BRENTWOOD, Tenn., & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Healthcare communications and public affairs firm Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc. today announced the publication of a white paper on the state of communications and marketing in major U.S. health systems.
“Healthcare Communications and Marketing in the Brave New World” is based on extensive conversations with more than 20 communications professionals at top, integrated health systems across the country. Summarizing pragmatic and timely best practice information, the white paper examines trends in structure, staffing, budget and measurement within health system communications and marketing departments. Click here for video.
“Healthcare is changing like never before, and so is the way we communicate,” said Kim Fox, vice president of Jarrard Inc. and co-author of the white paper. “The collision of these two trends has created more questions than answers for communications and marketing executives. We sought to find answers, but what we found is that despite an industry-wide desire for a ‘holy grail’ solution, there isn’t just one single way for communicators to navigate today’s changing environment.”
Fox, who has almost 25 years of experience in healthcare marketing and communications, as well as an in-depth understanding of multi-hospital systems and the healthcare marketplace, authored the white paper with Jarrard Inc. colleague Susan M. Alcorn, the former chief communications officer for nationally renowned Geisinger Health System. Alcorn is also the recipient of the Award for Individual Professional Excellence, the highest honor of the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development.
“The changes in the industry are tumultuous – but they’ve also given birth to a new reality: The role of communications is more important than ever and, as a result, the role of senior communicators is deeper, broader and more strategic than ever,” Alcorn said. “Although we found that there is no golden solution, it was clear to us that communications professionals have before them a great opportunity to effect change, take their place as leaders and shape the future of the industry.”
Other key findings in the report include:
- Traditionally separate, the lines between functions of marketing, public relations and communications are blurring dramatically, which reflects the transition from hospital systems to integrated health networks.
- The function of internal communications and employee engagement is more important than ever before. As health systems make strategic decisions with the potential to impact the future of their organizations, employees and physicians must be brought along. They must understand the value and vision of the organization if they’re to get behind it.
- Budgets are one of the most widely varying factors across health system communications and marketing departments, with Jarrard Inc.’s findings spanning $2 million, $17 million and upward of $30 million. One notable trend is the move toward centralizing all dollars related to communications and marketing.
- Digital communication is most powerful when different disciplines work together to take advantage of opportunities. For example, communications and public relations are embracing the role of social media in storytelling and developing relationships with audiences, while marketing is recognizing the value of digital media in patient acquisition and brand development.
About Jarrard Inc.
Based in Nashville, Tenn., with an office in Chicago, Jarrard Inc. is the premier strategic communications and public affairs firm for any hospital or health system in the nation experiencing a time of significant change, crisis or opportunity. The firm publishes healthcare newsletter Inside Baseball and marketing blog Jack of All Trades and ranks among the top 15 healthcare PR firms in the U.S. For more information, visit www.jarrardinc.com or follow us @JarrardInc.