University Medical Center New Orleans (UMC) and its marketing partner DEVENEY faced a twofold challenge as the new facility prepared to open its doors: Shed perceptions associated with Charity Hospital, a longstanding health care provider that closed after Hurricane Katrina, and present UMC as a state-of-the-art facility. The success of its campaign has won DEVENEY first place in the “Best Marketing Campaign” category of Ragan’s 2016 Nonprofit PR Awards
New Orleans residents were well aware of Charity Hospital, a long-standing healthcare facility that closed after Hurricane Katrina. Its replacement was University Medical Center New Orleans (UMC), created by the state of Louisiana and leased and managed by a Louisiana-based nonprofit healthcare system, LCMC Health.
UMC adopted the tagline “The Future of Healthcare is Here.” Charity’s old tagline was relegated to a supplemental position in the campaign. While New Orleans residents understood that UMC would continue Charity’s legacy of charitable care, its leading-edge equipment and facilities were on full display in the campaign.
Since the opening coincided with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, spokespeople for the new facility included doctors who worked at Charity during the storm, a tactic that proved appealing to national media. The campaign employed broadcast, print, outdoor and online media activated through paid media, PR, community outreach and stakeholder engagement. A sneak-peek media day alone generated considerable coverage.
Overall, the campaign produced some 527 stories resulting in an astonishing 441 million-plus impressions. In addition to local coverage, stories appeared in some of the most prestigious national media, helping achieve the goal of New Orleans residents perceiving the new facility as modern and forward-looking.
Kudos to DEVENEY and UMC for their efforts.