Legal & General recently entered the crowded private medical
insurance (PMI) market with Lifetime HealthCare, a product which
encompasses complementary therapies such as acupuncture and osteopathy.
The PR campaign coincided with the opening of a direct sales call centre
and a poster campaign.
To promote Legal & General as an innovator, and establish the company as
an important player in healthcare in the eyes of key journalists.
Independent research was conducted for Legal & General to determine the
public’s level of understanding of PMI and establish specific areas of
concern and interest. As a result three initiatives were chosen.
A guide, HealthCare Maze, was produced in response to research findings
which revealed that half the population do not understand PMI. The guide
is generic and explains the difference between critical illness cover
and income protection plans.
Because this was very much a personal finance story, eight key personal
finance journalists from the national press were invited to the October
launch of the guide at a leading restaurant.
The second initiative, ’Doctorphobia’ (a survey of attitudes to GPs)
revealed that most people in the UK will suffer at work rather than take
time off sick. Forty journalists from national, trade, medical and
personal finance press were invited to the survey launch at Legal &
General’s offices at the end of October.
Another publication A guide to acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy and
osteopathy’ (the Guide) also picked up on the groundswell of interest in
these treatments and research findings that one in four UK adults has
tried them. Eleven personal finance and healthcare writers from national
and trade press were invited to the launch in November at Champney’s,
which provided the opportunity for in-depth interviews.
To help secure coverage a pool of media trained spokespeople and
independent financial advisers was built up. Electronic Media Relations
syndicated features tapes to radio stations. Live and recorded
interviews were done from EMR’s studio for the complementary therapies
and Doctorphobia campaigns.
HealthCare Maze has so far secured 10 articles in the national press,
two in personal finance magazines and a mention on BBC television’s
Really Useful Show.
The complementary therapies guide was covered by nine nationals, four
regional papers and five trade magazines, as well as 56 local radio
Doctorphobia appealed to only one national, the Times, but was covered
by 12 local papers and three trade titles. This initiative was also a
hit with local radio, covered by 64 stations and Radio 5.
TV coverage included BBC 2’s Working Lunch, Granada Talk TV and GSkyB’s
Good Life Health Guide.
Evaluation by Computer Media Services on the impact of coverage in the
national press in November placed Legal & General in second place behind
PPP. A freephone number for the guides was included in most editorial
coverage, giving an exact measure of interest. L&G couldn’t provide
exact figures, but requests ran well into the thousands. Interest in the
two guides was about equal.
Research into what would capture the attention of the public and media
paid off with a high level of requests for the guides and widespread
’The press were keen to offer readers something of value which was not a
puff for Legal & General,’ says L&G head of PR, John Morgan.
Doctorphobia, which offered less to readers, noticeably captured less
attention in the national press. Targeting specialist journalists and
trying to establish a good relationship with them was also a sound
Client: Legal & General
PR Team: Sector PR and in-house
Campaign: Launch of Lifetime HealthCare Plan
Timescale: Oct - Dec 1996
Cost: Estimated pounds 25,000 - pounds 30,000