The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California was seeking to increase media coverage for its programs. The coverage they had generated oftentimes did not mention their name, the names of their member hospitals or their partners.
The Hospital Council approached The Placemaking Group to send out its news releases and secure media coverage. We consulted with them on ways to develop stories that would catch the media’s attention.
Our first project involved an initiative related to sepsis infections. Our job 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
We 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 we had 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, we kept key messages short and simple, distilling the story to its basic elements and rehearsing three to four key messages.