Creating Physician Partnerships for Media Relations Campaigns Creating Connections Conference 2009 Presented by: Wini King and Meri Cozart Once Upon a Time … The Beginning Must promote neuroscience department designated as Cook Children’s signature program • Comprehensive Epilepsy Program • Epilepsy Monitoring Unit • Biofeedback • Headaches • Neurodiagnostic Center • Pediatric Deep Brain Stimulation • Neuro-rehabilitation Once Upon a Time … The Beginning Focus on pediatric deep brain stimulation • Intriguing concept • Patient must be conscious during first half of surgery • First independent pediatric hospital in US and only in Texas to offer comprehensive movement disorder program that includes deep brain stimulation (DBS) • Considered one of the elite DBS programs in the nation • Started 19 months ago (Sept. 2007) • Total surgeries performed to date: 20 Once Upon a Time … The Beginning What is DBS? • Electrodes placed in the brain connected to pacemaker • Delivers electrical impulses • Impulses block abnormal firing of neurons • Surgery lasts approximately eight hours Who receives DBS? • DBS performed on patients with tremors or dystonia • Dystonia is a rare genetic movement disorder • DBS allows for freedom of movement and better muscle control Next Steps … Laying the Groundwork Attend Creating Connections Conference ‘08 • Inspired by Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center presentation • Stories focused on neurosciences • Provided all access to newspaper reporter • Great results – three days of solid coverage beginning with Sunday newspaper Next Steps … Laying the Groundwork Develop the vision • 30-to-60 minute local television special • Partner with newspaper to secure Sunday feature • Provide all access for newspaper and television crews • Involve locally owned and operated affiliate in national pitch • Take story to the NBC’s “The Today Show” Next Steps … Laying the Groundwork Get Physicians on board • Neurology director bought into the vision • True partnership – everyone invested • Media train all neurologist and neurosurgeons Hire out of town consultant to do training Conduct three hour one-on-one training sessions Get to know the doctors; they get to know me - trust Develop messages that came directly from them Next Steps … Laying the Groundwork Get physicians on board continued • Practice, practice, practice Primary focus two DBS neurologists and one neurosurgeon Obtain several local TV and newspaper interviews Cook Children’s produces a video featuring the three DBS doctors Next Steps … Laying the Foundation Pitch KXAS-TV NBC5 • Met with Vice President of News and Executive Producer Follow family from start to finish Television exclusivity Story has a reality show feel – surgery may work; may not All access in surgery Partner with local newspaper - cross promotion opportunity Need story to go to the network Next Steps … Laying the Foundation Find the family • Physicians and neurology director instrumental – made the first ask to families gauging their interest in project • Four families identified • First family interview – not bad • Second family interview – jackpot Great family dynamic Great story Incredible, articulate, thought-provoking, 12-year-old kid No Time to Waste … Timeline ACTION DATE Attend conference March 16-18 Meet with TV station March 26 Meet with news director April 15 Media train doctors May 1-2 and May 15-16 Discover family May 8 Patient therapy video shoot May 21 Surgical team prep meeting May 24 Meet with newspaper and TV May 27 DBS surgery day May 28 Sam walks out of Cook Children’s May 30 Curtain Goes Up … Day of Surgery • Physicians in control – lots of interviews – impeccable surgery • Had to change surgery venue – too many people • Two television camera crews • One television reporter – One television producer • One newspaper photog (stills and video) • One newspaper reporter • One Cook Children’s photog (stills and video) • Two Cook Children’s media relations people • One Cook Children’s information specialist • Neurologists, surgeon, p.a., neuro coordinator, anesthesiology team, nurses, techs, Child Life specialists, radiologists and Medtronic reps Total approximately: 28 people in OR Hurry Up and Wait … From May to December • Neurologists and surgeon did more interviews with TV and newspaper for the special and feature • Both media outlets continue to follow Sam’s progress • Other neuro docs were now ready for their time to shine Two other neurologists featured in two different stories shown in more than 48 markets through CBS and NBC affiliates One neurosurgeon interviewed locally tapped to go live on “The CBS Early Show” December 22 • Special screening of Sam’s Story: One Child’s Miracle – Doctors invited family and friends Dreams Do Come True … Results Local and national attention • 30-minute special aired twice December 13 and December 25 (in place of newscast) • Three full pages in the Sunday edition of the Fort Worth Star- Telegram, which included 78% of the front page December 14 • Request for story from “Inside Edition” December 15 • Discussion with NBC’s “The Today Show” December 15–18 • Discussion with “Dateline NBC” week of December 29 Dreams Do Come True … Results • Gladen family fly to New York and appear on NBC’s “The Today Show” – January 12 4 minute set up piece featuring Cook Children’s physician 5 minute interview with family • “The Doctors” (nationally syndicated show) requests story • “Dateline NBC” in production • Several trade publications request story Dreams Do Come True … Results • Total viewing audience to date 10,502,664 • Total readership 1,355,655 • Estimated media value $5,196,019 • Web site hits more than doubled day of NBC’s “The Today Show” interview • Inquiries to neurosciences regarding DBS: 19 • Seriously reviewed cases: 6 • Number of surgeries to date: 1 • “Dateline NBC” story still to come Dreams Do Come True … Results • Employee pride increased dramatically • Three DBS doctors chosen as Healthcare Heroes by Fort Worth Business Press • Media relations team enjoying stronger credibility among reporters and employees • Other physicians now open to media opportunities Phone calls returned promptly Story ideas being discussed What I Now Know … Learnings • Would help find a few advertisers for special • Be better prepared for doctors who didn’t get the attention they think they deserved • Make sure neurologist have video of every patient prior to surgery • Don’t need a large media department to see big results Build the right relationships Work smart, not hard Clinical Perspective … What We Did Right • Commitment for all the players • Knowing the strengths of each physician • Establish roles Media Point person Physicians Clinical Perspective … What We Could Do Better • Develop a formal plan for the consults/phone calls • Know what doctors will wear and what they won’t wear QUESTIONS??
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