Media coverage of the opioid addiction problem plaguing America is plentiful, but few reports offer action to address the situation. Cigna had quietly been making efforts to help curb the epidemic, but the insurer wanted to go further, unifying those efforts and drawing attention to solutions. The campaign, labeled “Away from Blame,” has earned first place in the “Cause Advocacy Campaign” category of PR Daily’s 2017 Media Relations Awards.
At the center of the campaign was a commitment to reducing customers’ opioid use by 25 percent, announced by Cigna president and CEO David Cordani at a Washington, D.C. event alongside the U.S. Surgeon General and the White House drug czar. A Cordani-bylined op-ed appeared in the Washington Post’s online and print editions outlining how the insurance industry can fight substance abuse disorders.
Cigna also partnered with the American Society of Addiction Medicine to improve treatment guidelines. A multi channel media outreach campaign targeted health influencers, physicians, policymakers, third-party advocacy organizations and the general public, resulting in positive coverage in a wide range of high-profile publications, including another Cordani-bylined op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
Additional announcements of new initiatives, including more third-party collaboration with the addiction advocacy community, kept coverage going, ultimately earning over 1 billion impressions and 13,000 social shares. Cigna’s efforts also led several other insurers to take action.
Congratulations to the Cigna team of Gloria Barone Rosanio, Jon Sandberg, Dr. Doug Nemecek, Mark Slitt, Karen Eldred, Roy DeLaMar Jr., Lori Feldman, Sarah Dudzic, Jackie Kahn, Todd Ringler, Monica Huang, Melinda Boisjolie, Brittany Horowitz, Tyson Greaves, Amanda Lazaro, Victoria Ifan, Kara Taylor, Jeffrey Caporizzo and Lillian Leem.