Toshiba Uses Strategic Meetings to Integrate and Boost Communications

Charlene DeBar
Charlene DeBar

When Toshiba America Medical Systems was set to roll out a national advertising and marketing campaign late last year, Charlene DeBar, manager of corporate communications, thought it was an opportune moment for change.

Previously, the departments within marketing communications—PR, advertising, collaterals and the Web—would have separate meetings. The medical diagnostic company’s messaging suffered as a result. Integration of Toshiba’s content and information “was disjointed,” DeBar admitted.

That changed when the ad campaign—featuring a “voice box” that communicates a customer’s needs—made its debut last October. DeBar used the campaign as a springboard to implement processes to bring the company’s various disciplines together and improve internal and external communications. These efforts include:

  • Input meetings for new campaigns: When Toshiba introduces a product or offering all the communication disciplines meet together to discuss messaging architecture and make sure managers are coordinated.
  • Regular biweekly meetings: Each business unit meets with marketing communications biweekly to get a better sense of the PR and communications work underway and how departments might contribute to it.

She has taken other pains to improve PR integration throughout the company, such as posting “Best of Clips” on the company’s intranet “so people feel connected to our communications,” she said. DeBar also makes the media clips available to the company’s sales reps to spur ideas for gaining new revenue.

“Anecdotally, the business units are much more aligned with our key messages and our communications is much more consistent,” she said.

CONTACT: Charlene DeBar,

This article originally appeared in the June 22, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.