An Ebola checklist for hospital communicators

By Kim Fox
President, TSHMPR
Vice President, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc.

Stories about Ebola are everywhere: You see them on the news and hear them around the proverbial water cooler. In this time of high emotions, rumors and fear, it is our job as healthcare communicators to step onto the void.  Who better to provide facts, information, and reassurance?

Your clinicians and operations teams have been meeting countless hours to make sure that your hospital is prepared to respond if a patient presents with Ebola or Ebola-like symptoms.  But as a communicator, you must be ready as well -- to inform, educate and reassure your patients, community and employees.

Here is a checklist to help you think through what you can do to be prepared.

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When does a crisis become a crisis?

By: Kim Fox, Vice President Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc.   In the hospital setting, we're all pretty clear on what to do when disaster strikes. When there's a multi-car pileup on the Interstate, an explosion at a local manufacturing plant or a massive tornado, we all have our assigned duties and we jump into action. But what about a crisis that's not a disaster. What do we do when there's a wrong-site surgery, employee embezzlement, a HIPAA violation or ... READ MORE

Branding, Part 2: Perception Is Reality

From a branding perspective though, if an organization conveys such an attitude - that we-are-what-we-are-take-it-or-leave-it-and-you-should-make-the-effort-to-figure-us-out attitude - the employees might as well lock the doors and go home. Its days are numbered. Perception might not always match up to reality, but most of the time, it really just doesn't matter. Consumer perceptions rule when it comes to brands.

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Branding, Part 1: More Than Meets the Eye

Some think of branding more broadly and would include not just the logo and identity but the overall image an organization portrays. To name a couple of ubiquitous examples, Coca-Cola’s packaging, ads, trucks – you name it – all have that distinctive Coke look. Starbucks, love it or hate it, has a pretty consistent branded presence wherever you find it or its products.

Yet, while these are all aspects of branding, a company’s brand is much more than the visual design of its logo, printed matter and website.

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