Make your Health Care PR & Marketing Award entry stand out

Two winners share details about their first-place campaigns.

HC awards tips

Are you hoping to earn a bigger budget, or even a promotion, by showing the power of your health care communication efforts?

Just follow the lead of these two award-winning pros.

Telling great stories about the patient experience, new research or health benefits is an important part of a health care communicator’s job—and one of the most challenging. Personal details are what make a story compelling and give it a human touch, but how can you balance your organization’s goals with acting in the best interest of the people it serves?

Two organizations struck that balance perfectly and produced award-winning health care campaigns. Before you get started on your 2019 Health Care PR & Marketing Award entry, hear from our winners and learn how you can make your entry stand out.

GlaxoSmithKline communicates health benefits to employees in 120 countries

GlaxoSmithKline’s Partnership for Prevention (P4P) is a campaign created to raise awareness about the preventive health care services GSK offers to employees. GSK offers about 40 services to employees and their families around the world at little to no cost.

The goal of the campaign was to inform employees about these benefits and inspire them to actually use them. The P4P campaign earned GSK Ragan’s 2018 Health Care PR & Marketing Award in the “Internal Communications” category because of its three-pronged approach to communicating this message. Onsite events, multichannel communications and collaboration with local management teams made the effort a success.

Sharing personal employee stories about the ability to access services proved the value of the program and was essential to the team’s award submission strategy. “When an employee talks about having access to a vaccine that can prevent disease and that would not have happened a year ago, it makes working on this project so rewarding,” said Erik Schimmel, employee health and wellbeing activation lead at GlaxoSmithKline. “It also demonstrated to leadership how we were able to increase utilization and make a return on our investment.”

GSK operates globally. When preparing its award entry, the team looked at data on a country-by-country basis to determine campaign success.

“Indonesia performed an analysis of their top medical claims for 2016 versus 2017, and showed a year-on-year projected cost reduction of 14% overall, with individual reductions in typhoid cases of 14% and pneumonia cases by 35%,” said Schimmel. “This was linked to utilization of P4P over the first six months of the year, and is another example of cost reduction. All of these measures are promising for the sustainability of P4P and they demonstrate the effectiveness of our communication campaign.”

The team at GSK faced many challenges when producing this campaign. The biggest was the difference in cultures within an organization that operates in 120 countries. The organization’s partners helped navigate cultural differences in order to communicate in the most effective manner. They were also able to model other communication campaigns after P4P.

“The Ragan award reinforced GSK’s commitment to being at the leading edge of employee health and wellbeing programs from an external perspective and also demonstrated to our employees and their dependents internally that our organization places the highest value on their health,” said Schimmel.

NewYork-Presbyterian uses video to share an important message

NewYork-Presbyterian’s team produced a story-driven video about one of its pediatric transplant patients and saw great results.  The patient and her parents honor her heart donor every year, and the hospital told the story about this family tradition.

“As a heart transplant recipient, Jenna Skeete and her family are keenly aware of the lifesaving power of organ donation, and they are deeply grateful to the family of her heart donor for the gift of life Jenna has received,” said Sharon Cotliar-Zweifach, editorial director for the NewYork-Presbyterian Office of Communications.

“Every year, Jenna’s mom, Tina, writes a letter to the donor family, thanking them, and they mark the occasion by releasing balloons outside their home. We felt it was an important story to tell to help raise awareness about the importance of organ donation. We also wanted to highlight the lifesaving work of the hospital’s amazing transplant team.”

This project earned the team at NewYork-Presbyterian a PR Daily Health Care PR & Marketing Award in the “Video” category due to its highly emotionally storytelling. The video was produced by a small in-house team of video producers and editorial staff in the Office of Communications at NewYork-Presbyterian.

To make its submission stand out, the team highlighted specific metrics from a variety of channels.

“{When completing the entry}, we pointed out that this video was part of a larger effort by NewYork-Presbyterian’s Office of Communications to raise awareness about organ donation, and we believe we achieved our goal given that the video received more than 100,000 views,” said Cotliar-Zweifach. “We also heard from our transplant team that our efforts to highlight the importance of organ donation resulted in inquiries by potential donors.”

The biggest challenge the team faced was telling the story in a sensitive manner. The subject matter was both touching and quite serious, so the team’s goal was always to remember that they have a duty to be respectful to patients and to keep their experience in mind.

“We thought this video would resonate with people, but it is always gratifying to see that something you created has moved people,” said Cotliar-Zweifach. “Our team was very excited and honored to receive this recognition, and I think it motivated us all to continue to create videos that show rather than tell how people’s lives are impacted every day by the amazing work of doctors, nurses and staff at NewYork-Presbyterian.”

Learn more about Ragan’s 2019 Health Care PR & Marketing Awards.

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