Essential work: Trusted, authentic communication

Posted by: Brion Eriksen


Health Beat continues to set the standard for brand journalism with trusted storytelling—when our community needs it most.

Our friend Jim Ylisela at Ragan Consulting Group recently wrote a blog post that highlights how companies’ brand journalism platforms have been essential to their communications and overall brand clarity and visibility during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jim and RCG are tremendous communication partners to some of the world’s leading brands, and these companies he’s profiling all have great stories to tell. As Jim points out, building a brand journalism platform (not just a blog or newsroom) for your organization will be even more important going forward, in your efforts to remain highly visible in the digital realm with clear, authentic, and relevant storytelling, directly to your customers and prospects.

So we won’t fault Jim for not mentioning Health Beat, a brand journalism site Elexicon , and we’ll gladly report on their accomplishments during this strange and scary spring and summertime of 2020.

Where the mission meets the moment

As the Coronavirus pandemic swiftly descended onto West Michigan in March 2020, the entire Spectrum Health organization confidently mobilized into action. As the largest health system in the region, Spectrum Health would be the epicenter for COVID-19 diagnosis, testing, and care in West Michigan. Through best-practices preparedness and strong leadership from system President Tina Freese-Decker and Chief Medical Officer Darryl Elmouchi MD, Spectrum Health has been weathering the storm as effectively as can possibly be expected.

Testing and case treatments have been handled with the utmost care and dedication from the inside, and Ms. Freese-Decker and Dr. Elmouchi have also spearheaded constant, transparent communications that kept the community informed and led to Grand Rapids and West Michigan residents successfully managing the “curve” of cases (as of this writing, trends have been carefully, optimistically, positive).

Health Beat, as you might imagine, played an important role alongside these executive communications. Information on hand washing and social distancing and telehealth options could be found everywhere, but Health Beat’s journalism clearly and authoritatively provided this type of detailed information directly from the region’s leading health experts. And, in true Health Beat fashion, they didn’t stop there.

On-the-ground reports

Health Beat delivered “on the scene” reports with photo galleries and video of drive-through testing operations, helping to reduce stress by giving patients an idea of how it works and what it would be like when they arrive.

More authentic personal stories

Health Beat’s beautiful storytelling about health journeys continued, but with a different focus: The caregivers on the front lines of Spectrum Health’s response. Health Beat created amazing profiles of the courageous nurses and doctors, where their dedication to saving lives — in the face of danger — shined through.

A steady flow of clear, trusted advice for keeping yourself and your family physically and mentally healthy

Over the past several weeks, Health Beat has delivered an incredible succession of advice for dealing with COVID-19, from identifying symptoms to staying safe and sane at home: At-home exercise, easy and affordable meal ideas, sleep advice, mental health tips, even an article reminding folks who can’t go to the hairdresser that some hair color products can cause an allergic reaction.

As our nation—and our city of Grand Rapids—were forced to once again come to grips with racial inequality and inequity in the wake of police violence and the outsized impact of COVID-19 on minorities, Health Beat continued its thoughtful reporting from the perspective of Spectrum Health’s role as a pillar of community health.

In the last few months, Health Beat has once again proven why it has achieved over 120 web site, public relations and content marketing awards, and why it’s a standard-bearer among brand journalism platforms. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you develop a brand journalism platform for your communications strategies.

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