Warning: Declaration of TF_Walker_Page::start_lvl($output, $depth) should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output, $depth = 0, $args = Array) in /home1/rachelme/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/theme1/functions.php on line 137

Warning: Declaration of TF_Walker_Page::end_lvl($output, $depth) should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output, $depth = 0, $args = Array) in /home1/rachelme/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/theme1/functions.php on line 137

Warning: Declaration of TF_Walker_Page::start_el($output, $page, $depth, $current_page, $args) should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output, $object, $depth = 0, $args = Array, $current_object_id = 0) in /home1/rachelme/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/theme1/functions.php on line 137

Warning: Declaration of TF_Walker_Page::end_el($output, $page, $depth) should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output, $object, $depth = 0, $args = Array) in /home1/rachelme/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/theme1/functions.php on line 137
ExPRessions :: IMC

Posts Tagged ‘ IMC ’

As part of my integrated marketing communications independent study, I am reading and writing about case studies. See the other cases I’ve written about, including The Heart Truth and Thrivent’s Retirement Campaign. The cases are from the textbook, Public Relations Cases,  written by Hendrix and Hayes. This case was shorter than the other two, so this post will be shorter as well.

“Rediscovering Kansas City’s ‘Cowtown'”
KC Area Development Council (Bayer Animal Health with Fleishman-Hillard, Inc.)

Kansas City wanted to be a recognized leader in science and technology, but felt held back by its “Cowtown” nickname. With potential to grow in the animal health and nutrition sector, KC Development Council and Fleishman-Hillard worked together to redefine the city’s image and brand.

Quick details

  • Research showed that Kansas City was a great place for the fast-growing animal health industry to call home.
  • In addition to media coverage, influencing policies and legislation were considered as part of the strategy.
  • Bayer Animal Health was a key player.

To help attract companies focusing on animal health, they created the Animal Health Corridor (there is a video here about it). There are many benefits to animal health companies who become a part of this corridor, such as research collaboration and legislative advocacy.

The site linked above was launched as part of this campaign to help with branding and recruitment. A network related to the corridor also was created, and ambassadors advocated for the industry and attended meetings/trade shows.  This also helped with recruiting companies to move to the Kansas City region.

Meetings with leaders, press tours and media pitching helped gain coverage and community support was garnered with meetings and involvement with leaders and organizations.

Quick results

  • 80 million media impressions
  • Companies interested in relocated to the corridor increased 125 percent
  • Within articles about the corridor, Bayer Animal health was cited as an initiative leader

My thoughts

This case was much different than the other two I read. Rather than focusing on consumers, this case focused more on businesses. Therefore, it required a different approach.

I believe their Web site is effective. The first thing you really see is their video about the corridor. But, even if you don’t watch it, you still get the message through the banners on the page. The banners tell which top-tier veterinary schools are nearby, the number of livestock produced in the area, how many animal health companies are head quartered there, and more. As a site visitor, you get the message that Kansas City knows animal health.

I didn’t see much in terms of social media, but they do encourage you to connect via their LinkedIn Group. The group currently has 130 members, which doesn’t sound like a lot but I think in terms of this industry, it is probably great.

Their annual homecoming event is listed on the Web site and I thought it was really interesting to see that John Grogan, a CMU alumnus, was their celebrity speaker. It’s a great idea to have animal health industry CEOs and other leaders gather at a conference right in the corridor.

On the site, there is an archive of news and a newsletter that is available.

I don’t know if they already do this, but I would suggest permission marketing. By reaching out the leaders in the animal health industry, they could keep these people informed about legislation, potential issues, research and more, demonstrating through leadership and credibility. This could be effective in reaching audiences that know about the corridor, but have businesses elsewhere. If a company is looking to set up another location, the corridor will be in the forefront of their mind.

As part of my integrated marketing communications independent study, I am reading and writing about case studies. See the first one, The Heart Truth. The cases are from the textbook, Public Relations Cases,  written by Hendrix and Hayes. These posts are unfortunately long…

“Thrivent Financial Helps Its Members Thrive in Retirement”
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans with OLSON & Company

According to the situation analysis, Thrivent had exceptional scores from members for its integrity, spirit and values (media coverage was primarily about their charitable efforts). But, the organization scored low on product performance and customer service. OLSON & Company worked to build awareness of Thrivent’s expertise and drive people to their online retirement tool called ThriveQ.

Quick details

  • Researched perceptions and awareness before and after the campaign
  • Tested campaign messages with focus groups
  • Did recon on the competition
  • Targeted employees, financial representatives, members and prospective members, and the media

Through their research, they found out a few interesting things. It was obvious that people were not confident in the organization’s abilities, but they also found that their competitors spent up to 38 times more on advertising.

This campaign was separated into two different phases. The first phase focused on reaching audiences through media and using the media to showcase Thrivent as an expert in retirement planning. The second phase focused on the launch and promotion of ThriveQ.

OLSON & Company described the first phase as using a “multilayered media mix.” This included:

  • Displays and graphics in the lobby
  • Skyway and elevator displays
  • Floor graphics
  • Table tents
  • Booklets
  • Paid advertising
  • Light projected images
  • Billboards
  • Ceiling banners, column wraps and window clings in the local airport

Tool kits were created to include a booklet and video, business card holders, posters, window clings, quarter stickers and bumper stickers. These were distributed to 2,500 financial reps.

One of the very interesting aspects of this campaign was the street team that dropped branded quarters, with their Web address and a short message. The team scattered 5,000 of these quarters in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Not only did people walking down the street notice these, but it gained media coverage.

Coverage was gained in AARP Magazine and The Wall Street Journal after they surveyed baby boomers about retirement and distributed results through press kits.

To get more attention from of the media, the top 75 contacts received a tropical shirt with the clever tagline, “There’s more to retirement than wearing a tropical shirt.”

In Phase 2, ThriveQ was launched. They also partnered with a retirement think tank to increase credibility. Awareness was created for their new online tool with a satellite media tour, multimedia news release, audio news release, electronic media kit, byline articles, billboards, light-rail train wrap, bus wraps, advertising in the airport, and print advertising.

Quick results

  • More than 160 million media impressions
  • 1.73 million paid media impressions
  • Higher brand equity, according to research
  • 22 million impressions related to the online tool
  • Close to 90,000 visits to the online tool in six months

My thoughts

OLSON & Company did a lot of great things for Thrivent. My initial thought was that the audience might be “too old” for an online tool. But, people who are planning for their retirement might just be middle-aged. The bus wrap was a very interesting tactic (picture available in the book). I like how it asks if you will have the retirement you are envisioning, and there are pictures of retirees doing activities like fishing.

One of the things I’m learning about IMC is to think outside the box. You don’t have to do the typical press release. You can find other ways to reach your audience. The street team, the projected images, and the tropical shirt were ways to get attention. Check out images of the work done by OLSON & Company here.

It’s hard to offer ways for this campaign to be improved. While social media wouldn’t have been the most important aspect, many middle-aged people are joining Facebook. I believe a Facebook fan page, maybe for ThriveQ, could be useful for sharing retirement and financial tips to these people. A blog also could be used to write about retirement planning. Through good content and SEO/SEM, Thrivent could become a top search results for this topic.

Case Study:The Heart Truth

March 22, 2010 7:32 pm | 4 Comments

Right now I’m working through an independent study in integrated marketing communications. As part of the study, I will be writing about three case studies from Public Relations Cases, the textbook written by Hendrix and Hayes. And, I’d also like to apologize in advance for how long these posts will be!

“A Fashionable Red Alert Warns Women of the Heart Truth”
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Have you ever seen those little red dresses?

This campaign, The Heart Truth®, reach out to women to inform then of their No. 1 killer: heart disease. In addition to increasing awareness, this campaign also encouraged women to talk to their doctors about it.

Quick details

  • Extensive research, including analyzing more than just demographics. Ogilvy researched their heart health knowledge, socioeconomic factors,  media preferences and more.
  • Targeted women between 40 and 60. Secondary targets were between 18 to 39.
  • Clever tagline: “Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear–It’s the #1 Killer of Women
  • Symbol: Red Dress icon

The execution for this campaign is very impressive. The Heart Truth Web site provides resources, tools, campaign materials and information on getting involved. I also was impressed with the logo, wordmark and trademark statement guidelines–something that’s not always easy to find. To show support, the site has a link to its little Red Dress pin (although I personally like this one, with sparkling crystals.)

The campaign used stories and photos from women who have had experience with heart disease. It’s might be easy for you to ignore the fact that one in four women die of heart disease, but reading about Erin’s experience of being diagnosed at age 39 helps puts a face to the disease.

Public service announcements, like the one below, were printed and aired on radio and television:

Materials created for this campaign include a free Healthy Heart Handbook for Women and a kit for speakers to use. On the site, I also found an action plan document, a brochure, recipes, a video and wallet cards. These all have consistent branding and you can choose to download them for free or to purchase copies.

Lastly, the campaign partnered with national nonprofit organizations, corporations and the media to get the message to women.

In addition to the promotions through its partners and their events, Laura Bush promoted the campaign. Media, including Parade, USA Today, and GLAMOUR covered the campaign. Stores, such as Walmart and Radio Shack, became involved. There were more than 100 local events, 31 Heart Truth Single City Stops, and five events hosted by Laura Bush. She also held a press event, declaring February as American Heart Month. National Wear Red Day®, a fashion week, a road show and the First Ladies Red Dress Collection also are significant parts of the campaign.

Quick results

  • 1,089,242,427 audience impressions
  • 206 million television PSA impressions
  • 187 million radio PSA impressions
  • 25 million color PSA impressions in magazines, with an advertising value close to $500,000
  • 795,000 Red Dress pins distributed

There were many more impressions through the campaigns partnerships and community events.

My thoughts

When this campaign began, social media definitely wasn’t as important of an aspect. Through a quick search, I found The Heart Truth on Twitter. They have a well-branded page, but only 346 followers. They also have a Flickr page, great for fashionistas who are interested in red dresses. Their fan page on Facebook has 1,334 fans. I also noticed they have a Delicious page, which is great for sharing links.

My first tip would be to reach out to people having conversations about heart disease on Twitter. This is an opportunity for them to answer questions and interact with people online. Another problem I see is that the aren’t following any real people…just organizations related to heart health.

While they posted a lot in February, I don’t see much posted this March. Just because their special month is over doesn’t mean they should stop promoting the cause. I think it would be great to share more than just their own information. The fan page could serve as a great resource about new articles and research about heart disease.

And while I am impressed that they have a Delicious page, I see that the last post is from January 2009. They need to be sharing more information to be seen as an all-around resource. They also seem to post a lot about red dresses and their partners. I’d like to see more resources about heart disease posted.

Obviously this was a very successful campaign. What do you think about it?


Rachel M. Esterline works in public relations and marketing communications. Her blog, ExPRessions, contains her musings about PR, marketing, career and professional development, Gen Y issues, personal branding and more. Rachel also does freelance consulting and writing. She is originally from Genesee, Mich., and will graduate from Central Michigan University in May 2010.