Every company has products or services that it sells. The challenge is how do you communicate the benefits of those products or services to a wider audience? And how do you create a “voice” for the company that is authentic and engaging?
In this employee profile, the marketing team decided to “turn the tables” on the editor of our blog – Kathy Sucich. In addition to deciding what content makes it onto the blog each week, Kathy is responsible for communicating the voice of our company to the outside world. She also engages with many of our customers to tell their stories of the results they are seeing from Diver. Kathy recently sat down with me to talk about the blog, her customer visits, and life outside the office.
What is your role at Dimensional Insight and what responsibilities does that role entail?
I am the senior content and communications manager. I’m responsible for what we write here at Dimensional Insight, as well as communications with external and internal audiences. That means I handle media relations and work with many of the analyst groups that we engage with. I set the voice of our communications to ensure that our content is aligned with our corporate mission and culture. Recently, I’ve been doing more healthcare-specific marketing.
I know you previously worked in TV news. What drew you towards making the shift to working in technology?
I’ve always loved writing, which is what drew me to news in the first place. The television news room is definitely an exciting place to be, and it taught me a great deal about storytelling and writing succinctly. You only have 20 seconds to tell that story. Say what you mean – but do so with finesse – and then move on. However, I found it was draining to always be writing about “bad” news. I also found the long hours, weekends, and overnights started to take their toll on me. I wanted to find a job where I could still write, but do so in a business setting. After TV news, I worked at a public relations firm for technology companies, and then I did some freelance writing while my kids were young. Then one day, one of my friends said, “My former boss is looking for a social media and PR person. Are you interested?” I was happy where I was, but I thought it would be nice to have something steady. Technology was something I knew how to write about so I came here to meet with everyone, and they seemed like my kind of people.
How long have you been here for?
Are there any similarities between the two roles?
Writing content for a business like Dimensional Insight, I still try and look for that story. What is interesting and impactful about our technology? How is it improving the lives of our users? And how could I tell this story in a way that my mother – or anyone else not intimately familiar with Diver – could understand it? That’s why I love writing our customer case studies. It’s where you really get to see the impact that our technology makes. The case studies don’t talk about a bunch of technology features, but they discuss how our technology can make a real difference for organizations that use it to improve things such as revenue, productivity, and readmissions.
One of my favorite things to read on the website are the customer case studies. From the 30+ case studies, is there a particular customer that stands out to you?
There are a lot of customers doing some really interesting things with Diver, but I’ll talk about Western Maryland Health System in particular. This is a hospital that was ranked 46 out of 46 hospitals in Maryland in terms of quality, and it was losing money each year. The hospital implemented Diver, and, as a result, was better able to understand its quality measures and things such as readmissions. After two years the organization moved to number one in the quality rankings in the state, and it became profitable. The organization continues to expand how it uses Diver. For example, in the pharmacy it did this big project where it was able to take a look at drug costs and drug efficacy and figure out that, “Hey, this really expensive IV medication really has the same efficacy as the tablet version which is one-fifth the price.” So, this is a great example of an organization that pushed its use of Diver and is making real improvements through its use of data.
When you’re writing the case studies, lately you’ve been meeting with our customers face-to-face. Why did you decide to start traveling to meet with customers? And which city has been your favorite to visit so far?
I really enjoy the personal interaction I have with our customers. I’ve made it a mission to visit with customers in their world, which brings added value to each case study. I’ve found I can have much more open and engaging discussions with customers when we’re talking face-to-face. Also, being in their environment helps me to better understand the challenges and circumstances of their jobs. And it helps me to tell a better story as well.
As far as favorite cities, they all have something interesting to offer, and I try to do at least one non-work-related activity in each city if I can. I went to San Francisco earlier this year, and I just love the Bay Area. Just recently, I traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and I thought it was beautiful too. It’s one of those areas where I only had a few hours to explore it, but I thought, “This would be a great place for me to bring the family one day and have a nice vacation.”
Many of us know you as the mastermind behind our blog. How do you come up with ideas?
Every Monday morning, the first thing I do is research. I have a list of publications I visit to learn what people are talking about. I think the blog should be reflective of not only the topics that we as a company are interested in, but also of the topics that impact the industries we sell to. What are their hot button issues? So, it really involves having a pulse on timely news and what’s going on in various industries. I get a lot of ideas through talking to our customers and understanding their challenges and priorities. It’s also important to talk to different people in our organization because it’s our consultants who are working with our customers, our developers, our executives, who all have different perspectives. It’s understanding not just my view of the world, but everyone else’s as well.
Has the blog changed at all over the last five years?
Definitely. I think our blog has a personality that is reflective of the different people who contribute to it. So as those people have changed, our blog has changed. In particular, this past year, I made a conscious decision to showcase more of the personalities of our blog writers. If you’re a regular reader, you might notice now that some of the blog posts are a little more personal and a little more reflective. For example, the blog posts I write on my customer visits are first-person based and talk a lot about the conversations I have with our customers. I also include some travel notes when I can, because that’s just fun, and it helps the reader “see” the location of our customer a little more. Because Dimensional Insight’s strength is really the people who work here, I want our readers to understand those people a little more. And I want our writers to not be afraid to share a part of themselves, whether that’s something that’s serious or a little on the lighter side.
Besides our blog, what other websites should our followers follow?
Harvard Business Review is one of the top websites I visit. It looks at issues from a business and management perspective and helps me to see the bigger picture. I also read newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. For people in the healthcare industry, there are certain publications I would recommend such as Healthcare IT News, Becker’s Hospital Review, and Modern Healthcare.
In your opinion are there any topics that are overdone in the blogging world? Are there any topics that aren’t talked about enough?
I find that blogs that are owned by businesses often do too much selling. I try and steer clear of overt product references in our blog. Now, there are certainly times when we do have product-specific blog posts, like if there’s a certain new feature we want our customers to know about. For example, we did a blog post on where to find our online help, and those are certainly important. But for the most part, I feel a lot of business blogs are constantly selling their stuff, and I just don’t think that’s very interesting to read. You go to a blog because you want a certain perspective on an issue. Not that you want to be sold a product.
It’s 2028. What are you writing about? What do you hope is accomplished by then?
I hope to be writing about the successes that people have seen through their use of data with some real results. Even though a lot of companies are using some form of analytics, a lot of them are still trying to figure out how to calculate their ROI and know what is most impactful to measure. It’s one thing to see your data and it’s another thing to actually be able to measure those results. Like, “We’ve been able to reduce readmissions by 20%,” or “We were able to reduce costs by $1 million.” So, in 10 years, I hope people have figured that part out and have advanced their use of analytics to see results in even more impactful areas.
When you’re not in the office, what can we find you doing? Any hobbies?
You’ll probably find me with my kids and husband. It sounds really simple, but I love making dinner for my family at night. It’s a way for me to relax and spend time with everyone at the end of the day. Otherwise, I might be at the side of a softball field, watching my three girls play softball, or waiting for them at the dance studio. From September through May, you’ll find me at Boston University one or two nights a week working on my MBA. In the summer, I would hope that you would find me out on the hiking trail, although I haven’t had time lately to hike as much as I would like to. Or you might find me in my living room, reading a book.
What books are on your shelves?
I’ve been trying to catch up on some fiction while I have time this summer. I just finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Sharp Objects and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (not the first time – it’s my favorite book). I’m currently reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. Up next are books by Hemingway and Steinbeck, and, of course, the latest Dimensional Insight Book Club book, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
Thanks Kathy! Interested in meeting the rest of our team? Check out our other employee profiles.