Entry Category: Public Relations, Integrated Communications Campaign
Entry Title and Organization: EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care Launch Campaign, The Marcus Group, Inc.
Award Received: Gold
Challenges: The Marcus Group’s main challenges were recognition of the EmblemHealth name and understanding of the EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care concept by media outlets. EmblemHealth is a relatively new brand in New York, formed by a merger of two highly-recognized health insurance companies that have been part of the city’s fabric for more than 75 years. Many New Yorkers, including our targeted media outlets, knew the two legacy companies but were less familiar with EmblemHealth. Additionally, media outlets initially thought EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care was either a medical clinic or a sales office. A storefront location by a health insurance company that was neither of these things, but offered free services to members and non-members was a novel concept. We overcame these challenges by establishing and cultivating relationships with editors and reporters. We scheduled meet-and-greets at their offices with EmblemHealth representatives to discuss how the organization could be a health and wellness resource and provide relevant news stories to readers. We also invited media outlets to experience EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care for themselves and gain a deeper understanding of the concept. Once reporters toured the facility, spoke with staff members and saw the guest interactions taking place, they could accurately tell the EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care story with their readers.
Description: A New York-based health insurer set out to integrate the organization’s resources with those of the community in an unprecedented way: launch storefront locations across New York City neighborhoods. We developed a hyper-local integrated communications campaign that included public relations and publicity, social media marketing and content development, event planning and management and brand marketing, to generate positive media exposure and increase public awareness of the organization and the storefront locations. The campaign has been a success and garnered millions of media impressions and increased walk-in traffic month-over-month. We continue to implement integrated strategies as the organization expands its storefront locations and opens new facilities in other New York City neighborhoods.
Strategy: The Marcus Group has represented EmblemHealth, the largest New York-based health insurer, for more than 20 years. Our most recent project, EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care, set out to integrate the organization’s resources with those of the community in an unprecedented way. EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care is a warm, inviting storefront location where all members of the community can come in and meet face-to-face with EmblemHealth experts to ask questions, get reliable information and solve problems to achieve better health. The first two New York City communities to introduce EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care were Harlem and Cambria Heights, Queens. The challenge was to help EmblemHealth define itself as the insurer most in tune with New Yorkers and their neighborhoods. A successful launch would be determined by the amount of media exposure and public awareness leading up to and including the grand opening of each EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care location. Our strategy was to implement a hyper-local integrated communications campaign that complemented the organization’s overarching marketing initiatives and reached key stakeholders, including EmblemHealth members, health care industry leaders, local nonprofit organizations, elected officials and residents of each community.
Tactic: The Marcus Group’s integrated communications strategy was focused on drumming up positive buzz for the EmblemHealth brand in the months leading up to the grand opening of each EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care location. The tactics implemented in the targeted New York City neighborhoods to support this strategy included proactive public relations and publicity, social media marketing and content development, event planning and management and brand marketing. Proactive Public Relations The overall focus on public relations was to build collaborative relationships with the local media outlets that served each community to “seed” each neighborhood with positive news stories in the months leading up to the launch of EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care. We actively pitched print, online and broadcast outlets with health and wellness articles bylined by EmblemHealth representatives, announcements of community partnerships, photos from grand openings and ribbon-cutting ceremonies and more. For the launch, we conducted media training for key EmblemHealth representatives, drafted media messaging materials and managed distribution of the announcement news release, fact sheets and FAQs. Publicity The Marcus Group managed media outreach and garnered publicity for events EmblemHealth hosted and also for those held in collaboration with community organizations across New York City. Events included summer farmers’ markets, a medical group office grand opening, Hurricane Sandy donation drives, yoga in the park, health and wellness workshops, award ceremonies for nonprofit organizations and VIP ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the launch of each EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care location. We secured photographers and videographers to capture the events, distributed media alerts and handled onsite media management of tours, interviews and photo opportunities with key EmblemHealth representatives. We also distributed photo caption releases with accompanying photos for post-event media pick-up. Social Media Marketing and Content Development The Marcus Group secured and managed a social photo experience to activate the EmblemHealth brand and maximize the organization’s sponsorship of community events. We oversaw creative development of a digital photo watermark, production of props for residents to use for their photo and onsite management to ensure seamless execution. Audiences at each event as well as those online engaged with the EmblemHealth brand with a fun photo experience that generated positive buzz. We also drafted content for EmblemHealth’s Facebook page, including sharing links to recent media placements and photos to promote events to their online community. Event Planning and Management The Marcus Group oversaw event management responsibilities for a number of VIP events including evening award ceremonies for nonprofit organizations and ribbon-cutting ceremonies to commemorate the grand opening of EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care in Harlem and Cambria Heights, Queens. Brand Marketing Prior to the grand opening, we provided creative design support and developed exterior “Coming Soon” window clings placed at each EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care location that teased the grand opening and directed foot traffic to a website for a sneak peek of the facility by viewing a virtual tour.
Results: In its first year, The Marcus Group’s strategy increased traffic to EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care, positioned the organization as a major source of health information to local media and defined the insurer as a major supporter of grassroots health and wellness programs that benefit New York City communities. From July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013, efforts by The Marcus Group have garnered 110,000,000+ media impressions across print, online and broadcast placements including News 12, NY1 News, Crain’s New York, New York Daily News, Newsday, am New York, Modern Healthcare, Becker’s Hospital Review, Today’s Dietitian, Managed Healthcare Executive, New York Amsterdam News, Harlem World Magazine, Harlem Times, Harlem News, The Manhattan Times, The Bronx Free Press, Brooklyn Daily, Queens Courier, Queens Tribune, Queens Chronicle and Queens Latino. News articles have increased public awareness of the EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care as walk-in traffic grows month-over-month and attendance numbers at workshops has doubled. We’ve generated 65,000+ online and social impressions and increased EmblemHealth’s Facebook page’s fans by 25%+. With a successful launch, we continue to provide our services for additional openings of EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care locations across New York City to educate local residents about the health care solutions provided by EmblemHealth in their community.
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