Telling the Story
How to Effectively Communicate Your Hospital Recycling Program's Successes and Lessons Learned
Communication is vital in sharing your successes and challenges, and in keeping key stakeholders engaged in your hospital’s plastics recycling program.
In developing a communications plan, consider what information you want to convey, the target audience(s,) both internal and externals, and the call to action you want to move people to take, if there is one.
What Should You Communicate?
Communication around your program can't be a one-and-done--there are various points throughout the process that will warrant updates.
Here are a few triggers that you should consider doing some outreach around:
Regular updates on progress and milestone achievements
Consider reporting estimated environmental benefits associated with quantities of plastics recycled
Audit findings and lessons learned
Program expansion news (regarding materials or new clinical areas, for example.)
How Can You Reach People?
One of the blessings and curses of corporate communication is that you have many options for how to reach people with your message, but you also often need to use multiple channels to reach everyone in your audience.
Here are a few to consider:
Bulletin board postings
Internal and external newsletters
Other internal communication networks (like an intranet or instant message platform.)
Think Beyond Your Institution
Consider what, if any, external communication plans may be needed. This may include putting program information on the hospital website or applying for external award and recognition programs, such as those from national healthcare organizations or local recycling or sustainability organizations. You could also consider submitting to speak at relevant conferences, or writing about your experiences for industry publications.
This is a good time to loop in your hospital's marketing or communications departments, as they will have lots of other ideas on how to spread the word.
Remember the Big Picture
Perhaps the most important thing to bear in mind when communicating about your program is to remember the big picture: Why did your hospital start a program in the first place? What are the benefits to the hospital itself, to employees, to the community, and beyond? Help make the details meaningful by providing context.
One way to do this is by providing data to estimate the environmental benefits associated with the quantities of plastics recycled at your hospital. This can be a very impactful way to introduce further information about your program, or help people understands its true value.
Recycling one ton of plastic saves: