Business ChallengeLifeCell Corporation (a KCI Company) began working with Schwartz Communications in August 2009 with the ongoing goal of bringing breast reconstruction into the national breast cancer discussion surrounding mastectomies and the continuum of care. Schwartz was tasked with educating breast cancer patients about tissue regeneration and the AlloDerm® Regenerative Tissue Matrix (AlloDerm) to raise awareness of their options when speaking with breast and plastic surgeons about breast reconstruction post-mastectomy. To accomplish this, Schwartz elevated national awareness of breast reconstruction and AlloDerm through the experiences of key opinion leaders (KOLs) and patient advocates. The awareness campaign focused on relaying the importance of breast reconstruction education and options, while also highlighting the benefits of AlloDerm in targeted media outreach. Schwarz was also charged with working alongside members of LifeCell’s national sales team to support their regional efforts to increase physician loyalty, brand exposure and showcase how best to utilize PR within the sales cycle. While AlloDerm held a large market share, and the Schwartz team had the participation of many KOLs and sales reps, the overall program was greatly challenged by the simple fact that many breast cancer patients were not being informed about their breast reconstruction options.
Schwartz PR Strategy• To kick-off the engagement in Schwartz immediately began targeting key media (focusing on national women’s magazines, business press and targeted local media relevant to participating KOLs’ locations) in preparation for National Breast Cancer awareness month in October.
• Schwartz focused on educating the national media about breast reconstruction options, the advantages of tissue regeneration (AlloDerm) and the importance of discussing breast reconstruction options. The goal was to promote awareness and ensure all women are aware of their options when talking to their breast and plastic surgeons about breast reconstruction post-mastectomy.
• At all turns, the team focused on leveraging and positioning LifeCell’s un-branded, consumer awareness website, www.BreastReconstructionMatters.com, with the media and the public as the “go to” source to learn more about breast reconstruction options.
• In addition to media outreach, the team continued to position AlloDerm KOLs as thought leaders in breast reconstruction procedures and cutting edge technologies for
treating women post-mastectomy.
• The team also focused on putting a “human face” on the story by highlighting the experiences of patients who were treated with AlloDerm.
Results• Over the course of fifteen months, Schwartz secured a steady stream of coverage in national women’s books, top tier business press and key local media, securing more than 50 standalone placements and reaching an estimated audience of more than 9.2 million.
• During the first month of media outreach, Schwartz secured a key placement with Ivanhoe, a nationally syndicated news service. The Ivanhoe segment aired 52 times from January 10, 2010 through December 8, 2010, reaching an estimated audience of more than 1.3 million viewers across the country. To date, the segment continues to air.
• As a result of pitching in advance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Schwartz secured 15 placements that appeared during the month of October. This coverage consisted of print, broadcast and online stories. Of those print placements (est. circulation: 1,314,004), four were national publications, which required the Schwartz team to begin working with
these editors in late spring/early summer to ensure coverage in October.
• In total, the Schwartz Team successfully launched 26 local programs with AlloDerm KOLs and patients throughout the country.
• The greatest validation came when LifeCell’s top KOLs’ reported positive feedback in regards to coverage secured, such as Ron Israeli, M.D., plastic surgeon at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, P.C. in Great Neck, NY: “I saw two women from New Jersey the week after the broadcast (segment). They saw the segment and came to see me in consultation for prophylactic mastectomies and direct-to-implant/ AlloDerm reconstruction (they carry the BRCA gene mutation). They are scheduled for surgery this fall. Also, I was amazed at how many of my patients and colleagues saw the segment (I guess a lot of people watch TV). I received many calls about it the day after it aired.”