Patients Utilize Online Technologies

February 25, 2008

 

typing.jpgHave you been sick recently and wanted to find fast and efficient answers to your medical questions?

 Good news!  Web sites are being created by health care facilities to provide patients with information and advice about health issues.

Thousands of people are turning to the Internet and using online resources to receive quick and credible medical information.

Since people are using the Internet as the number one way to find information, the health care field is beginning to explore new media techniques such as podcasts, videos and blogs to reach out to patients.  Cleveland Clinic and Akron Children’s Hospital are among the few health care facilities beginning to implement these techniques.

As a PR student, I have learned PR professional’s are responsible for introducing and integrating these types of technologies in their careers.  Web-based communication techniques have the ability to target a large amount of people.   

The new tools can offer patients a venue for learning and sharing health information.  WebMD gives general medical information, but using the new media techniques will allow doctors to directly communicate information to patients.  Just think…podcasts, videos and blogs presenting valuable information to patients given by an actual doctor.

Having such a reliable and trustworthy source will help patients learn the facts about different illnesses and treatments without searching through hundreds of  questionable Web sites.

I don’t think online health information has reached its full potential, but it’s on its way.  The new media tools will have a positive impact on the health care industry if information on Web sites is better organized and presented properly. 

How can the health care industry improve the way it’s currently using the new media tools to make it more efficient for patients to learn about different health issues?

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PR Manager Says, “Retards”…What a Mistake

February 18, 2008

 

Did I really just hear him say that?

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“I wanna build a hair salon for kids with special needs, so the ‘retards’ can get it together and get their hair done.”

This is what PR manager, Adam Jasinski of the United Autism Foundation said on the TV show, Big Brother.

While surfing the Web, I stumbled across a post about this story written Feb. 15 and couldn’t believe a PR manager would say something like this.

Here’s the clip with Jasinski’s offensive remark: 

 

PR professionals need to watch what they say.  They inform the public about health issues or other pertinent issues, so they have a huge responsibility.

Negative comments such as Jasinski’s makes the PR field look bad.  PR professionals are supposed to talk positively about their client and be an advocate.

PR representatives need to create a positive image of their client and Jasinski definitely failed to meet this responsibility, to say the least.

PR professionals need to be loyal to their clients at all times because they will always be in the public eye.

Jasinski has done United Autism Foundation a big disservice.  The cause he was supposed to be supporting seemed to be a joke to him.

What is your opinion of Jasinski’s comment?  Do you think this puts the PR field in a negative light?


PR Shaping Public Opinion

February 11, 2008

 

speaker.jpgPeople are speaking out against it more than ever, which motivates PR professionals to campaign against it. 

I’m talking about smoking and second-hand smoke.

Have you seen the campaigns on TV about smoking tobacco? 

My favorite are the truth commercials.  A PR representative was definitely in charge of this campaign.

Smoking tobacco has been a controversial topic for over 50 years. 

PR campaigns have increased people’s awareness of the health risks tobacco smoke causes.  Anti-tobacco campaigns have influenced the public to come together and voice their oppositions to tobacco smoke. 

People’s opinions do influence local and state laws.  Ohio voters passed a smoking ban in public places in 2006.  This shows how public relations professionals are educating and influencing the public. 

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The movie, Thank You For Smoking, got me thinking about how PR really does shape public opinion. 

Nick Naylor (actor Aaron Eckhart), the Vice President of and the chief spokesperson for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, researched the links between smoking cigarettes and ill health.  He informed the public that there were no links and defended the rights of smokers.   

Have you seen this movie and if so, do you think Nick Naylor persuaded people to think smoking was okay?

A PR spokesperson of a company must be persuasive and have a strong message in order to gain support for their cause.

Health care facilities need to recognize the influential power and importance of the PR field and learn how to make PR prominent in the health care industry.