Transforming a New Healthcare Pricing Guide Into the Market Leader
- Brand the Blue Book as the Go-To source for healthcare pricing information
- Position founder Dr. Jeffrey Rice, as an expert source
- Drive traffic to the Blue Book
- Get the attention of potential marketing partners and customers.
Our outreach effort focused on healthcare and personal finance writers for blogs, Internet sites of major news media, and the business press. Our media outreach strategy was to use the Healthcare Blue Book data on pricing disparities on a market by market basis to get the attention of reporters.
So we conducted research on common procedures people needed to have done such as MRIs, X-rays, knee surgery, optical surgery etc. and found out what different facilities and providers in a given market charged. There were often thousands of dollars of difference in fees even within the same health plan, and for the exact same service. We used the fee differential to get the attention of media and it did.
Initial coverage was regional and then as the healthcare reform debate escalated national media started to pay attention. Dr. Rice’s www.healthcarebluebook.com is now the clear market leader in the emerging market of healthcare pricing services.
Healthcarebluebook.com has been featured in hundreds of articles in print, online media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes and NPR’s All Things Considered. He has been interviewed by local radio and NPR as well as covered on the Today Show and the Early Show. Dr. Rice is the commentator of choice on healthcare pricing for mainstream media and healthcare bloggers. Traffic to its consumer web site traffic has grown to hundreds of thousands of visitors and we are still educating consumer and media about how to use the information on this site.
“I have retained Aimee to work for two companies. Each time she has brought creative energy and talent to our initiatives that directly supported our strategic goals. She is very good at getting the word out on new products or services.” Dr. Jeffrey Rice, CEO of Healthcarebluebook.com.
AAAS’ Science Inside Alcohol Project:
Convincing Students to Delay their First Drink
When just say no isn’t enough try science. That’s the premise behind a three year AAAS and Stern Communication’s project to raise the visibility and general public understanding of how alcohol affects the adolescent body. Kids can argue with their parents, but they cannot argue with science.
Several products were developed by Stern Communications and AAAS helped further the idea that science is one more way to convince kids not to drink early. Outreach products on this campaign include:
A book for parents - Delaying that First Drink: A Parent’s Guide, written by Aimee Stern and published by AAAS’ Education & Human Resources Directorate.
Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Science-Inside-Alcohol/33451484521
Curriculum – www.sciencenetlinks.com
An E-Book for Kids– Understanding the Effects of Alcohol
We conducted research with multiple target audiences as part of this project. Early research was focused on determining the level of knowledge about alcohol and science that parents and students had, and the formats they preferred to receive information in. We conducted focus groups with middle school parents through their PTA meetings, and adolescents via survey with the cooperation of several science teachers.
We have run multiple media campaigns centered around kids, science and alcohol that have reached hundreds of thousands of parents and families through print, electronic, social, broadcast and radio media. We created targeted news releases that were picked up widely on hot button issues like Staying Sober for the Prom and Why Girls Bodies React Differently to Alcohol than Boys for spring break and Keeping Kids Safe by Understanding the Science of Alcohol Poisoning.
The release series and subsequent follow-up to health and family reporters has resulted in hundreds of stories about alcohol, science and kids including ones in the New York Times, on NPR, Voice of America radio, etc.
Phase Two of the campaign is focused on obtaining media coverage for the Science Inside Alcohol products and developing curriculum and outreach products. Target audiences include medical professionals such as school nurses, pediatric nurse practitioners and pediatric physicians assistants.
“We have gotten more attention for this grant project than any similar grant project we’ve done, largely because we brought Aimee in as we developed the proposal to help us create a communications strategy and plan. Her tenaciousness has helped us elevate the importance of talking to kids about the science of how alcohol affects their bodies to new levels.”
Maria Sosa, Senior Project Director, AAAS
USA Science & Engineering Festival:
Marketing an Event that Drew Over Half a Million People to the National Mall
Stern Communications was the PR and advertising lead for the first ever USA Science & Engineering Festival, a two week series of events throughout the Washington, DC metro area from October 10-24, 2010. More than 500,000 people attended the grand finale, a two day Expo on the National Mall. The Expo involved more than 800 leading science and engineering organizations, dozens of sponsors and media partners, 75 stage shows and 82 satellite events across the nation.
More than 200 stories were aired and written by major media in the two weeks prior to the Festival as well as during it, not including the more than a 100 articles generated by exhibitors and sponsors. The Festival was featured on NPR, the PBS News Hour, in USA Today online, and in the print and electronic editions of the Washington Post more than half a dozen times. Locally, the Festival was covered by the network affiliates of NBC, ABC and Fox News, DC’s leading radio stations WTOP and CBS, and by local blogs, newspapers and multiple other media outlets.
To learn more go to: www.USAScienceFestival.org
We worked closely with some of the nation’s innovation leaders including Festival host Lockheed Martin, IEEE, the University of Maryland, the National Academy of Engineering, NSF, the White House’s Office of Science & Technology Policy, and the National Institutes of Health.
Marketing strategy and implementation included a program that integrated advertising, media and school outreach, social media such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter, as well as media partnerships, sponsors and networking.
In addition to the extensive media coverage Stern Communications:
Developed and negotiated over $1.5 million in advertising barter deals with major players including Discovery Communications, WAMU (DC’s local NPR station), Engineering.com, PBS and multiple others. We also negotiated paid advertising partnerships at discounted rates and with special events built in with WJLA DC (the ABC affiliate), WTOP and a variety of other important media outlets.
Developed and implemented a comprehensive communications plan that included writing and editing press, marketing and advertising materials such as a Festival video, radio and television ads, news releases, advertorials, blog posts, Twitter feeds, Facebook and Web site copy.
Helped plan, promote and manage a press conference showcasing key sponsors interacting with elementary school children at the National Academy of Sciences’ Marian Koshland Science Museum.
Worked with key media on stories about the Festival and its two-week series of events which included students lunches with Nobel Laureates, scientists visiting public schools, satellite events, and a kick-off concert called Powers of Ten with more than 200 singers at the University of Maryland.