EMS World

OCT 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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10 OCTOBER 2018 | EMSWORLD.com L eaders must be committed to ensuring their organization estab- lishes and maintains a positive business image. This must be a top priority and ongoing commitment for all members of the organization. Successful organizations typically have clearly established identities that dif- ferentiate them from their competitors. Just providing a product or service is not enough—leaders must ensure their offer- ings are embraced by consumers and con- nect with them emotionally. Consumers will embrace a product or service if it adds value or creates a positive experience in their lives. The concept of branding goes well beyond the scope of this article; however, considering some basic branding funda- mentals may prove beneficial for EMS organizations. It is not uncommon for public safety agencies to seek support from their commu- nity and elected officials. If such agencies don't have a plan to promote their organiza- tion's identity and commitment to maintain- ing a positive brand image, can they truly expect support from a community that's unfamiliar with the services they provide? If an EMS organization depends on promot- ing its services only to those who request them, it will miss a huge opportunity. To avoid that mistake, start by creating a strong organizational identity and brand. Organizational Identity Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Amazon, Southwest Air- lines, Starbucks, Nike, Vizio, Zappos, and Net- flix are all recognizable corporate entities, but how did they achieve such strong identities? Organizational identity is built upon deliver- ing a quality product or service and ensuring it adds value and creates a positive experi- ence for the consumer. An organization's identity is created by internal stakehold- ers establishing a clearly defined mission. The stakeholders then provide the organi- zation's product or service to consumers, attempting to deliver value and a positive experience. Depending on the experience, consumers determine whether they will support the product or service, which will then take form as the organization's brand. "Brand" is a feeling or perception the consumer has. The product or service is then evaluated in that context, resulting in a brand experience. The brand can either be positive or negative as perceived by the consumer. As a brand comes to be seen as positive, it becomes distinguishable from its competitors, elevating the organization's identity (see Figure 1). Establishing the Brand Organizational leaders must clearly articu- late the product or service the organization provides. In EMS patient care will be one of several essential services provided. Delivering quality care to your patients must be the organization's primary mission; it is a promise made to the community for times of need. However, the delivery of quality EMS service is only one part of the equation—it falls to the customer (patient), customer's family members, coworkers, bystanders, hospital personnel, emergen- cy department physicians, and others to decide how well the service was provided. An EMS organization's internal stakehold- ers may do everything possible to make the service being provided exceptional; how- ever, external stakeholders must also be considered when determining whether the service is good or bad. If external stakeholders acknowledge the service as meeting or exceeding expecta- tions on an ongoing basis, then a positive EMS service brand will begin to form. If care falls short of such stakeholders' expecta- Branding and Organizational Identity "From the Officer's Desk" is a bimonthly column aimed at EMS leaders. How you're perceived will matter when it comes to seeking support By Orlando J. Dominguez, Jr., MBA, RPM FROM THE OFFICER'S DESK Figure 1

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