Putting patients first

In recent years, health care in the United States has been associated with rising costs and declining quality, leaving consumers with limited options to receive the quality care right for them at an affordable cost.

For years, Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) was one of the Seattle area’s best-kept secrets – despite being one of the region’s largest primary and specialty care physician networks with some of the region’s lowest rates and highest patient satisfaction scores. In fact, PacMed was better known for its history as a U.S. Public Health Service Hospital and charity care programs. PacMed wanted to shift its reputation in the community, and asked APCO Worldwide to help it build brand recognition as a partner of choice with its patients to help them stay healthy by providing services tailored to their individual needs.

Reaching patients through “news you can use”

To create a steady cadence of media coverage for an organization with limited media coverage, APCO designed a highly cost-effective earned media campaign that focused on consumer “health news you can use.” APCO recruited physicians to put a “face” on the institution by providing expert commentary on timely and relevant health news. APCO provided training to help doctors become more comfortable before the camera – and made it easy to participate by coordinating all details to match their busy schedules – which increased physician participation. Coverage also increased, with a regular flow of stories in a range of local media outlets – from local television stations and radio stations, to daily, community and online publications. 

Increasing PacMed’s brand recognition in the region

Through the course of this multi-year partnership, APCO has steadily increased its annual media hits: Today, PacMed receives an average of four to six stories on timely health topics every month, which equates to 900,000 impressions per month. APCO has secured several bi-monthly or monthly ongoing media opportunities with local news stations and mainstream and community publications. These media opportunities leverage more than 28 medical providers per year across various specialties. The media coverage has resulted in media turning to PacMed to comment on trending health topics and breaking health news stories – all of which drives positive brand recognition of PacMed and contributes to increased numbers of new patients each year.