2011 Nonprofit PR Awards: Association/Nonprofit Team of the Year

Kaiser Permanente

To position itself as a model for future health care, Kaiser Permanente rolled into 2010 with some tough PR goals. Among them: Achieve a minimum of 70% message pull-through in “very positive” stories; increase positive media coverage by 5%; and ensure that at least 50% of traditional media coverage was in online outlets. To develop a message architecture, KP reviewed materials and messages gleaned from other communications channels, including books written and speeches made by company executives, senior communicator leadership meetings and department-wide sessions. From that discovery came a messaging strategy: Create messages that powerfully and persuasively convey what makes Kaiser Permanente distinct, relevant and valuable; and articulate those messages in a way that makes constituents respond favorably to Kaiser Permanente.

Building on the message that KP is the model for future health care delivery, the communications team built pillars that would support this position. They included Expert Medicine, Great Doctors, Connectivity, Ease and Convenience, and Healthy Communities. Then individual messaging was fashioned for each pillar. 

These messages were integrated into all of KP’s communications—press releases, media pitches, presentations, stakeholder communications, employee communications and more. As a result of the new message architecture, the original goals were met and exceeded, with a 79% “very positive” story rate and 82% of coverage appearing online.

Honorable Mention
Legacy – Blowing Smoke Around Tobacco: Keeping a Deadly Issue in the Public Eye: The nation’s largest public health organization devoted to the tobacco issue concentrated on brand, prevention and smoking cessation through a comprehensive plan of partner outreach, traditional media relations and social media. As a result, in 2010 nearly 2 billion Legacy media impressions were earned, its truth tour reached more than 500,000 teens and the EX cessation program received more than $13 million in donated media in Q1 alone.