How a hospital served the public and journalists with video interviews

University Health enlisted hospital experts to share advice on staying safe during the pandemic. The effort has won in the ‘Media Relations Strategy: Media Relations Video’ category of Ragan’s 2021 Media Relations Awards.

Creating their own interview videos served both the public and journalists

When the COVID-19 pandemic came to San Antonio, media coverage skyrocketed. University Health wanted to position itself as the community’s foremost authority on how people should protect themselves and their families and respond to the spread of the virus. With reporters piecing together stories using poor-quality Zoom interviews and stock footage that often did not represent the hospital’s facilities or services, University Health decided to record its own interviews and make them accessible to the media and public.

In one such video, as COVID-19 hospitalizations were surging in San Antonio in July 2020, hospital epidemiologist Dr. Jason Bowling discussed personal habits and how to respond to a positive test for COVID-19. That post on the hospital’s Facebook page reached 40,670 people. Reactions jumped to 792. Dr. Bowling answered frequently asked questions, including how long a COVID-positive patient is contagious and whether it’s safe to visit family members.

The hospital had no full-time video team. So, with a contract photographer/editor, University Health PR sat down with experts in a small studio and recorded their answers to the most prominent and current COVID-19 questions.

Production was simple and the content relevant. The chief medical officer and the hospital epidemiologist took the lead in providing information about best practices for masking, promising treatments, advances in vaccine development and availability.

The video interviews were provided to journalists to be used in their entirety or as edited sound clips. University Health encouraged media members to post the videos on their websites. It also repackaged them by excerpting individual questions to post on the University Health Twitter feed and Facebook page. The videos were also included on the hospital’s YouTube channel and Health Focus blog, an electronic newsletter distributed to the public.

The videos provided important consumer information, which allowed the PR staff to continue its mission of positioning University Health as the leading authority for expert health care information.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Allen, Shelley Kofler and Mark Greenberg.

Learn more about Ragan’s and PR Daily’s current and upcoming awards programs here.


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