Nationwide Children’s Hospital had long taken a traditional approach to its PR and media relations. In partnership with its agency, MediaSource, the hospital pivoted entirely, adopting the brand journalism approach of telling its own stories the way a journalist would. For the effort, MediaSource and Nationwide Children’s Hospital have earned the Grand Prize for campaigns over $50,000 in PR Daily’s 2016 Media Relations Awards.
The newsroom approach allowed the team’s writers to begin viewing prospective subjects through an external journalist’s lens as they looked for compelling stories to tell. The team also looked for opportunities to “newsjack” the day’s events to create a connection between the hospital, breaking news and cultural events.
Top health websites and blogs were targeted for possible guest posts, strengthening the thought leadership role of Nationwide Children’s doctors. The hospital’s traditional newsroom was converted into a brand-journalism source, with mainstream media journalists able to preview the content in multiple formats (high-quality video, high-resolution still images, bios of the doctors, suggested tweets, AP-style articles, etc.).
As a result, the content reached 6.6 billion people in 2015, an increase of an astounding 48 percent over the previous year. That includes more than 6,000 media placements, including coverage on top-tier outlets like NBC’s “TODAY Show,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Good Morning America,” “World News Now” and other highly desirable venues.
For recognizing the importance and value of brand journalism and executing brilliantly, congratulations to Lisa Arledge Powell, Clark Powell, Shannon McCormick, Jerred Ziegler, Robert Leitch, Kevin Volz, Garry Checki, Kelly Stincer, Colleen O’Morrow, Drew Schaar, Kristina Feduik, Rocky Sanguinetti, Lisa Renee Martyn, Pam Barber, Donna Teach, Gina Bericchia, Danielle Warner, Katelyn Hanzel, Jane Abel, Nicole Chave, Kelly Nightingale, Callista Dammann, and Diane Lang.