CAMPAIGNS: Targeted PR gives media InsideTrac - Media Relations

PR Team: InsideTrac (Beverly Hills, CA) and The Blaze Company (Venice,
CA)
Campaign: CT Scanning
Time Frame: January 2000 - November 2001
Budget: About $125,000

InsideTrac is dedicated to providing early detection of diseases through Computed Tomography imaging technology - more commonly known as CT scanning. The technology images a combination of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels to produce three-dimensional pictures that enable healthcare professionals to detect diseases inside the body.

Developed in the 1970s, CT scans are a reputable and well-known method of disease detection performed by many healthcare organizations. But as CT scans have become more widely available to the general public over the past few years, InsideTrac was faced with the challenge of making its services stand out from those of the many other companies that offer pay-for CT scans.

Strategy

With the help of The Blaze Company, InsideTrac formulated a media relations campaign with five central goals: to promote improved health through preventative measures; create awareness of whole-body CT scanning; evolve an appreciation for the peace of mind that such scans can provide; differentiate InsideTrac from its current and future competition; and drive traffic to InsideTrac's Beverly Hills, CA location.

Tactics

Even before the opening of the first InsideTrac clinic in Beverly Hills, The Blaze Company was reaching out to the media. The agency researched, wrote, produced, and distributed a media information card as an initial outreach tool, followed by a complete press kit. Additionally, "We brought reporters in to be scanned themselves, put editors in touch with consumers who were scanned, and arranged interviews with the founding and working physicians of the company, says Ashley Molloy, account executive for The Blaze Company, who led the account.

The agency was also responsible for organizing a grand opening party for the company's first office, to which media, physicians, and community influencers from the Beverly Hills and West Hollywood areas were invited.

After the clinic opened, The Blaze Company continued its work by distributing releases, targeting media pitches, developing a newsletter for area physicians, and tracking all relevant healthcare news.

Results

During the time The Blaze Company worked with InsideTrac, combined media and community outreach touched over 9 million readers, listeners, and viewers. Local print placements appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. Nationally, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Self magazine, and Reuters all included mentions of CT scanning or InsideTrac specifically.

Broadcast placements included spots on National Enquirer Uncovered, Inside Edition, CBS' The Early Show, and several local television stations.

Heightened brand awareness, lengthy patient waiting lists, and subsequent location expansion were all achieved as a direct result of the campaign.

Over 2,500 scans were performed in InsideTrac's first year of operation, in just one location.

"Advertising for InsideTrac was limited to Los Angeles-area radio and select local print outlets during the first year of the campaign," explains Molloy. "Therefore, much of the awareness and acceptance of the program can be directly attributed to PR."

Future

InsideTrac is in the midst of planning for a national expansion. It has hired new CEO Neil Cannon, who will be implementing PR strategies going forward.

"We are at a point where we are looking to increase our presence nationally, so we have scaled back on external PR costs for now, says Cheryl Jones, director of marketing for InsideTrac. Currently, all PR services for the company are being performed in-house.

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