Illinois Podiatric Medical Association Hot line during Diabetes Awareness Month
IPMA is always seeking low-cost strategies, tactics and events to improve awareness of foot-care related issues and referrals to member podiatrists while enhancing its relationships with statewide media.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and IPMA leveraged this awareness month by planning a statewide hot line event to encourage people with foot-care related questions to call IPMA’s 888 number and talk to a podiatrist. Budget for this event was small: The phones and lunch were paid for by a corporate sponsor and event was communicated via public relations. The association has no advertising or marketing budget to help spread the word on this event. Approximately a dozen volunteer podiatrists were recruited to staff the phones.
News release was distributed individually to a statewide media list that included daily newspapers, television stations and radio stations. Follow up calls were made two days after email went out. Outreach efforts generated stories in The Chicago Tribune, Champaign News Gazette, Peoria Journal Star, Decatur Herald Review, Rockford Register and Arlington Heights Daily Herald. Social media was used to bolster traditional media outreach. A Facebook event was created for the call in and event was distributed to PR consultant’s contacts. Additionally, people were encouraged to use Twitter to ‘tweet’ questions.
Publicity, word of mouth and social media efforts resulted in 118 calls to the hot line, which generated dozens of referrals to member podiatrists. Additionally, at least two dozen individual questions were posted on a Chicago Tribune health care blog and each post was answered by an IPMA member. IPMA realized more than a 50 percent increase in the number of calls to the hot line from 2007.
Illinois Podiatric Medical Association and Keep Illinois Walking
The Illinois Podiatric Medical Association sought a way to balance its commitment to public health and foot care with its need to deliver new patients to its 600 members. CMPR, working with the public relations committee, developed a statewide media relations campaign called "Keep Illinois Walking." This campaign provided free pedometers and information about starting a walking campaign to any Illinois resident who called IPMA headquarters or visited www.ipma.net to find a podiatrist near them. The campaign was kicked off on IPMA's new Chicago Cable Access Network Program "Feet Forward" in March. PR materials were emailed to major media outlets in the state generating media coverage in the Peoria Journal Star, Bloomington Pantagraph, Elgin Courier News and Joliet Herald, among others. Follow up analysis of the IMPA website revealed the campaign generated a 10 percent increase in original visitors to the "Find a Podiatrist" webpage.
See the Media Coverage page for links to media coverage of the campaign.
Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing
CMPR worked with the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing to provide communications support for public affairs campaign to seek regulatory approval for advanced practice nurses to obtain prescribing ability for Schedule II medications such as narcotics to control pain. Statewide media relations effort resulted in significant media placements in Peoria, Chicago and other key central Illinois markets, as well as coverage of the nurses lobbying day in Springfield. In October 2007, the State of Illinois amended the Nurse Practice Act to allow APNs to prescribe Schedule II medications.