Accreditation Enhances Communications and Branding Efforts at Clermont County Public Health
By Julianne Nesbit, RS, MPH
Accreditation encouraged Clermont County Public Health (CCPH) to turn a weakness of external communication into a strength that is still growing today. Early in our accreditation journey, CCPH administration staff realized we truly needed a person dedicated to external communication. Many PHAB Standards and Measures relate directly to external communication. Previously other administration staff pieced these tasks together only when an emergency required it or when time allowed. The agency had a robust website, but the need to continually update information and keep it current required more attention.
Realizing the need, a full time Communications Coordinator was brought on in 2015 to work on increasing external communication, marketing, and branding. Accreditation was the big motivator for us to change our logo and adopt a more nationally recognized one. We were never good about bragging about our accomplishments or services, however staff now feel more comfortable praising the great work that we do. It has made everything we do appear more cohesive, and from the public’s perspective it is clear that we are public health. Team members take pride in where they work and what they do and want to represent our agency well to others. The Communications Coordinator was able to launch social media, including Facebook and Twitter, for the agency as a quick means of getting information out and the ability to target populations if needed. The agency went from rarely getting any news coverage in the competing Cincinnati market to getting over 30 media hits annually including newspaper, radio, and television. Marketing and branding plans allowed for a uniform look to all materials produced by the agency from fliers to pamphlets, program brochures and reports. Monthly marketing meetings are held to discuss upcoming events and to promote what is going on throughout the agency. Accreditation proved that communication is too important to be an afterthought in someone’s job duties, and should be a dedicated role.
Clermont County Public Health in Batavia, Ohio, was awarded national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board on November 14, 2017.
About the author: Julianne Nesbit, RS, MPH, serves as Health Commissioner at Clermont County Public Health in Batavia, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected]
Other major benefits gained as a result of going through the accreditation process:
The accreditation process has encouraged us to work more closely together and become more knowledgeable of work that is performed in other divisions.
We are more organized and thoughtful about the way we document our work. If it is not written down, it did not occur.
We consider accreditation requirements when looking at new activities/grants/programs, and attach greater importance to ensuring our mission, vision and values are front and center in this process.
We have more focus on areas where we still have gaps, and are working to address those areas more fully.
The accreditation process has stimulated a culture shift among our staff to be more forward thinking as a part of continuous quality improvement. The answer to why we do something should never be “because we have always done it that way”. Staff are encouraged to ask why we do things certain ways and provide input on improving processes.