Emily Sloan (Interviewee)
Parker Watson (Interviewer)
Assistant Public Relations Director
First Health of the Carolinas
UNC- Chapel Hill
(910) 715 5376
Parker Watson: I know a lot of PR practitioners originally got into the field by actually
starting out as journalists.
How did that work for you, or maybe, did you just go
to school for PR instead?
Emily Sloan: I actually went to school, I went to UNC-W and got my degree in
marketing, and my first job right out of college was kind of a combo job of public
relations and marketing in a very small hospital.
Actually, it was the hospital in
Their role of PR and marketing was rolled up into one.
My training was
more in marketing, but PR was definitely an aspect of marketing; it’s a
component of marketing.
So, that’s kind of how I got into more of the PR field,
and when I worked at the hospital there in Sanford, I kind of got…kind of
developed a liking more to the PR side, not that I disliked the marketing side.
But, I felt my strengths were more in writing and that sort of thing which fell
more under the PR side.
So, then, when I left the hospital there, I joined the
hospital, First Health of the Carolinas at Pinehurst, and then my title, then focused
more in PR.
Then, my title is Assistant Director of PR, but I also still have some
marketing components to my job as well.
PW: OK, how do you feel the marketing component of your original job has helped shape
you as the PR practitioner that you are now?
ES: Well, marketing is all about identifying your customers’ needs and then exceeding
and meeting those needs, which a lot of that, PR is definitely part of that.
relations is communicating with your internal ‘customers,’ which would be your
employees, physicians, here at the hospital, as well as our external ‘customers,’
which would be the general public: patients, visitors, that sort of thing.
job is to create and kind of maintain that positive image for the hospital in
meeting the needs and expectations of our customers, so it kind of rolls in
PW: OK, when you first got into the profession, how did you go about establishing
relationships with the news media, and did you have to contact them, or, I mean,
did they contact you?
ES: Well, I think I, when I first started, I think I anticipated them contacting me.
before they did that, I wanted to develop that relationship with them, so I
contacted, there in Sanford, just in our local media, reporters at the Sanford
Herald, primarily those that covered healthcare and business.
So, I made that
contact with them and kind of asked if I could come over and tour the newspaper
and kind of meet some folks there, meet the editor.
We did that, and then we just
went to lunch and that was just an opportunity for me to be able to tell him a little
bit about me and just kind of get to know him and just develop that relationship.
Those relationships are so important, especially in more negative situations when