The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California was seeking to increase media coverage for its programs. The coverage they had generated often times did not mention their name, the names of their member hospitals or their partners.
The Hospital Council approached The Placemaking Group (HFS's marketing arm) to send out its news releases and secure media coverage. Placemaking Group consulted with them on ways to develop stories that would catch the media’s attention.
The first project involved an initiative related to sepsis infections. The mission was to distill a complicated story into key messages that would interest the media.
Sepsis infections strike 750,000 people in the United States every year, killing more than 200,000. As a result of a special program that trains hospital staff in sepsis recognition and prevention, the Hospital Council and its member hospitals have reduced sepsis-related deaths in its hospitals by 21 percent.
Communicating a Compelling Reason to Cover the Story
Placemaking Group took the sepsis story to target media by sending them a press release, an email pitch and working the phones to get the story in front of them, emphasizing facts and figures related to the program’s success. We were able to catch reporters’ interest, and schedule interviews with the client and its member hospitals.
Preparing the Spokespeople
The next priority was developing key messages for the interviews that scheduled for Hospital Council spokespeople and its member hospital executives. Keeping in mind that the spokespeople are busy with little time to meet for interview preparation, the key messages were kept short and simple, distilling the story to its basic elements and rehearsing three to four key messages.
The result was coverage in the San Jose Mercury News, KGO-AM and KCBS-AM. The key messages were included in all three stories, and the client and the member hospital and partners were all quoted.