How to Position Your Staff as Subject Matter Experts

Posted by Taylor Kennedy on February 16, 2017 in Branding, Public relations


Does your hospital or health tech expertcompany want to have the reputation as being the best in certain areas? Perhaps your hospital is renowned for orthopedics, or your startup’s CTO has special insights on interoperability?

Positioning a staff member as a subject matter expert (SME) will earn your company credibility among your target audiences. That’s because people want to do business with experts. In other words, would you want to go to an OB/GYN who knew the least about women’s health?

Your SMEs also will serve as the “go-to” person to answer questions from the media, if you brand them correctly. Following are tips for positioning your staff as subject matter experts.


To maximize effectiveness of subject matter experts, choose ones that matter to your target audiences. Let’s take a look at an example for a health tech company focused on helping radiologists: No offense to the developers who created your SaaS, but the radiologists probably prefer to hear from a DO than a programmer.

Make sure the SMEs are experienced and/or hold some type of management position (vice president, professional services team, etc.). They also need to know about the mission and business objectives of your IDN or HIT company. Each month may be different, but generally, you need to find SMEs that can allot 2-3 hours/month to carry out their duties.


The value of your subject matter experts comes from being able to use them in a variety of ways, such as media relations, content marketing and public speaking.

Prior to any kind of interviews, each SME needs to go through a media training session, in which they will learn how to succinctly respond to reporters’ questions while working in your key messaging strategy.

Use subject matter experts in content marketing to add credibility and authenticity. They are likely already keeping up with what’s going on in your industry–for example, MACRA, Affordable Care Act, telehealth, etc.–so it shouldn’t be too hard to have them provide insights on those topics.

Similar to media interviews, you should have SMEs go through presentation training before you send them out in public. Tradeshows, conferences, TED Talks and symposiums are ideal venues for you to showcase your SMEs because they can talk in technical detail with audiences or attendees.


Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers healthcare IT companies and startups services related to media relations, email marketing, investor relations, tradeshow marketing, content marketing and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] experiencerevelation.com or 608-622-7767.

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How to Rebrand Your Hotel

Posted by Brian Lee on February 7, 2017 in Branding


hotel roomDid you recently take over an existing hotel? Have you lost your existing customer base? Or is it simply time to freshen things up? In regards to the importance of rebranding your hotel, resort or bed & breakfast, you must portray to guests that the changes will benefit them (vs. to your owners or shareholders). Secondary goals include increases in occupancy and profit, stronger brand recognition, stronger guest loyalty and a better reputation.


Market research is a must. Many corporations are understandably risk-averse, and the best way to mitigate failure is to figure out which concepts will likely work with your intended guests. If you have the budget for it, hire a market research firm. Bring in stakeholders, and together, you should learn why super-fans love your hotels and if your core attributes are relevant in today’s world.

Once you have sufficient data, you’ll need to interpret the data to formulate concepts and designs. For example, what kind of atmosphere or vibe do you want to create and will it be supported in the marketplace? How will the decor exemplify it? At this point, you can test the concepts on a small scale before going all-in (e.g. if you’re a chain, try it out in a handful of markets).

Note that no matter all the research and testing you do, you’ll have past guests that hate your new brand. That’s okay. It’s impossible to please everyone, and as long as you have some people out there that like it, you’ll be fine. Just remember not to stifle progress for the few guests who don’t like change.


If you do plan on redesigning your logo, you’ll also have to update your other assets, including website, notepads, signage, sales/event materials and cups. Make sure you have the budget to do this and allot at least 4-5 months to get it done.

Before your new brand is ready to be unveiled, announce that you are indeed rebranding, and tease–e.g. through social media and email marketing–some of the new elements from time to time. This gradual release should increase the likelihood of acceptance among your target audiences.

When it comes time to the big day, plan on using advertising and media relations to get the word out. Have plenty of photos, fact sheets, interview subjects, etc. ready for reporters.

For a short period of time, typically six months to a year, you’ll need to do transitional advertising. This means you’ll have to link your old brand to your new brand. An example of this came 10 years ago when “Cingular Is Now the New AT&T” was used in all messaging, ads, etc. to explain the new wireless carrier brand. Now, who even remembers Cingular?


Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers hotels, B&Bs and resorts services related to media relations, community relations, branding, group sales, SEO/SEM and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] experiencerevelation.com or 608-622-7767.



Super Bowl ads: staff opinions

Posted by Brian Lee on February 6, 2017 in Sports, Television


(Frankly, I wish I had turned off the TV after Lady Gaga’s halftime show, just so I could have been spared watching the Falcons’ epic collapse. At least this New York Times article titled “Why Do Fans Excuse the Patriots’ Cheating Past?” made me feel better.) A “Walking Dead” fan, my favorite commercial was of Lucille (Negan’s bat) smashing a football. In general, advertisers seemed to really push the limits of selling emotion over product features/benefits. For example, Hyundai did what so many other brands have already done, and that’s use U.S. soldiers reuniting with their families in a commercial, without talking about its cars. If you’re going to make the emotional tie, do something that’s not so transparent and unoriginal.


Being a Colts fan, it pained me to watch the Patriots win another Super Bowl and to now have to hear about “Tom Terrific” for another season. This year I enjoyed the commercials that were lighthearted and funny. Growing up in the ’90s and being a huge boy band fan, it was safe to say my favorite was the Bai beverage commercial featuring Christopher Walken saying the words to the famous N SYNC song, “Bye Bye Bye.” The commercial was subtle and funny but very effective.


With the crazy comeback by the Patriots during this year’s Super Bowl, it is hard to remember specifics about the commercials. The most memorable to me and which became my favorite is Ford’s “Go Further.” This commercial was meant to pull on your heart strings a bit as it showed many situations in which people and pets were helplessly stuck. This commercial wanted to stray away from Ford being just about manufacturing cars and instead remind the public their company is all about mobility. No matter what sticky situation you are in, Ford is there to help you “go further” in your own way.


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