Health Care Media Panel

Health Care Media Panel

Join us as a panel of top health care media pros give us an inside look at their outlets and reveal how today’s PR professionals can work best with them to garner awesome coverage for their clients.  Bring your questions for the Q&A portion!  Attendees will learn from area health care media about:

  • The roles they play at their respective outlets
  • What types of stories and topics they are interested in
  • How they like to receive pitches
  • How PR professionals can work better with them
  • What’s ahead for the media and health care industries
  • How seismic changes in media (hello fake news!?) are impacting the way we work together
  • And more!

About Our Media Panelists:

Mary Bubala, Anchor/Reporter, WJZ-TV

Mary Bubala: Emmy Award-winning anchor Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4,5 & 11pm newscasts.  A native of Chicago, Mary has made Baltimore her home since 1996.  Mary began her career in upstate New York after graduating from Ithaca College with a journalism degree. In June 2016, Mary was nominated for a regional Emmy for her coverage of the Freddie Gray riots and was awarded a regional Emmy for Outstanding Anchor. 

Meredith Cohn, Health reporter, The Baltimore Sun

Meredith is a University of Maryland College of Journalism graduate who became a reporter when newspapers still had foreign bureaus but no Internet. She’s covered a little bit of everything including politics, transportation, real estate, and for the last decade or so, health and medicine for The Baltimore Sun. She’s spent much of her time in recent years writing about the disastrous rollout of the health care exchanges and subsequent repeal effort, the grim effects of the city’s opioid crisis and the gun violence and the aftermath of the Freddie Gray riots.

Morgan Eichensehr, Reporter, Baltimore Business Journal

Morgan Eichensehr is a reporter for the Baltimore Business Journal. She covers technology and health care for the Greater Baltimore region. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and was a Dow Jones News fellow. She grew up in Baltimore and is a die-hard Washington Capitals fan (only because this city no longer has a hockey team).


Debra SchindlerModerator: Debra Schindler, Regional Director of Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health – Baltimore

As the regional director of media and public relations for the largest healthcare provider in the Maryland-D.C. region, Debra Schindler oversees all external media and PR efforts for MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals.

Just added! Mary Beth Marsden, Broadcast journalist, video producer, autism advocate, artist, founder – Real Look Autism, LLC. Bio coming soon! 

Event Details:
Registration/Networking: 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Lunch and media panel: 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Crisis Communication Workshop Attracts Sell-Out Crowd

If there’s one topic that communicators want to stay current with, it’s crisis communication. PRSA Maryland’s workshop on crisis communication, which was held at Baltimore Research on September 22, 2017, attracted pros from near and far. We packed the house with PRSA members and non-members from as far away as Harrisburg, PA.

Speakers included Jeff Davis, APR, Van Eperen, and Dan Dunne, APR, Erickson Living. They shared their expertise on the topic and provided real-life examples of crises they managed for their organizations. Attendees walked away with proven strategies, tips, and recommendations they could implement for their companies’ crisis communications plans. 

One workshop attendee said, “I learned tangible strategies and tactics to include in my crisis communications plans plus best practices for counseling clients through a crisis.”

Jeff Davis, APR, Van Eperen

Dan Dunne, APR, Erickson Living

Learning Never Ends: The Value of Continuing Education for Public Relations Professionals

Learn how staying on top of the latest trends can help practitioners in one of the most dynamic professions continue to advance their careers.
By Malissa Carroll 

As someone who works in a health professions school, I have become familiar with the value that continuing education holds for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. In addition to the mandated continuing education requirements to which they must adhere to remain in practice, these practitioners are always searching for new opportunities to expand their knowledge and skillsets, allowing them to better serve their patients and practice at the top of their licensure. While health care and public relations are two vastly different fields, my experience has shown me that, in the area of continuing education, there might be some lessons that we can share.

To Learn is to Lead

Similar to health care, which has witnessed an incredible evolution in recent years, advances in technology have helped public relations become one of the most dynamic professions in which individuals can pursue a career. The constant advent of new mediums and platforms through which brands can share their messages – from smart phones to social media – challenges public relations professionals to keep up with ever-changing trends, contributing to the need for continuing education to help us acquire the skills necessary to incorporate these advancements into existing plans, strategies, and tactics.

Fortunately, we as public relations professionals do not need to look too far for opportunities to build on our existing knowledge and skills to ensure that our work makes the greatest impact for our clients. Whether you are an early career professional who is interested in obtaining an advanced degree or an experienced practitioner who wants hone his or her skills on a new platform, there are numerous options available to help you meet your personal and professional education goals.

Attend a Conference

One way for working professionals to gain new knowledge or acquire new skills is to attend conferences focused on their field or area of interest. These events often feature distinguished speakers who are leaders in the profession and from whose experiences everyone in attendance can learn. In addition to the national conferences and workshops offered through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), you can find a number of local and regional events through PRSA-MD, which can offer insight into how peer organizations are staying on top of the changing industry.

Complete an Advanced Degree

Colleges and universities are becoming increasingly sensitive to the needs of working professionals who are looking to advance their careers with a master’s or other professional degree. Many institutions now offer students the option to complete their degrees entirely online, while others provide evening and weekend courses that seamlessly fit into working professionals’ busy schedules. The University of Maryland University College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Georgetown University, and New York University are just a few of the institutions that offer advanced degree programs for public relations professionals. A quick Internet search will lead you to many more results – at least one of which is sure to meet your unique needs.

Pursue a Certification

Obtaining a professional certification is another way to demonstrate your proficiency as a public relations practitioner. As the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community, PRSA offers a range of certifications for new and experienced professionals to demonstrate drive, dedication, and values in the field of public relations, including the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential. The APR credential certifies a public relations practitioner’s drive, professionalism, and principals, setting that individual apart from peers and positioning him or her as a leader and mentor in the public relations field.

Register for a Webinar

For public relations practitioners who do not have much time to spare, webinars provide an excellent opportunity to pursue continuing education. These one- to two-hour events are designed for professionals who want to keep abreast of current trends in the field, but who might not have the time available to earn a formal certification or degree. PRSA offers a wide range of webinars – many available at no cost to members – that aim to help practitioners understand new concepts or tools, as well as refine their existing skills.

Abigail Adams once said, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” Whether on the frontlines of patient care or behind-the-scenes bringing awareness to a brand, the value that continuing education can have on an individual’s career cannot be understated. If you have one hour, one week, or one year or more to spare, there are continuing education options available that will help you stay on top of current trends to ensure that you can continue providing the best service for your clients.

Learn How to Create a Snapchat Series & Take Storytelling to a New Level

Learn How to Create a Snapchat Series & Take Storytelling to a New Level

Online registration is closed. Please register onsite. 

Coming to the event? Click here for a campus map. 

Go beyond Geofilters and overlays and discover new ways to tell your brand’s story using Snapchat. Learn how to identify social media influencers on Snapchat and partner with them to create Snapchat shows a.k.a. “Snapisodes” to tell your brand’s story to their millions of followers. Lunch is included with registration. Special pricing available for students/PRSSA members.


Immediate and immersive, experiential storytelling is an ideal way to connect with millennials and other tech-savvy audiences. But how do you bottle the magic of the moment and turn it into a movement?

Bringing an experience to life for viewers at home has always been challenging, but new channels, technology, and the rise of online influencers have all created new, exciting opportunities for creativity. Building a story around an experience helps forge a deeper connection with the audience, giving them a feeling they will associate with your brand.

Associate Creative Director, Jason Burelle, from imre, a transformative marketing agency, will speak about his most recent Snapchat campaign, which was shot live on the iPhone 7 Plus across four countries for a total of 26 days. He will also discuss the agency’s work with beverage brands and how they’ve partnered with influencers and events to drive awareness and trial among influential markets.

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck: Public Relations on a Limited Budget

By Malissa Carroll

Five tips to help your company or organization “do more with less” when executing your PR plan.

The benefits that organizations can reap when they dedicate the necessary time, effort, and resources into developing and implementing a comprehensive public relations plan will often outweigh any financial commitments associated with executing the plan. However, at a time when budget uncertainty continues to plague small and large businesses alike and organizations begin to look for new ways to “do more with less,” it serves us well to remember that, as public relations professionals, there are steps we can take to ensure that our work continues to have the greatest impact even when budgets have been stretched paper thin.

Know Your Audience
The importance of knowing your organization’s audience can seem obvious to the seasoned public relations professional. However, it is worth restating, as any PR efforts that do not target those audiences will almost certainly waste time and resources – neither of which PR professionals on a shoestring budget can afford. Understand the needs of your organization’s audiences and focus your efforts on channels that will drive those individuals to your business, such as garnering attention from niche publications focused on your specific industry.

Build Relationships
While especially important for PR professionals who work with members of the media, relationship building can extend beyond networking with local journalists and influencers. Establishing a strong presence on social media – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – is inexpensive and can be an invaluable way to engage with your audiences. Dedicate the time to regularly post content that demonstrates the value that your organization brings to others, not just an occasional news story.

Treat Content as King
Never underestimate the value that well-crafted, versatile content can add to your PR plan. For professionals on a limited budget, this content can easily be developed in-house, without hiring a professional copywriter. You can also review materials from previous campaigns to see if there is content that you can repurpose with minimal to no updating. Once your content has been finalized, share it across all platforms at your disposal to achieve maximum impact with your audiences.

Integrate Communications
Integrating communications can be an excellent way for PR professionals on a limited budget to extend the reach of their efforts. Did your organization recently invest in the production of a new print publication? Think about how you might be able to adapt pieces from that publication for your organization’s website or social media platforms. This practice will not only help extend the reach of your content, but also ensure that your organization is sharing a consistent message across all media.

Leverage Your PRSA Membership
As PRSA members, there are numerous resources that you can take advantage of to remain on the cutting-edge of the profession – many of which are available at no cost. Attend a networking event hosted by your local chapter to see how other PR professionals are maximizing their efforts on a limited budget. Register for a free webinar or read a recent white paper to learn new skills that you can bring in-house to reduce the costs associated with hiring outside agencies. Your PRSA membership comes with many benefits. Do not overlook them.

A strong public relations plan can bring immeasurable value to an organization’s brand and reputation. By adhering to the tips above and investing the necessary time and effort, you can not only demonstrate your ability to “do more with less,” but also ensure the success of your PR plan and, consequently, your organization.

Chapter Sponsors

Chapter Sponsors