Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
I have always struggled to explain what it is I do when asked by a stranger...a response simply saying ‘I work in healthcare PR’ normally results in a blank response or misunderstanding that I am a personal assistant (much to my dismay)...I have also opted for ‘I work to connect the medical industry, media and general public’, to which I’m perceived as some kind of sales person...so to the unknowing, what is it we do?
I think perhaps the reason why this response is so tricky, is that our role is ever changing and often account dependent...for many clients, I have been somewhat like their personal assistant (happy to buy their wife’s xmas present as necessary) and to others, a vital and integral part of their comms and strategy team. And the social media age has only made the boundaries of the profession more vague.
I have heard PR simply pigeon holed as a part of the marketing mix, the ‘cheaper but more effective’ alternative to advertising, or tainted as ‘PR bunnies’ who organise parties!? And thanks to some unethical examples, PR has been classed as ‘spin’...
And if we struggle to explain what it is we do, no wonder it is often difficult to quantify the benefits!
This week, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), announced a drive to find a better definition of ‘public relations’ – asking visitors to its website to submit suggestions on a template, from which it will create so-called word clouds. The US trade body will then convene to generate the three best definitions from this crowd-sourcing exercise, which it will put to a public vote.
Hopefully this process helps to provide improved definition into what we do – and the value we add.
The PRSA aims to come up with its new definition of public relations by Christmas.
From my experience a good start would be; we drive conversations on behalf of our clients with the aim of providing ‘the truth, well told’: what’s yours?