10.01 The Office of Communications and External Relations

The Office of Communications and External Relations (OCER) manages Harvard Medical School communications with internal and external stakeholders in a proactive, timely manner, ensuring integrity, credibility and openness. The Office promotes the School’s intellectual, educational and scientific contributions to society, working through partnerships to build trust, confidence and community. The Office also supports the School’s role as a thought leader that informs policy related to biomedicine and medical education, and enhances public confidence in the scientific enterprise.

Key responsibilities:

  • Governs and enhances the HMS brand identity to ensure that it consistently reflects the School’s core values and that there is compliance in the application of name use and graphic standards;
  • Develops innovative strategies to communicate the School’s priorities as well as education, research and other news in a manner consistent with the School’s reputation as the world’s leading medical school, utilizing the influence of the Dean’s office as well as traditional and novel forms of print, online and other media and public programs to effectively reach the general public, key stakeholders and the HMS community, including the School’s 16 affiliated hospitals and institutes;
  • Supports the Dean’s office in developing sophisticated and coordinated communications for both internal and external audiences;
  • Maintains a News Office that is respected for the integrity of its communications and that provides training in science writing and enrichment in science journalism for student writers, scientists and working journalists;
  • Works with the School’s leadership to develop an internal culture that is engaged and collaborative, and that empowers faculty, staff and students to reflect and communicate the School’s values and mission;
  • Supports fundraising communications to help ensure that donors, friends and the HMS Board of Fellows have access to information concerning educational and scientific initiatives and news;
  • Works in tandem with Harvard University leadership to ensure coordinated communications with particular collaboration around government relations and community benefits.

OCER asks students to sign a photo release form in order for OCER to use photos of students taken at HMS events and activities, including the Master’s graduation and research symposium. Students are not obligated to comply with the request.