The Cycle

PRWeek Awards - Healthcare Campaign of the Year

Goodman Media International and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement: 100,000 Lives Campaign

Saving 100,000 lives will always be seen as a lofty goal. What made the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) work with Goodman Media International (GMI) noteworthy wasn’t just the objective itself, but the fact that it was attached to what had been a rather low-profile issue. It might be surprising, in fact, to learn that more than 100,000 people in the US die each year from avoidable medical errors.

IHI, a nonprofit based in Cambridge, MA, brought in GMI to develop and implement an outreach effort that would not only raise awareness about the needless deaths, but also build the momentum necessary to actually save lives.

The topic presented some hurdles, namely ensuring hospitals were ready to speak on the subject and finding appropriate media outlets for the story.

Research by the IHI led to both the goal and the 18-month time period, and helped identify the most appropriate hospitals. That, of course, required enlisting healthcare pros, so IHI took its cause on the road. The attention-getting coast-to-coast bus tour took place midway through the campaign to help the effort gain momentum. The tour provided an excuse for media events, hospital visits, and interviews, and helped gain valuable attention for the campaign.

“It’s hard to argue with a campaign whose objectives are to save 100,000 lives,” one judge noted. “The caliber of media coverage was superb – with extensive discussion of an important topic.”

In the end, media coverage approached 1,800 print articles and broadcast segments that reached an audience of more than 160 million people. More importantly, however, was where thatmedia coverage came. National radio interviews took place on NPR’s Science Friday, Here and Now, and MarketPlace, as well as the BBC’s The World. Feature articles also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. This mainstream coverage was supplemented with articles in 60 trade publications aimed at the healthcare pros.

The campaign’s other goals were more critical, and they were surpassed – signing up 3,100 hospitals and claiming to save a total of 122,300 lives. IHI president and CEO Dr. Donald Berwick was named the second-most-powerful physician in healthcare by Modern Physician after the campaign. A second phase in December.

Honorable Mention
FischerHealth/Porter Novelli and Humana: Humana Takes the “High Road”with Medicare PDP

Medicare is rarely described as a simple subject. So when the Medicare Modernization Act brought about the biggest change in public health policy since Medicare was first implemented, seniors faced a barrage of confusing and often contradictory information. Humana set out to become a major prescription drug plan (PDP) provider, enlisting FischerHealth/Porter Novelli to help both enhance Humana’s reputation as a leader in the Medicare market and to strengthen its reputation on Wall Street. The team reached out to 1,360 regional media outlets to help promote Humana as an educational resource for consumers and the media. Not only did Humana become the nation’s number-two PDP, with 3.5 million enrollees, but stock prices also increased significantly in that year.

Finalists 2007

  • Biosector 2 and Novo Nordisk: NovoLog & Poles Challenge
  • Chandler Chicco Agency and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.: Anatomical Travelogue Initiative
  • FD, Healthcare & Life Sciences and Advanced Cell Technology: Managing a High-Profile Scientific Announcement with Global Impact
  • FischerHealth/Porter Novelli and Humana: Humana Takes the “High Road” with Medicare PDP
  • Goodman Media International and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement: 100,000 Lives Campaign

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