NHLBI hires PN to buoy COPD awareness efforts

WASHINGTON: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) awarded Porter Novelli a three-year, $3.6 million integrated account that will enhance the agency's chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) awareness campaign, according to Amy Pianalto, project officer for the NHLBI.

WASHINGTON: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) awarded Porter Novelli a three-year, $3.6 million integrated account that will enhance the agency's chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) awareness campaign, according to Amy Pianalto, project officer for the NHLBI.

The “Learn More Breathe Better” campaign, which launched in January 2007, is an ongoing effort that includes PR, ads, and marketing. It aims to raise awareness about the disease, especially among the 12 million people who have not yet been diagnosed with COPD. Pianalto noted the account now has a higher budget than the previous contract.

“We're excited to be extending the NHLBI's investment and looking at trying to take on what is a priority for the institute,” Pianalto said.

Work began April 1 and is based out of PN's Washington office, said Carolyn Tieger, MD of the office. Rosy McGillan, an SVP in the healthcare and social marketing practice, is leading the account.

Tieger said that the win was significant for the agency, partly because the NHLBI was the firm's first client in 1972. Raising awareness about the fact that the disease is treatable is one of the campaign's main goals, she noted.

“I think there are going to be some new ways of getting the job done and educating the public about it,” said Tieger, who declined to go into further specifics about new elements of the campaign at this time.

Partners of the campaign include professional societies, advocacy groups, and corporations “to extend the reach,” Pianalto said.

Hager Sharp, the incumbent on the account since 2006, helped develop the campaign, Pianalto noted. She declined to discuss the specifics of the review and procurement process, although she said the RFP went out in February. Debra Silimeo, SVP at Hager Sharp, confirmed that the agency pitched for the account.

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