How Cleveland Clinic communicators, practitioners prep for the RNC

Some 15,000 journalists are expected in Cleveland for next week’s political convention. In light of recent public safety incidents, crisis communicators are ‘hoping the event is uneventful.’

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When the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated their NBA Championship this year, 1.3 million people partied downtown. The Republican National Convention comes to Cleveland next week, and a mere 50,000 people are expected.

That’s good news for Eileen Sheil, executive director for corporate communications at Cleveland Clinic. Sheil is hoping “the event is uneventful”; that would be a big win for dozens of hospital leaders, PR, marketing and social media managers—and health care providers—who have been getting ready for the gathering for months.

Before delegates and others arrive in town, Sheil and her colleagues have been fielding “around a thousand media requests” for interviews, logistics and details about what to expect next week.

In an interview with Health Care Communication News on Wednesday, Sheil said of the preparations: “We are constantly looking at the crisis plan. Our PR team has been collaborating with five or six smaller hospitals in the area, practicing multiple emergency preparedness drills for many months. Members of the communication and internal PR teams and leadership are involved, and we’ve established an incident command center.”

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