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Cassels Caywood Love and Mission Children’s Hospital: Mission Children’s Hospital Takes One Giant Step

North Carolina-based Mission Hospitals began treating patients in 1885....

Winner

Cassels Caywood Love and Mission Children’s Hospital: Mission Children’s Hospital Takes One Giant Step

North Carolina-based Mission Hospitals began treating patients in 1885. Mission Children’s Hospital began as a patient unit of that larger organization. Over the past decade, it has become its own entity and the only children’s hospital serving the 18 western North Carolina counties.

Throughout the evolution of Mission Children’s, the group has tried to build awareness of the specialized care it provides. In 2006, it embarked upon an integrated effort that would spread information about the hospital to doctors and parents and raise the $11 million necessary to build a state-of-the-art outpatient center, a financial goal set four years earlier.

To reach the doctors, Mission Children’s conducted “lunch and learn” events at physician practices in order to explain their pediatric expertise in person. To further establish trust, they published a Pediatric Subspecialty Directory in print and online, which gave doctors across the region access to information about its staff and more confidence about referrals.

To reach parents, the hospital used all of the media at its disposal, especially the area’s prominent newspaper, the Asheville Citizen-Times, where it placed an insert in September 2006. It also worked with a local advocacy group, Children First, to host a lecture series on children’s health issues, such as eating disorders and adolescent brain development.

Raising millions of dollars in rural North Carolina would require multilevel outreach. The Mission Healthcare Foundation’s “Windows of Childhood Campaign” incorporated Web-based communications, direct mail, fundraisers, testimonials, and other means to raise money.

In the end, referrals from area doctors increased. Mission Children’s physicians who care for patients while they’re hospitalized increased patient visits from 2,303 to 6,572 in just one year.

The number of consumers naming Mission Children’s as their preferred pediatric hospital jumped. In one key county, the percentage leapt from 9% to 31%.

Finally, the foundation reached its financial goal, raising $11,016,000, and opened its 70,000-square-foot Reuter Outpatient Center in spring 2006. A total of 1,400 individuals and corporations donated to the cause.

Honorable Mention

America’s Second Harvest: Making Hunger History

Every year, America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network provides food for more than 25 million Americans through more than 200 food banks nationwide. The PR staff of nine was tested in fiscal year 2006 when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma caused demand for emergency food assistance to skyrocket. The team was also responsible for spreading information about Hunger in America 2006, the largest study ever on the topic. Finally, the staff was called upon to improve internal communications. America’s Second Harvest’s work on behalf of hurricane victims was immediately recognized with placement on CNN’s ticker, as well as other major media outlets. They also received a donation from Oprah’s Angel Network and participated in a media tour with the popular show. In total, it raised $34 million and reached the federal government with daily updates outlining the need. Hunger in America 2006 reported a 9% increase in the number of people receiving aid, and secured more than 170 million media impressions in the weeks after its release.

Finalists 2007



  • American Red Cross: Maintaining the Public’s Trust & Confidence Post-Katrina

  • America’s Second Harvest: Making Hunger History

  • Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau: Every Day is an Opening Day

  • Cassels Caywood Love and Mission Children’s Hospital: Mission Children’s Hospital Takes One Giant Step


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