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Trista Dawson Rutledge

Recent Posts by Trista Dawson Rutledge

December 15, 2016


Categories: Advocacy, Communications, Digital and Social Media, News Media

The Real Impact of ‘Fake News’

Most of us are guilty of flipping through the supermarket tabloids at the checkout line, being drawn in by the controversial headlines that blur the boundaries of true media reporting. Certain media outlets have taken liberties with news reporting for many years, but ‘fake news’ has been thrust into the spotlight like never before in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election. With the surge in fabricated stories and websites that at first glance look like credible news sources, there are potentially serious problems for communicators in the healthcare space. The proliferation of fake news may create confusion for consumers in what they believe to be true, and therefore undermine the value that accurate media delivers. Patients or caregivers looking for disease information may see a hoax headline about the therapeutic area and jump to conclusions without first seeking out reliable sources. In addition, the deluge of hoax headlines in the news landscape will make it even more important that we bring news to only trusted sources and credible news outlets. Building those relationships will be critical to ensuring accurate information is being shared among trustworthy sources. Our ability to control fake news stories in less credible outlets may be limited,Continue Reading

November 2, 2016


Categories: Communications, Creativity, Patient Communications

Tags: ,

The Power of Empathetic Storytelling

“Storytelling” has been a buzz word in healthcare PR for a number of years, with communicators realizing the value of using a compelling story to wrap around their brands and messages. As it turns out, storytelling actually generates a chemical response in our brains – releasing cortisol during tense moments in a story (heightening our focus) and oxytocin during the uplifting parts (making us feel good). Recently there has been a notable shift in focus to a nuanced version of storytelling in PR – one that centers on empathy. Empathetic storytelling can transport audiences to make them feel with someone, to feel challenges and pain from their personal perspective. Since the dawn of time, great storytellers have used empathy as an essential element to their stories, but in today’s world of infinite information, the power of empathy is even more important to break through the clutter. It can bring audiences into someone else’s life, leaving them with a lingering feeling and memorable moment that stays with them long after the story ends. For healthcare communicators and our clients, using empathy in storytelling can be an effective way to engage our audiences in a deep and meaningful way. To do itContinue Reading