Modern Healthcare

How to tell your story

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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.

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