Healthcare PR from Sarah Wagoner at Children’s National: February 2nd meeting recap

by Mira Kuhar

This meeting took us on a journey to the healthcare side of PR! It was great to see so many smiling faces eager and ready to learn about this different side of the industry.


  • Scripps PRSSA is now introducing a Historian committee run by Sam Miller! The committee will meet every Wednesday at 9 a.m in Professor Farkas’ office in Schoonover 209. It’s a great way to get a peek into our chapters past as well as a boost for your resume!
  • The Tips & Tricks forum is now up and running! This weeks tip: internship searching. Share your expertise on this topic or visit the site to get some help! Experts can share their tips on whatever topic they want to as well.
  • The Scripps PRSSA Social Media Summit is coming! It will be held on February 21st from 11am-4pm in Walter 135 and 145. There will be two sessions: a beginner session and an advanced session. To attend, you must register here: It is free to all social media lovers!
  • #ScrippsPRSSAtoCLE was a success this past Friday! #ScrippsPRSSAtoChi trip coming up in March on the 26th-27th. Be on the look out for more info coming soon.
  • This week’s spotlight: Dan Farkas, our professional adviser and a fellow Bobcat. Give him a shout out at @DanFarkas!
  • ImPRessions announcements: There will be an ImPRessions Twitter chat, #ImPRessthePRos, on Feb 10th @ 8 p.m. Sienna Tomko, a Scripps alum will hosting the chat. There will also be two workshops offered throughout the semester with professionals from cleveland and columbus to brush up on PR skills, so keep a look out for more information on those!
  • February is Bateman month! Scripps PRSSA’s Bateman team is off to a great start so far. Save the date! Athens Matters Block Party February 21st at the Athens Community Center. For more information, check out
  • International Week: Follow@OHIOIWeek on Twitter! The committee has created a new logo and is working on getting the dining halls to serve international food options during International Week!
  • It’s not too late to pay your dues! You can become a spring dues-paying member until Monday, February 16th.

Welcome, Sarah Wagoner!


Sarah is a PR and Marketing senior specialist at Children’s National Health System in Washington D.C.

Sarah’s presentation was focused around repositioning the Children’s National brand. The first step was to work with an advertising agency to create a new logo that heighted consumer awareness to the Children’s Medical brand. “Mr.Bear,” the bear featured in their logo, is now a brighter color and his hand is in the shape of a heart that ties back to the overall objective of Children’s National.bearscompare-1*304 Next, Sarah talked about how research was a critical part of the rebranding process. It helps a company know how they want to position themselves to their audience by seeing what the current perceptions of their brand are and how they can improve upon that. They began to position themselves as champions, using the phrase “we stand for children” among others to show that they stand for children’s health and promotion their future. Sarah also talked about how the positioning is not a slogan, it’s a stand. She quoted one of the employees at Children’s National saying that the positioning should be the “tattoo under your scrubs.” It’s not something you present out in the open, but it is there to inform marketing, recruitment, philanthropy, employee engagement and operations.

Next, Sarah talked about how the company internally kicked off the rebranding. She showed us a very powerful video that was an important aspect in the process to get employees on board with the change. They also did a few other things to get the staff at Children’s National on board because without their support, the rebranding would not be a success. One major part of rebranding than many of us fail to think about is the physical aspects. The digital is easy to change and make amends, however changing things like logos on signs and the colors of the walls in the building is something a little more permanent, yet not less important.

Through all of this, Children’s National figured out their target market, and started implementing their campaign to the public. Getting the website up and running was the last piece to the puzzle. Walking through how a company has rebranded themselves is an awesome eye opening experience. This meeting was a really informative one for members who are interested in the branding aspect of PR, as well as the healthcare sector.

Scripps PRSSA would like to give a  huge thanks to Sarah for presenting to us! Give her a follow on Twitter at @JMUswag

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