In our capitalistic America, jobs are forever being created and destroyed as new branches of jobs are constantly being formed. One recent development within the communication sphere that has emerged is public relations. When I tell people that my degree is in this ill-defined space, I am usually faced with a follow up question sounding something like, “oh that sounds cool, but what exactly do you do?” That question is harder to answer than it seems, since PR can be applied to entertainment, business, or just about any field, really. At CynEx Consulting, we apply our PR skills to help medical professionals manage and market themselves.
There are two main PR strategies - proactive and defensive. Being proactive consists of not only knowing how to market yourself and your company, but also being involved in the community. It is important to keep potential patients and fellow doctors up-to-date on your practice by distributing press releases, post cards with information or even an occasional letter regarding specific updates that may occur, such as expanding your practice. CynEx aids in the drafting, design and distribution of those materials, saving not only money but also time.
As human beings with busy schedules and long nights, it is hard to carry the weight of the world on only one person’s shoulders, which is why the majority of doctors work in practices, or with others to help with additional tasks. Unfortunately, it is also natural as human beings to come to a sort of conflict with one another. Inter-business conflicts have the potential of leaking to the media, or others in the community, threatening your practice’s image. In addition to conflicts between coworkers, according to an article published by NPR, between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die from mistakes made in American hospitals. We understand that the medical field is a risky one and can help with those interpersonal or large-scale conflicts by carrying out certain tasks to mediate the crisis, especially in the crucial period following the mistake that occurred.
Here are key steps to follow in the midst of a crisis situation:
- Put together a team of individuals, but keep it as small as possible while still being effective.
- Think of all of the errors that occurred and how they can be fixed. Also, try to come up with an idea that will incentivize people to continue to do business with you.
- Release a statement to the media as soon as you have drafted one. Apologize for what you have done, and state what you plan to do to fix this problem.
- For the next several months, work on being proactive and repainting a positive image of yourself and your company.
Whether it be spreading the word or managing the gossip, PR is an essential tool to implement within your company. It is a highly engaging field that is constantly being re-shaped by new technologies, innovations, and perceptions.