2016 PRism Winner Feature: Kristen Bowser, APR on Submitting an Internal Communication PRism Entry

Kristen Bower_2016 PRism Winner

Kristen Bower, APR, is the Internal Communications Manager at Dayton Children’s. In 2016, Kristen won a PRism for her entry in the nonprofit Internal Communications category for the Game-Changing Performance Sessions that she implemented at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Learn more about Kristen’s entry experience and her advice for others interested in submitting an entry for this category.

Kristen, can you briefly recap your entry?

Sure! This project was a labor of love for me. In 2014, only 20 percent of Dayton Children’s employees attended the quarterly town hall sessions for staff called “SCOOP.” SCOOP was more than a decade old and sessions weren’t interactive, or engaging and therefore, they weren’t well attended. The same staff – support staff who weren’t in direct patient care roles – attended; very few nurses, doctors and other clinical staff made attendance a priority. The hospital’s CEO feels employee communications and engagement are a top priority (which is hugely beneficial to my job!) and therefore, engaged the marketing team to revamp the sessions with the goal to engage staff in the strategic direction of the hospital. Our marketing team made a concentrated effort to revamp the content by creating “Game-changing Performance Sessions,” also known as GPS. Just like a GPS provides direction, the name GPS was selected to reflect new, interactive content that would engage staff in the hospital’s roadblocks, obstacles and communicate our direction in an engaging way. In one year, attendance increased by 378 percent.   


How did you prepare to submit this entry?

When we start new projects and initiatives at the hospital, we research, track and measure everything very carefully because data has to be presented to senior leadership. I used data from my presentations to submit for the PRism entry. Our team also circulates entries to each other to review and provide input. So, it’s a team effort!

What did winning this award mean for you and your organization?
Our entire team loves submitting for PRisms! It’s always exciting to be recognized for winning. Last year was bittersweet because this entry was recommended to win for “Best in Show,” and I lost by a two point to Holly Michael! So, I’m coming after you this year Holly!

Typically our team will submit around ten PRism entries each year. However, last year, we launched a new brand the day after entries were due, so we submitted much less because it was “all hands on deck” for the brand launch and media conference.

What three tips would you give to PR pros who are thinking about submitting an entry into the Internal Communicators category this coming year?
First, you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take, so submit! I would also say,

1) Answer every question,

2) Confirm that your submission clearly outlines the research you’ve done (primary and secondary),

3) Ensure that you have outstanding results.

Doing the work doesn’t count! Results count, and moving the needle on your objectives and goals count. You have to show the results.

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  1. Holly

    Feb. 27, 2017

    Challenge accepted! I am a great fan of your work and I'm honored to be competing at your level.


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