Case Studies

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Generating grassroots demand for innovative medical devices

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One of the world’s largest medical technology companies turned to Pinkston to help raise awareness about critical dangers patients face in the health care system and how technology can improve care and lower costs.

The Client saw a need to educate the medical community and the general public about key safety challenges for patients and health care workers, and turned to Pinkston with a charge to raise awareness without compromising the stellar reputation the company had protected for decades.

Pinkston launched a tailored campaign combining earned-media, owned-media and grassroots tactics to reach broad audiences through data-driven education and personal storytelling. Understanding the Client's legacy of focusing on its core work rather than seeking the public spotlight, our efforts highlighted healthcare providers and facilities that are on the leading edge of patient safety, positioning them as the heroes of the story.

In addition to messaging and media outreach, the campaign employed extensive use of cinematic storytelling, graphic design, web development and social media. We also created a grassroots network of nurses to advocate on their own behalf for safer operating rooms. We established an advocacy group that grew the group to more than 5,000 members on Facebook, sharing information and creating opportunities for nurses most affected by particular safety issues to make their voices heard.

Our creative approach to promoting the group included guerilla marketing tactics, such as passing out informational packets designed to look like cigarette boxes at a major conference of operating room nurses.

Pinkston’s initial efforts resulted in more than two-dozen reports on a key topic in a wide range of outlets reaching both medical and general audience groups. Coverage included reports and op-eds on CNN, Fox News and National Public Radio’s popular “Diane Rehm Show,” as well as in a host of medical trade publications including Modern Healthcare, Becker’s Healthcare, OR Today, Advance for Nurses and many others.

The success of the initial campaign led to an expanded role for Pinkston, including launching additional educational campaigns around patient-safety issues. It has also demonstrated the effectiveness of strategic communications, leading to the Client taking a more proactive stance as a leader in safety technology.

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