The Office of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs is the primary conduit of news and information about the University of Maryland Medical System. Not only do we keep employees and staff informed about internal Medical System developments, we also keep the public informed about Medical System scientific and clinical advances. In highlighting the Medical System's achievements, we raise the public's awareness of important health issues.
There are four components of the Office of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs: Web Services, Media Relations, Creative Services and Employee Communications. Below is a brief description of each.
Web Services is responsible for developing, maintaining and attracting visitors to our public Web sites and our internal, employee Intranet site. The public sites we manage include www.umms.org, www.umm.edu and www.ummscareers.com. About 10,000 people visit these sites daily to view more than 20,000 pages of health information and news.
Helpful features on our public sites include a database directory of doctors, online job listings, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, information about clinical trials and a "drug checker" guide with information on various drugs and how they interact with one another. Visitors can also view streaming videos on our sites, read stories about our patients and doctors and make an appointment online with one of our doctors.
The Web Services team works with doctors and staff throughout the Medical System to ensure that our institutions have a vital presence on the World Wide Web. We accomplish this by consulting regularly with department managers on content and technical issues.
The Web team is led by a director, who oversees and strategically plans the presentations of both our internal and public sites. Our team's designer conceptualizes and creates the look and feel of the sites, while our Webmaster is responsible for all of the technical maintenance required to keep the sites functioning optimally. Our Web site editor plans and edits all of our public Web site content, which is provided by two in-house Web site writers. We also rely on several interns for technical support and assistance.
The primary role of Media Relations is to publicize the Medical System's capabilities through the news media. Our team proactively pursues television, radio and print coverage of our faculty and staff's expertise. We make sure the Medical System's advancements in research and patient care don't go unnoticed.
We get the word out about our contributions and services in a variety of ways. These include news conferences; news releases; story idea tip sheets; calls to individual reporters, editors and producers; public service announcements; our own cable TV segments, which we produce; radio programs; and newspaper columns.
Media Relations is in touch with reporters on a daily basis, working with them to place stories in the media. When reporters call us looking for an expert on a particular story, we match the reporter's needs with the appropriate Medical System expert. We are available 24 hours a day to respond to media inquiries.
The Media Relations team also prepares our experts for media interviews. It is the Medical Center's policy that all media inquiries must first be directed to the Media Relations office. It is important that our faculty and staff are comfortable and knowledgeable about communicating with members of the press.
Creative Services uses a variety of dynamic printed materials to spread news and information about the Medical System. Creative Services is responsible for writing, designing and publishing materials for patients, employees, legislators, board members, donors and others.
Creative Services publishes a wide range of internal and external publications, including Medical System brochures, patient guides, annual reports and capabilities pieces.
Employee Communications is responsible for all internal communications regarding employees and staff. Employee Communications performs a vital function: to keep everyone abreast of changes in policies and procedures. In order to accomplish this, Employee Communications uses the bimonthly Medifacts employee newsletter, the biweekly Check It Out payroll handouts and the Intranet.
The Intranet is an easy-to-use, valuable employee resource that features up-to-date information on a range of topics. Visitors will find announcements of upcoming activities and developments, an employee telephone directory and information about employee benefits. The Intranet is also becoming the main source for reference to hospital policies and procedures, as well as the central sign-on location for all clinical information systems. With the exception of the clinical information systems data, Employee Communications manages all of the content on the Intranet.
In addition to maintaining the Intranet, Employee Communications publishes the Check It Out news fliers that are handed out biweekly with each paycheck, and the Medifacts newsletter, which is distributed to employees every other month. Medifacts is an illustrated publication that provides general information about Medical Center programs, leadership and other subjects of interest. Each Medifacts issue features profiles on employees who do extraordinary work.
For more information about the Office of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, please contact us at 410-328-6776.