23 2016
It’s the gender twist to the old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
When it comes to health, men* often are cast in the role of the horse, with “water” being played by any of the health care providers he needs to see when “dehydration” (illness or injury) sets in.
I recently had my own experience with this when my husband was diagnosed with ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. He spent three miserable days with a fever, chills and fatigue before he even considered calling the doctor. It was the classic and highly caricaturized “man-healthcare” scenario, with excuses including:
Once all of my husband’s “yeah, buts” were addressed, thankfully, he went to see the doctor. He received the treatment he needed and is on the road to recovery. But the difficulty in getting…
Jun 16 2016
Being an influential communicator in today’s ever-evolving media landscape can be challenging. So how can we as communicators continue to connect and engage with consumers? Brand journalism and content marketing have exploded in recent years, making today’s communicators indispensable.
Earlier this week, I attended Ragan’s Health Care PR & Communications Summit. The pre-conference workshop, hosted by Mark Ragan, focused on brand journalism for corporate communications and how organizations are using it to connect with consumers, enhance media coverage and engage employees. Throughout the workshop, we discussed building content platforms and developing internal editorial processes, as well as how to engage consumers in your stories.
We took a deeper dive into brand journalism and the new role of the communicator from developing content strategies to turning employees and customers into brand ambassadors. Below are a few takeaways from the workshop and the role brand journalism plays in an organization.
Become the media versus asking the media to write your stories. It’s no secret the newsrooms are shrinking and journalists are becoming more strapped for time. But our stories still need to be shared. To ensure this, communicators need to develop a content strategy and write
Jun 9 2016
While “thought leadership” is not a new phrase or concept, it’s certainly en vogue right now. In fact, thought leadership is one of the most frequent asks in the Requests for Proposal that cross my desk. And the interesting thing I’ve learned from talking to these companies is that there are different definitions of what it is; different expectations about what it looks like; and, different beliefs about what it can accomplish.
As recent headlines and sound bites have featured fallen thought leaders, rising thought leaders and those who only think they are thought leaders (you know who you are), I thought I’d offer my perspective on the topic and a few tips for using thought leadership as an effective strategy for your personal or corporate brand.
Defining thought leadership
While there are several acceptable ways to define thought leadership, I define it as an earned outcome of a purposeful, integrated communications strategy. Key ingredients include passion, relevant experience, meaningful content, and a point of view. Thought leadership can apply to an individual brand such as Warren Buffet, a regular go-to on financial matters, or it can apply to organizational…
Jun 2 2016
When I began my current job, it was not only the start of my public relations career, but it was my first job having anything to do with healthcare. I had absolutely zero experience in health and that’s not always easy in an industry as intimidating as healthcare. Politics kept me interested and involved in healthcare policy, but I was fine with being a spectator on the bench. To actually be involved in the business was a whole other game, and not one that I was sure I knew how to play.
However, in a matter of months, I already feel like I’ve gained a second education from being exposed to a variety of health client work. And while the road can be rocky at times, I’ve condensed some of the things I learned along the way into four points that can benefit anyone who is looking to get their foot in the door of healthcare PR.
1. It’s okay to not know
I still find this to be true every single day that I come to work. The fact of the matter is that most PR professionals in the health industry are PR professionals first. While some may have