Cure Your Communication Skills [National Conference 2018 Session Recap]

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Session: Cure Your Communication Skills: Healthcare PR

Presenter: Rachel Henderson, Vice President, Warschawski

Recap: Rachel Henderson discussed the contemporary climate of healthcare communications and the need for PR practitioners to adapt to an ever-changing consumer base. Henderson shared problems that have emerged as a result of factors such as declining attention spans and the increasingly prevalent presence of misinformation. The VP shared powerful examples for both, mentioning the average human’s inferior attention span to that of a goldfish (eight seconds) and the staggering figure of nearly 28,000 children who went unvaccinated in 2013 due to parental refusal.

Henderson went on to demonstrate how she has used technological advancements in mixed reality (XR) to craft her “Under the Net” virtual reality video for the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign; the world’s largest grassroots campaign dedicated to saving lives through malaria prevention. She explained how the video’s impact extended beyond the awards, views and media impressions it received. By leveraging virtual reality, Henderson was able to generate bipartisan support and increased spending on global malaria prevention, effecting change around the world.

Takeaways:

  • Create compelling stories and go beyond worrying just about the numbers.
  • People have short attention spans so tell them why they should care.
  • Leverage XR for innovative communications solutions.
  • You don’t need a big budget to make an impact.
  • Health PR is great for the world and soul.

Stephen is a senior communication studies major at James Madison University. He serves as the vice president for JMU’s Chapter of the PRSSA and is an original member of JMU’s Student-run PR Firm. The senior concurrently interns as a Branded Content editorial intern for JMU’s Office of Communications and Marketing. Connect with the author on Linkedin.

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