CLIENTCritical Path Institute
SERVICESStrategic Communications Planning, Media Relations, Coalition Management, Regulatory/Legislative Process, Writing/Material Development
CHALLENGEAlzheimer’s disease and other brain diseases continue to decimate the world’s aging population. It is predicted that by 2050, 1 in 85 people will suffer from Alzheimer’s alone. Based in Tucson, Arizona, Critical Path Institute leads and manages the Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD), a formal consortium of pharmaceutical companies, research foundations, patient advocacy associations, with advisors from government research and regulatory agencies including the U.S. FDA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA). CAMD members fully share pre-competitive data and knowledge to more efficiently and safely speed development of new therapies and preventions for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other debilitating neuro-degenerative diseases.
In 2010, Critical Path was ready to make its first major announcement for CAMD: the release of its database of more than 4,000 Alzheimer’s disease patients who had participated in 11 industry-sponsored clinical trials. While important to the business and research communities, the story surrounding the release would require additional messaging and media relations work to help it break through into the mainstream media. The client also wanted to hold an event in Washington, DC, to mark the occasion and bring together key stakeholders to celebrate the success and build relationships.
RESPONSETurner Strategies worked with Critical Path and CAMD members to develop top message points, identify appropriate spokespeople and establish necessary protocols to focus the effort on the news-making aspects of the story: 1) that the database was the first to combine clinical trial results to be openly shared by pharmaceutical companies and made available to qualified researchers around the world, and 2) that it was the first effort of its kind to create a voluntary industry standard to help accelerate new treatment research on brain disease.
Turner developed and implemented a game plan to interest key national media, generate significant coverage by trade press, and organize a successful press event. All of the requisite pre-event materials were created (pitch letter, media advisory, day of press release, online press kit) and Turner immediately began to line up media briefings and demonstration of the database with the lead reporters from national and trade publications to obtain detailed coverage of the release of the data.
Over the next several days, Turner coordinated a series of interview requests with Critical Path and CAMD’s top spokespeople to make sure the story would not only be covered on the national level, but at the local level as well, especially in Critical Path’s own backyard of Tucson.
Finally, Turner also worked with the National Press Club in Washington, DC, to give Critical Path the announcement event it wished to have for its key stakeholders and to provide an opportunity for additional media outlets to cover the story.
RESULTSIn just three short weeks, Turner Strategies landed a series of media briefings and earned coverage for the announcement by the Associated Press, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, USA Today, Financial Times, NPR, NBC News and CNN. Several key FDA trades were also briefed and stories landed in FDA Week, Pink Sheet and PharmaWire.
The announcement at the National Press Club was attended by several additional media outlets, which also covered the story while providing Critical Path with the setting it desired to bring together its key stakeholders. They even took a class picture!
In the end, nearly 300 stories ran throughout the country, gaining Critical Path more than $1.2 million in earned media for the announcement.