Written by Katie Shpak, University Writer
Alumni Spotlight: Lauresha Xhihani
Director of Communications and Marketing at Waterbury HEALTH Lauresha Xhihani reconnects with her alma mater through vaccination drive-thru clinic on Post University’s campus.
“It feels right to return to Post University. The education I received there was everything I needed to empower me and prepare me for my career. They continue to do the right thing through helping the community,” said Xhinani.
Xhihani received her Master of Business Administration from Post in 2017 to advance her previous career as a news reporter for the Waterbury Republican-American, where she covered a wide range of topics including, but not limited to, breaking news, civil and criminal court cases, education and business. Though Xhihani enjoyed her career in journalism, she wanted to expand her potential into the marketing and public relations industry.
“I felt that I had done it all and needed a change. Public relations allows me to work on the other side of the media spectrum and also provides greater career growth opportunities,” said Xhihani.
Xhihani had declared a marketing concentration while pursuing her MBA, which she expresses has been very valuable within her role at Waterbury HEALTH.
“My job as a director of marketing and communications is to make sure that everything aligns. I need to make sure it all tells the same story,” said Xhihani. “Prior to my degree at Post, I didn’t have the knowledge I needed to connect good marketing tactics with public relations, community relations, and community outreach.”
Currently, Xhihani is focused on internal communication, ensuring weekly COVID-19 newsletters are distributed among employees, as well as providing updates on any policy changes.
“I am a firm believer that marketing starts internally,” said Xhihani. “When something is understood internally, then the employees can passionately share that message with consumers.”
From an external perspective, Xhihani keeps the community informed and connected to the hospital. Since the initial distribution of the vaccine in December, through an effort to mitigate fear among the community regarding its safety, she initiated a marketing campaign called, “Ask the Doctor.” Community members can access the live campaign through Facebook to ask the health professionals questions. Since its initial launch, the campaign has now expanded beyond the discussion of coronavirus, enabling attendees to ask questions pertaining to anything regarding their health.
“We do not want people to forget about other health-related topics, because they are just as important,” said Xhihani.
Prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Xhihani was working with her team on a “Here for You” marketing campaign encouraging individuals that help is always provided, through medical services and/or mental health. Though this campaign initially had no correlation to the pandemic, Xhihani agreed that the campaign should still run—its message was perhaps even more important than ever. The campaign’s relevance to the global health crisis even inspired the creation of a hashtag, #HereForYou, which enhanced the reach of the critical work being done by Waterbury HEALTH’s healthcare heroes.
“This campaign exemplifies how marketing and PR work together. The anticipated marketing campaign transitioned into a big story for public relations,” said Xhihani.
Throughout this pandemic, Xhihani imparts that all employees working within or for a health-care industry share the same goal. They search for guidance from each other to ensure the best care is provided to their patients and to the community.
“I am passionate about this industry. I love this job. I love the people that work here, and I am proud to tell their stories and promote them every day,” said Xhihani.
For more information on the vaccination site and/or if you want to register, visit: https://www.waterburyhospital.org/vaccine/