Internally Marketing Your Communications Department Marc McCombs Corporate Communications Director West Virginia Medical Institute WVMI Background Multi-faceted organization: – QIO for WV, PA and DE (PA and DE through wholly-owned subsidiaries) – Medicaid prior authorization in WV and VA – Record abstraction services for the Department of Veterans Affairs and DoD – Analytical services for the CMS Office of Long Term Care WVMI Background Approximately 350 employees and contractors in seven locations Communications serves all QIO contracts and corporate communication needs Have grown from one staff person in 1995 to 14 in 2003 Today’s Presentation Eight Simple Rules for establishing the internal value of the communications department Rule 1: Know Your Department Both from a philosophical and skills standpoint Establish departmental core values – “Service, Creativity, Teamwork, Innovation” Conduct a communications skills inventory – Either formal or informal Rule 2: Know the Organization Know every product, every process, every issue and every person Ways to get there: – Work on proposals (both proofreading and writing) – Participate in senior management meetings – Establish a working relationship, or preferably, a direct reporting relationship with the CEO – Interview/work with managers and staff Rule 3: Define/prioritize your internal markets QIO contracts Business development and marketing – Branding and proposal development Human resources – Recruiting, orientation and internal comm. Satellite offices – Communications and support Other contract and departmental support – Virtually anything for anybody at anytime Rule 4: Provide services to meet your “market” needs Match services with your skills assessment, knowledge of the organization and marketing priorities. Transfer your department’s skills into benefits: – We can help you _____________________ “save on meeting travel costs by. . .” “make this understandable by. . .” “produce a winning proposal by. . .” What services can we sell internally? Technical writing/editing Social marketing Graphic design Process development Video production Planning skills Audio production Problem solving Web design Photography Media relations Training/education Media buying Public speaking expertise Database/mailing list Facilitation management/procurement Health education Wellness coordination Physician office detailing Features/Benefits Exercise Department Features Customer Benefits Video production Alternative to expensive, large meetings Intranet Affordable, development accessible employee communication Rule 5: Deliver on the promises Under promise Over deliver Rule 6: Build demand by building credibility (cont.) Deliver, deliver, deliver Leverage external success into internal credibility – Enter award competitions – Explore business opportunities for communications – Share successful comments from partners Rule 7: Advertise Communicate your projects and successes using your communications bully pulpit. – Employee newsletter – Employee presentations – Intranet/Internet – Marketing publications Rule 8: Evaluate Solicit feedback Continually refine processes for providing services – How can we do it better, cheaper and FASTER? If your policies and procedures aren’t meeting your customers needs, they must change. – Even turnaround times! Anticipated result of following the rules. . . A healthy, growing communications Department. . . Anticipated result of following the rules. . . A healthy, growing communications Department. . . Deeply routed in the organization.
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