Chapter Rewind | By: Gabriel Soltren
During the February FPRA Healthcare PR at its Finest meeting at Florida Hospital, Sara Brady, introduced Samantha Kearns O’Lenick, Executive Director of Corporate Communications & Community Partnerships. Samantha announced that Barbara West, media consultant and former health reporter for WFTV, would anchor a new Florida Hospital program.
See video below.
Barbara shared insights on public relations and healthcare reporting. “Why would 1 million people be interested in this story,” is the question you should ask when pitching a story. She also advised to have interviewees prepared but not rehearsed. For example, she stated that she once interviewed a woman on her death bed who wanted to tell women about the importance of early cancer detection. The patient died of breast cancer 5 hours after telling her story on the news.
Samantha introduced team members Jennifer Roberts, Amy Pavuc-Gentry, David Breen, and Kirsten Cutler. Jennifer Roberts explained that there is no such thing as “off the record” in television news. David Breen provided tips for working with reporters. “Write in regular person language,” he said. Building relationships with reporters will pay dividends.
Samantha started the media relations department at Florida Hospital. Over the years, the department evolved from focusing primarily on media relations to focusing on public affairs. The goal of Public Affairs is to build goodwill in the community and includes corporate communications, internal communications, government relations and regulatory administration.