Challenge: One of the nation’s premier medical cancer care centers came to the Podesta Group for counsel when it found itself in a crisis communications maelstrom over health care coverage for patients at its renowned facility.
Strategy: Better position the center and its prominent president, with key members of the Senate Finance Committee, we also advised him on national media rapid response and branding. The second phase of this project sought to brand the center and its prominent president for its substantive work in cancer research and care through strategic media placements and press events.
Result: The Podesta Group moved quickly to shape the president’s 10-point paper on new directions for cancer care into a dynamic and colorful document, “Cancer in 2009 – What Needs to be Done.” We successfully diffused a negative Wall Street Journal story about the center and turned the tables to provide a wider look at the challenges faced by research and treatment centers in the current health care system. We arranged a one-on-one interview for the center’s president with Robert Pear, lead health reporter for the New York Times. We also tapped home-state journalist, Evan Smith, editor of Texas Monthly and host of Texas Monthly TV, which airs on PBS stations throughout the state, to interview the president. We also booked and produced a Newsmaker Forum at the National Press Club in Washington that attracted health beat reporters from C-SPAN, major dailies, regional outlets, health industry and cancer-specific publications.