Objective: Consumer Reports, which has been bolstering its health coverage, began distributing a one-time health title, Best Drugs for Less, on March 16. To introduce the publication, it launched an effort targeting Washington policymakers and consumers. It includes events on Capitol Hill and in Union Station, media outreach, and the release of poll results. “We want to show that this publication is a living... example of comparative effectiveness research,” said Ken Weine, VP of communications at Consumers Union, parent organization of Consumer Reports.
Idea: The effort used a March 17 Capitol Hill press conference and an eye-catching event at the district's Union Station. “[Policymakers] are all consumers, and the natural way for us to communicate with them was to communicate with the consumers of Washington,” Weine added. “This project... really connected the dots between the policy conversation and the kitchen conversation about the challenges of healthcare.”
Tools: The group commissioned and released a poll during the press conference revealing 66% of Americans have been blindsided by the cost of prescription drugs, and 28% said they'd taken potentially dangerous actions to save money on drugs. The team used the results as a media outreach tool. It also sent a doctor and group of models dressed as pills to Union Station to “conduct tests” for three days (pictured).
Measurement: The team is measuring media mentions of the effort and references in blogs and Twitter. It is also gauging interest from federal government policymakers in “comparative effectiveness research.”
Company: Consumer Reports
Campaign: Consumer Reports Health
PR team: Internal, Burness Communications, GMMB
Launch: March 16