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Crisis Case Study 7

Client: Midwestern 825-bed hospital

Business challenge
Position the building of a new, 2-million-square foot medical center in a highly competitive healthcare environment as a model for the future of healthcare. 

Objective
Increase local and national awareness of the benefits of the hospital’s innovations and medical superiority.  Build anticipation among internal and external audiences throughout two-year construction process.

Planning process

  • Develop two-year “pre-opening” campaign with marketing plan for each of 17 target audiences
  • Construct communications matrix to keep consistent hospital news in front of each audience
  • Designate and train a “media team” to deliver key messages
  • Host “sneak preview” media events, one-on-one media tours with hospital executives, monthly update bulletins to the media, and national desk-side media visits
  • Host 10-day, 12 event grand opening celebration to involve media, hospital executives, physicians, nurses, staff, and surrounding community

Results/outcome
The hospital’s redevelopment project received positive media attention in consumer and trade publications throughout the period prior to the opening and steady media coverage during the Grand Opening celebration period, including:

  • Approximate print impressions = 74,502,035
    • National coverage:  Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Associated Press
    • Trade coverage:  Modern Healthcare, American Medical News, Nursing Spectrum, Hospital and Health Networks
  • Approximate television reach = 13,825,000
    • Local coverage:  all local network affiliates and stations
  • Key placement in annual “Best Hospital” issue of US News & World Report
  • Success in targeting the project’s diverse aspects was confirmed by the broad range of articles published in general audience media—from an in-depth look at the new filmless radiology by the Chicago Tribune, to the financing of a brand-new hospital by the New York Times, to the team effort involved in the hospital’s leading infection control program in the Wall Street Journal, to the patient-friendly design of the new hospital rooms by Newsweek.
  • Received the Publicity Club of Chicago’s Golden Trumpet Award in 2000.
  • Events attended by First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton and local Chicago government officials

35,000 guests attended 12 Grand Opening events

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