Scripps PRSSA was happy to welcome Ohio University alumna, Anne Merchant, from Akron Children’s Hospital. Anne has more than 22 years of corporate communications and public relations experience in the non-profit sector. Since 2010, she has worked at Akron Children’s Hospital, and is now director of corporate communications. Prior to that, she worked in Washington, D.C. in various public relations positions at Adventist HealthCare and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Anne opened up the meeting by sharing some key takeaways about working in corporate communications at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Anne leads an integrated marketing department and serves as the voice of the organization. Her team focuses on internal and physician communications. Their communication goals include: keeping employees and medical staff informed about working at Akron Children’s and sharing strategic plans, leadership changes, employee information and COVID-19 updates.
Akron Children’s uses internal communication channels such as, an internal intranet, newsletters, videos, magazines, digital signage, targeted collateral for referring doctors and dedicated emails to communicate with employees. “Internal communications is crucial work,” Anne said.
Anne then touched on her team’s work in media relations. They work closely with earned and owned media, and secured 5,784 placements and 2.7 billion impressions in 2020. They pitch media on patient stories, Akron Children’s family-centered care philosophy and COVID-19 updates. Akron Children’s Hospital also has a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram (@akronchildrens). Anne says their social media is like one big support group for the families.
Anne’s Advice for Bobcats
- Get involved! (If you’re in Scripps PRSSA, you’re already one step ahead 😉)
- Know what matters to you—it will make your job easier
- Find a mentor (plug for the Scripps PRSSA professional and peer mentor programs!)
- Take chances
- Listen and learn
- Be curious and interested in others
- Continue to write
“I’m a better human because of the people I met. There are far more good days than there are bad days and I’m grateful for that,”Anne Merchant on working in corporate communications at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Anne concluded the meeting by pitching the communications internship at Akron’s Children Hospital. You will learn all things internal communications, marketing, social media and media relations. They are looking for a spring and summer intern, and you can keep an eye for the job posting here. Anne also shared that her favorite food in Athens is beer cheese soup from The Pub!
Vivian Moussa is a senior studying journalism, strategic communication and is the 2020-21 Chapter President of Scripps PRSSA. Connect with her on Linkedin here!