Health Reform: It’s All About Me.

Posted by admin | Healthcare | Thursday 29 April 2010 4:02 pm

By Aileen Katcher, APR

A Google search of “how will health reform affect me” garnered millions of results.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Tracking Poll, more than half (55 percent) of Americans say they are confused about the new health care law and 56 percent say they don’t yet have enough information to understand how it will affect them personally.  If you are an employer that means more than half of your employees are in need of information and clarification.

It’s a classic case of the WAM (what about me) factor.   While there are still many unknowns, now is the time to begin internal communications about what you do know about the law and how it may affect employees’ health benefits options, so they don’t have to peruse those one million sites looking for answers.

But first, educate yourself and key managers.  There are many resources available.  Our benefits broker, First Horizon Insurance recently conducted a webinar for key managers.  Several law firms also have great resources. Bass Berry & Sims regularly updates its reform website.  Your insurance carrier may have a Web source, i.e., BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has a section on its site dedicated to reform news.

Then, review your current internal communications program to determine the best way to integrate information about how the law will affect your benefits offerings as it is implemented over the next several years.   Here are some steps to consider:

  • Develop a list of Frequently Asked Questions with corresponding answers.  Some answers may be “we don’t know yet.”  Where possible, include a time frame of when the specific rule is set to be issued.  Post it on your intranet or internal network where employees can access it.  Update it as needed.
  • Schedule employee meetings to provide information on a periodic basis.
  • Send employees emails as new information and rules are determined that will affect them.
  • If you have an internal company blog, include information about health reform’s impact on employee benefits.
  • Include information in your employee newsletter.  Create a special section or column for reform updates.

Want more ideas?  Contact KVBPR.  We’d be happy to help you develop and implement a plan.

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Name the Fish Contest

Posted by admin | Fun at KVBPR | Tuesday 27 April 2010 4:41 pm

By Georgia Fogle

In my quest for self-improvement, my latest endeavor is to learn more about the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui.  I’m currently reading a book called “Feng Shui For Beginners: Successful Living by Design” by Richard Webster.  One of my favorite suggestions is to place a mirror in your kitchen so that you can see people when they come through the door. Who would have thought to put a mirror in the kitchen?

In Feng Shui, water represents wealth and luck, which also extends to creatures that live in water. So, in addition to hanging a mirror in my kitchen, we got an aquarium for our home and a fish for my desk at KVBPR. I did some research and opted for a Crowntail Betta fish.

Without further ado, I’d like you all to meet the newest member of the KVBPR team! His name is… um… Well he doesn’t yet have a name! Can you help? We’ll make it a contest and have a prize!

Submit your suggested name as a blog comment or in the KVBPR Facebook comments. Entries must be received by Friday, May 7. Winner (and fish’s name) will be announced on Tuesday, May 11. Winner will receive a gift certificate to Koto Sushi Bar.

Tell your friends! Everyone is eligible to win!

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Different game, same fundamentals

Posted by admin | Public Relations Strategy, Social Media | Thursday 22 April 2010 3:31 pm

By Tonya Kimbrough

Shannon shared this video on the state of the Internet at our KVBPR account team meeting last week to spark conversation and get some creative thought going.  While it may not answer the digital age-old question of “where is it going, and what can it do for me,” it certainly reinforces the fact that it is here and more overwhelming than ever if you just look at the numbers.

One set of stats that stood out the most was regarding email.  Of the 247 billion emails sent per day, 200 billion of those are spam.  And who likes spam?

For me it reinforces that while the digital realm of communication — including the wildcard of social media — may seem daunting, it should still be approached with a “back to the basics” mentality.  Sure, the playing field is different.  But the fundamentals remain relatively the same.  Identify your audience.  Find out where they are.  Engage them in a conversation.  Oh, and don’t forget to set goals and objectives for what you want to accomplish while you’re there.

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The Grammar of Branding, Part Deux

Posted by admin | Marketing & Branding, Public Relations Strategy | Friday 16 April 2010 11:20 am

By Neely Burks

You know when you learn a new word and then all the sudden, it crops up everywhere? And you can’t decide if that word was always in use and you just never took notice, or if the universe only decided to launch its popular usage after you took the time to learn it.

Well I think the same is true for language surrounding your brand. It’s really all about personal relevancy to the consumer. Case in point, Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It.” I never gave it much thought or took much notice – it was always just there, that supporting tagline, which unlike random vocabulary, has enough advertising dollars to support your awareness of it whether you like it or not.

That is until recently when I myself became a runner. In an effort to push myself harder than I ever have before with a level of physical and mental dedication that I’ve never bothered pursuing, I often find myself seeking the following words of encouragement when the road ahead seems insurmountable – JUST DO IT.

And while I already owned Nike apparel prior to realizing my newfound emotional attachment to their brand, my decision to wear their clothes now serves as both a fashion statement (their workout clothes are the cutest) and an external badge in support of my goal to just do it – no matter how awful it is.

Recently, while mulling around waiting for my running group to begin, I noticed the Nike logo everywhere. That word (well, logo) that just cropped up out of nowhere! It was always there, but I just never noticed it in the same way I do now. This is because their brand has become truly relevant to me.

And P.S., guess who spends more money on workout clothes – people who work out all the time. The long of the short is, make your brand relevant to the experience of your consumer and they will love you forever.

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Breakfast with Joe, the kind that’s good for ya’

Posted by admin | Events, Public Relations Strategy | Wednesday 7 April 2010 4:30 pm

By Holley Stein

Not only is Nashville, Tenn. the entrepreneurial health care capital in the U.S. but it is home to many fabulous universities that are willing to share resources with the community. In fact, with so many leaders showing dedication to mentoring, there is no greater town for young professionals to live in.

I recently attended the Scarlett Seminar on Emerging Leadership at Belmont University where Joe Scarlett, founder of the Scarlett Leadership Institute, served as keynote speaker. Mr. Scarlett shared his “lessons” for success with a room full of eager professionals. They are great tips. In many cases some are recommendations that public relations professionals often make to clients. I thought these should be shared with others:

  • Build your niche
  • Be a “communications pro”
  • Build solid relationships
  • Be a champion of positive change
  • Teach and coach
  • Associate with winners
  • Have fun
  • Stick to your values
  • You are always on stage
  • Joe’s style points – among them, do not negate the value of “please” and “thank you”
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What Planet Am I Really On?

Posted by admin | Op/Ed, Social Media | Tuesday 6 April 2010 10:52 am

By Renee Sloan

There have been a lot of firsts in my life, but I think writing my first blog for KVBPR’s Web site had to be the scariest thing I have done in a while.  It felt like I had just jumped out of an airplane without a parachute.

As I am quite a people person, it is very comforting to think that I am part of the social media community now, but at the same time it is perplexing to me that someone may actually read my blog and comment on it.  I am humbled to know my opinion may actually matter to someone.   Who are these faceless people?

Perhaps I have been beamed up to another planet in another galaxy far, far away because I sure don’t feel like I am on planet earth any more.  I must admit my curiosity has gotten the better of me, and now I am wondering who else is out there in the blogosphere.

I am not sure where my blogging travels are going to take me just yet.  But, hey, at one time I didn’t know how to drive a car either, and I managed to conquer that!  Maybe I’ll try traveling to the Twitterverse next . . .

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