Sunday, August 12, 2012

Internal PR Paper

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Abstract

Public relations can have a long term direct impact on an organization’s reputation, profits, and it’s future. The public relations specialist serves as the voice for businesses, associations, universities, hospitals, and many other types of organizations. A good PR specialist will build and maintain positive relations with the public. Often, their importance is recognized as a key result of success of many organizations.

The Need for PR

The public relations professional handles many functions including consumer, media, community, politics, conflicts, investor relations, etc. It is their job to know and understand the needs and attitudes of these core types :

· Consumers

· Management

· Employees

· Community

· Public interest groups

· Stockholders

· Journalists

· General public

It is also a very vital part of the job keeping all interested parties informed about Organization’s policies, accomplishments, and activities. They need also report back to management in reference to the public’s attitudes and concerns in which they have must deal directly with.

PR professionals also prepare press releases and contact people in the media to give statements. Many times, the journalists will contact the company and ask to speak directly with PR.

They also organize programs that promote the company to the public. They are often community based projects that promotes an image of trust.

PR in the Health Care Industry

Public relations plays a major part of daily activities at UNC hospital. This organization offers many services from well-baby checks to chronic disease care to life saving surgeries. UNC is always looking for ways of improving health care. They pride themselves as a leader in health promotion and disease prevention.

Another place that has PR written all over it, is the organization’s Mission Statement:

Who We Are and What We Stand For Mission

The University of North Carolina Hospitals is a public, academic medical center operated by and for the people of North Carolina. Our mission is to provide high quality patient care, to educate health care professionals, to advance health research and to provide community service.

Vision

The University of North Carolina Hospitals seeks to be the preeminent public teaching hospital and health industry employer in the Southeast.

Values

We care about the people we serve and those with whom we work. We value excellence, effectiveness and efficiency. We are devoted to public service of the highest quality. We strive to continuously improve all that we do to meet fully the needs and expectations of our patients, referring physicians and other constituencies.

Patient Care

We value our patients as people who deserve the best we can offer in responding to their needs and expectations. To fulfill these needs and expectations, we strive to provide excellent health care competently and economically.

Human Resource Development

As an organization, our employees, affiliated professionals and volunteers are our most important resources. We value and support initiative and innovation. We are committed to individual growth and development to achieve our fullest potential. We value collegiality and teamwork, open communication and fairness. We recognize that to care best for others, we must also care about ourselves.

Research and Education

As the teaching hospital of the University of North Carolina, we foster research and education. We value research activities that help expand knowledge and enhance health care delivery. We value the education of health care professionals who exemplify the best qualities and standards of their professions.

UNC goes out of it’s way to promote it’s services to the extent of having it’s own newsletter that it provides to the general public to keep interested parties up to date of what is in progress. Some most recent stories that dealt with interests to the community include

· Grandchildren of Werner Von sing at Children’s Hospital.

· “Heels in Motion” mall walkers club started at the mall

· Dr. Folds receives Professional Recognition Award

· UNC Healthy Woman Pavilion

· Wellness Center to Break Ground

It is a necessity that a facility such as this promotes well being and distances itself from any type of negative publicity. A bad reputation in the medical field, could be extremely damaging once the public has a bad mind set against such an organization.

Negative PR

Earlier this year, a long time competitor, Duke University Hospital had unfortunate circumstances that caused major damage to its reputation. It involved a huge mistake by the team of surgeons performing a transplant on a young girl from Mexico. The surgeon did not confirm that the appropriate blood type was a match for this little girl. The transplant was performed and her body rejected the organs and eventually died. This tragedy not being harmful enough on the facility but the poor public relations that occurred prior to and after the death in my opinion did the most damage.

Instead of acknowledging the mistake and seeming sympathetic, the hospital’s first response was to pass blame elsewhere. Then after the young girl passed and her parents were mourning, and the general public was still in shock, they made the mistake of making the comment that the family did not have any rights since they were not legal citizens. Many saw this as throwing salt in an open wound and very insensitive. Even though it may have been an attorney that made the negative comments, it was still a representative.

This facility didn't try to do damage control after the public was outraged, but by this time, it was a little too late. The damage was already done.

Based on public complaints from this case, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations downgraded the facilities accreditation status to “Accreditation with Requirements for Improvement.” They were cited by JCHO in six performance areas:

· Aggregation and analysis

· Planning

· Role in improving performance

· Assessing competence

· Information management

· Planning and governance

Possibly if the facility made an effort to be responsible and take immediate action

In correcting the situation and working to regain public trust, the results may not have been as damaging.

Conclusion

Public relations is a necessity in any kind of an organization whether it’s a major corporation or a non profit. Not only does it need to promote the organization, but it also needs to build a trust within the community. Bad PR can be very damaging and possibly ruin the company. Most of your successful businesses rely on their PR professionals.

References

http//www.unchealthcare.org/public_affairs.htm

http//www.wral.com/news/18506/detail.html

http//stats.bls.gov/oco/



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