WASHINGTON: The nonprofit Sabin Vaccine Institute hired Hyde Park Communications to develop new branding for the organization as well as provide strategic communications counsel and media relations.
Sabin runs research and advocacy programs intended to reduce suffering from infectious and “neglected” tropical diseases such as hookworm and rubella. Christine Middleton, Sabin's recently appointed director of marketing and communications, said the challenge for her organization is making itself better known when so many other health-related advocacy organizations compete for the same attention and funding.
“Malaria and HIV get the most attention and dollars, but there are 13 neglected tropical diseases that do as much damage if not more and keep people in poverty cycles,” Middleton said. “[Sabin president Dr. Peter] Hotez is already very well-known, but how do you bump up an organization, the notoriety of it, and keep it's brand fresh in a sea of organizations?”
Sabin and Hyde Park, which was officially hired June 1, are still in the midst of developing new branding and communications strategy for the group, though Middleton noted that Hyde Park assisted with media outreach for a recent article by Hotez on the debilitating effect on impoverished US inner cities by diseases related to tropical diseases overseas.
“That's already led to one senator's office calling about getting potential funding,” Middleton said.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
MWW Group previously served as the group's PR agency under a pro bono arrangement, and MWW CEO and president Michael Kempner had served as chairman of the Sabin board for a brief period. Middleton said she did not know the reason for the change in representation. MWW said it completed its year-long pro bono work for the organization several months ago.