Interview with Eric Patten, NeuLife Rehabilitation

During today’s uncertain times, marketing and communications pros are being forced to operate through previously uncharted waters. To learn more about navigating this situation, we’ve interviewed communications experts across industries.

This interview is with Eric Patten, the EVP of Business Development for NeuLife Rehabilitation, one of the largest residential post-acute rehabilitation facilities in the Southeast.

What has been your overarching approach to communication in this time of crisis?

I have tried to remain consistent with how I have communicated with clients, colleagues, and friends. I have called, emailed, texted and sent LinkedIn messages, being honest that things are different, and that healthcare professionals are caring for patients in a different way, but that overall, our services at NeuLife Rehabilitation remain outstanding. We’re still providing the care that patients and referral sources have come to trust. 

What do you think has been your most effective communication? 

I believe that consistency is the answer and maintaining the normal visit pattern to your clients now becomes the call or email pattern. Being a solution and offering assistance while still communicating your needs and hearing the needs of the customer. Normal has changed- which requires us to rethink how we conduct business but the change should not mean we have to stop being the solution/or service that our customer needs and depends on. 

What do you think will be the biggest challenge for communicators in the coming weeks and months? 

The biggest challenge I see in the coming weeks and months is the unknown. What I mean is that “normal” has changed, so we’re evolving how we conduct business and communicate. Finding the “new normal” while remaining positive, productive, and communicative with your customers will be a challenge for the foreseeable future. 

What advice do you have for people in marketing communications for whom this is their first crisis situation?   

In any crisis, you need a plan. Stick to the framework of the plan but remain able to adapt as it plays out. Remember what Jimmy Buffet said: “Breathe In, Breath Out, Move on.” In other words, stay calm and focused and together we will get through this. 

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