Grand Prize: Health Care PR and Marketing Campaign of the Year

Nationwide Children’s Hospital transitions from traditional PR to brand journalism

A shift in strategy delivered this hospital’s messages to an audience of staggering proportions—6.6 billion people.

Innovative Health Care PR Tactics Break All-Time Records- Logo


Nationwide Children’s Hospital had been achieving success with traditional public relations, but with the help of MediaSource it shifted to a brand journalism approach better designed to reach its audience. Its success has earned it Grand Prize for “Campaign of the Year” in Ragan’s 2016 Health Care PR and Marketing Awards. 

The shift involved realigning resources to implement an editorial strategy that works more like a news outlet, with multimedia content creation and outreach that takes advantage of both earned and owned media. The adoption of a brand journalism mentality was necessary to taking a news (rather than marketing) approach to content, which also enabled the hospital to produce more “newsjacking” stories that took advantage of news stories about which the Nationwide Children’s Hospital could comment. 

Brand journalism was central to mainstream media outreach as well as to delivery and sharing of content through social media. By approaching the hospital’s service lines like reporters on a beat, and functioning under a newsroom model, the team created news-style content using photos, video and graphics. Since the campaign includes pitches to the press, the multimedia newsroom let journalists download high-quality content they could repurpose for their own reporting. 

A strategy is only as good as its execution, though. Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s output measured up to the goals established for the brand journalism approach. The program’s reach increased by nearly 50 percent to a staggering 6.6 billion people. 

Congratulations to Lisa Arledge Powell, Clark Powell, Shannon McCormick, Jerred Ziegler, Robert Leitch, Kevin Volz, Garry Checki, Kelly Stincer, Colleen O’Morrow, Drew Schaar, Kristina Feduik, Rocky Sanguinetti, Lisa Renee Martyn, Pam Barber, Donna Teach, Gina Bericchia, Danielle Warner, Katelyn Hanzel, Jane Abel, Nicole Chave, Kelly Nightingale, Callista Dammann, and Diane Lang.


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