Case Study of Excellence: World Thrombosis Day

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Campaign: World Thrombosis Day
Client: International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Agency: Stanton Communications, Inc.

More people lose their lives each year to blood clots than AIDS, breast cancer, and motor vehicle crashes combined. To raise awareness of the health risks and preventative measures, World Thrombosis Day is celebrated each year on October 13, organized by the International Society on Thrombosis and  Haemostasis (ISTH). With this life-saving mission, World Thrombosis Day seeks to amplify its message all around the world.

Prior to Stanton’s engagement, WTD outreach relied heavily on Mat releases  and generic media pitching. Stanton focused its efforts on top-tier media engagement in key geographies identified by the client as priorities, including all of Latin America, the UK and Ireland, select African
nations as well as North America. Communications sought to amplify awareness of blood clots including the causes, risk factors,  signs/symptoms and evidence-based prevention and treatment.

With this worthy objective in mind, Stanton Communications proudly partnered with ISTH as its WTD Agency of Record, and set a strategy to amplify awareness of blood clots beginning in early March 2020.

Then, just as the communication strategy came together, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. People became sick and died in fearsome numbers. Cities, countries and economies shut down. Mainstream press around the world filled their front pages, top-of-the-news broadcasts and online feeds with COVID-19 reporting, and media interest in other health stories collapsed. Stanton knew it was no time to get precious over plans—the team needed to align breaking news with our original strategy, and reassessed with an ear to the ground.

By early April, a correlation was discovered between COVID-19 and blood clots. Stanton mobilized WTD subject matter experts, most of whom were doctors on the front lines, and prepared them to communicate crucial health insights, while simultaneously engaging reporters to let them know the world-class experts on this emerging issue were at ISTH. The interviews secured with this swift action resulted in front page headlines around the globe.

Outreach shifted into high gear to bring ISTH expert insights to outlets internationally as Stanton engaged its extensive network of partner firms in key regions around the world. With support and prep from Stanton’s team, WTD subject matter experts made themselves available on short notice and handled interviews to tremendous effect. Unparalleled top-tier coverage resulted, and crucial insights were made available to millions who were anxious for answers.

Stanton also activated new media channels including Reddit, amplifying the reach of ISTH’s important guidance to an additional 42.6 million people, and addressing questions from the public. Stanton leveraged innovative tools with multi-media releases that reached 238 million, an increase of 214% over 2019. The team also secured free advertising, TV graphics, and story promotions that amplified reach by another 877 million impressions.

When October 13th arrived, World Thrombosis Day proceeded as a fully virtual event. The 2020 World Thrombosis Day webinar drew a record-breaking 1,931 registrants and 1,000 attendees. Among them were top-tier journalists, including reporters from EnglemedHealth News (UK), CNN Health, USA Today and Medscape.

Stanton delivered on the original strategic goal of quality over quantity, as 94% of all coverage was earned placements. The most important news organizations in the US, UK, Mexico, Latin America, and Africa carried the story. Influential journalists opened their reporting with news of thrombosis. Innovative coverage, such as an animated graphical story on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, was secured. Stanton also exceeded its quantity goal with more than 500 media placements across digital, print, and broadcast outlets.

Overall, Stanton’s 2020 WTD campaign achieved nearly 5 billion impressions worldwide and connected reporters to leading medical experts during a time of crisis all around the world.

Emily Wenstrom Vice President at Stanton Communications  Washington, DC. She can be reached at ewenstrom@stantoncomm.com or 202-223-4933