Name: Michael Levey, senior strategist, Zer0 to 5ive
Placement: Time, June 15 print issue, an online feature, and a podcast
Pitch timeline: Nine months
Who is your client? What are its media goals?
Michael Levey: Our client is ClearCount Medical Solutions. Its objectives are to gain awareness for its SmartSponge System – which uses an RFID chip to prevent operating room personnel from leaving behind surgical sponges – with targeted audiences, potential investors, and the public, and to increase leads with hospitals.
What made Time such a good target? Why a newsmagazine?
Levey: Time is a very credible magazine with a large circulation. We targeted Time because the magazine has business executives and C-level decision-makers as readers who are looking at the latest business trends. And as the magazine has recently focused more on healthcare issues, we felt this would be a great fit to connect with our target audience.
Plenty of companies pitch new medical technologies. How did you make yours stand out?
Levey: We researched the industry numbers and statistics to demonstrate extraordinary growth potential, and we simplified the technology explanation in a way that the reporter could understand. We incorporated a consumer angle that helped relate it to Time's readers. Although ClearCount's technology is a b-to-b solution sold to hospitals, we emphasized the consumer angle.
What else did you do to secure placement?
Levey: We were able to convince the reporter that the technology will change the industry, and were able to align with a big announcement that Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York had started using the SmartSponge system. The reporter initially thought the technology was too simple, and although the trends around medical error are hot, she felt that her readers wanted to learn about a technology with greater complexity. We explained that the technology's complexity forced it to overcome FDA approvals and design challenges, published studies, fundraising, etc.
What was the hit's impact?
Levey: The company received approximately 30 investor calls and e-mails. Its Web site received 1,747 unique Web site visitors in the month of June – 104% more than the previous month. Also, there was pickup from healthcare, nursing, and local publications.