Public Relations Interview

Kaiser Permanente is an integrated managed care consortium based located in Oakland, California. Kaiser Permanente evolved from industrial health care programs for construction, shipyard, and steel mill workers for the Kaiser industrial companies during the late 1930s and 1940s (“Kaiser Permanente,” 2013, para. 1). Kaiser Permanente is consists of three distinct entities, the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, the autonomous regional Permanente Medical Groups, and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.
Kaiser provides medical care throughout the eight regions, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans (KFHP) works with the employee, employers, and individual members who offer prepaid health plans and insurance. The health plans provide infrastructure and are not for profit that invest to Kaiser Foundation Hospitals that provides tax exempt shelter to the for profit medical groups. The Permanente Medical Groups are owned by the physician organizations.
They arrange, and provide medical care for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan members. The medical groups are for profit professional corporations, and partnerships that receive the funding from the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans. The flagship hospital for Kaiser Permanente is the Oakland Medical Center. The facility has : 761 physicians (between Oakland and Richmond Medical Centers), 341 beds, 14-bed perioperative department, and 60 critical care beds (“Kaiser Permanente,” 2013, para.

3). The Oakland Medical Center is a specialty medical center that employed board certified surgeons, and physicians who teach at well-known universities like the University of California at San Francisco. They provide a wide array of highly specialized care units, including Comprehensive pediatric care program (“Kaiser Permanente,” 2013, para. 5).
a.Cochlear implants
b.Genetics
c.Kidney stone and gallstone treatment
d.Neonatal intensive care
e.Pediatric neurosurgery
f.Spine surgery
Instant worldwide communications make it more important than ever to manage a company’s image and control how a company interfaces with its customers (Sardisco, 2013, para. 1). Public relations is an essence of any company whether a company is private or public, profit or nonprofit and its status will define its success. Modern public relations practitioners have faced more difficulties and challenges as the information for fast, and marketing globalization alter the pace and landscape of the profession.
I interviewed the Public Relations Affairs manager of organization, she covers the East Bay Region of Northern California that includes Oakland, Richmond Alameda, and Pinole. I have worked with her in various projects highlighting the work we are doing in the nursing units to improve our patient satisfaction, and care experience. As a Public Relations Manager she plays a vital role in our communications, and marketing division. She works in collaboration with the national, regional, and local public relations department of our organization.
One thing that I am amazed is how consistent and standardized their communications plan across the region; they are consistent with the message they are giving to the community, and to the public. As a PR manager she develops and implements strategic public relations programs to attain significant brand awareness. As a public relation affairs manager, she has the critical work of placing Kaiser’s hearts, and minds of the key stockholders that includes the patients, prospective members, clinicians, journalist policymakers, and executives.
She is responsible in numerous interrelated departments dedicated in advancing the organizations mission by promoting, and protecting Kaiser Permanente brand by supporting a successful strategy that includes issues, and brand management, corporate communications, public relations, media, and stakeholders relations, public affairs internally, and externally. She supervises public relations staff that works on different areas; media relations, business – business communications, research, philanthropy, sustainability, health IT, and health care reforms. She also shared that Oakland Medical Center has a formal public relations plan.
It has an effective print, media, broadcast media kit. The robust plan include news releases, public services, newsletter, community, and charity events, creation, and maintenance of website, webcasts, media tours, spotlight new programs, news monitoring, full use if social media, and internet by participating in the online forums. It is important for the organization to put forward important messages to the public to have an image, and good impression of the organization. They also have scheduled public relations program that regularly appear in the main community calendars.
Planning for the unexpected crises is another important function of the public relation. An example was during the fire at the Chevron Richmond refinery last 2012 that happened near the Richmond Medical center that has the same license with Oakland. Kaiser Richmond Medical Center has served several dozen of people who came to the emergency room that complained shortness of breath and people were seriously ill. The fire has affected the quality of air over contra cost and El Cerrito Hills. They created public relations plan to handle the crisis and support the community by providing access with the media, local police, and government.
She also shared some of the challenges as a public relations manager is keeping up with the rapidly changing media environment. To have the accurate current information and consistency in reaching the right contact, at the right time with the correct information is also important. Control the new media avenues in proper way like Facebook, twitters, and LinkedIn. How to work around the constantly changing views around the traditional approaches. Development of an effective process from a one – one media relation not in a one size plan.
Marketing, and public relations; both are major external functions of the firm and both share a common ground in regard to product publicity and consumer relations, at the same time, however; they operate on different levels and from different perspectives and perceptions (Turney, 2001, para. 3). What I learned is that both public, and marketing relations has gone through intense growth, and evolution, it gained increased influence in the business world as they developed new strategies, and projects that projected positive, and aggressive communication in larger public.
The traditional perception is that marketing exists to serve, sense, and satisfy customers’ needs for a profit. In Public relations assist its public and organization to adapt mutually to each other. In marketing it supports the transfer of services, and goods from the producer, and the provider to the consumer. The immediate goal of public relations is to achieve an understanding of the organization’s position with the public while marketing’s goal is sales. Public relations inherent goal is to have a positive perception and predisposition while marketing is to gain profit.
Public relations measurement of success is evidenced by public support, and expressed public opinion’ while marketing’s measurement of success is the quantity of revenue, and sales it generates. Most organization use only one of these disciplines, some uses both. This depends on the degree that they use; it varies from organization to organization based on the size, purpose, and unique organizational background. Kaiser has three entities the hospital clearly has the public affairs and the health plan division uses the marketing strategy.
If an organization is nonprofit like Kaiser Permanente Hospital Oakland Medical Center primary goal is to serve the public, and the community. Public relations are more prominent function because it builds relationship with its members. The public affairs department coordinates, and disseminates public information, community affairs, and relations. A business for profit and focuses on marketing, and sales, and gaining profit is the most dominant function. Public relations are the secondary function and are completed to enhance, and enhance the marketing efforts.

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