How to tell your story
As patients are increasingly “shopping” for care based on cost and quality, it’s more important than ever for health systems to be accurately and effectively telling their story. Sixty percent of a company’s market value is attributed to its reputation, according to ad agency Weber Shandwick.
Fawn Lopez, publisher of Modern Healthcare and vice president at Crain Communications, shared best practices for effective interactions with the media, as well as some tactics that leaders should avoid. Whether they’re looking to influence their reputation among patients, employees or even board members, c-suite executives must be the face of the health system.
“Most of your employees will never get interviewed or show up in an interview, but they’ll see you talking about your mission and vision, sharing your organization’s innovations and breakthroughs,” Lopez said. “You need to put a face to your organization, and it should be one that embodies leadership, innovation, transparency, vision and trust.”
Reporters and readers alike don’t want to read “PR speak.” When reaching out to the media or participating in interviews, Lopez noted that it is critical that executives use short sentences, include key details and avoid statements that are self-serving. Rather, communicate your message in a way that makes it clear why it is important to readers, and make sure to relate it to broader challenges facing the industry.
“While local media may be interested in your new inpatient tower or expanded services, national and trade media have to write stories with broader ramifications,” Lopez said. “Know who you’re talking to, and tailor your message to their audience.”
“Nobody can speak about your organization, your mission and vision, in the same credibility, authority and passion like you can—especially when the story may not look so great for your organization,” she added.