When an organization as large and prestigious as the American Medical Association (AMA) invests $15M as the founding partner in a brand new kind of company, people are going to pay attention. It’s equally true that the AMA has its own agenda to promote, and that many healthcare reporters have pre-conceived notions about the AMA. Consequently, when integrated innovation company Health2047 turned to Sterling to spearhead its public launch during the 34th JP Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco, it was vital to think strategically and “thread the needle” with care. After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Health2047’s multi-track for-profit business model, coupled with its ability to access the AMA’s vast content, regulatory and policy expertise and broad physician network, uniquely positions the new company to be able to effect meaningful system-level change in US healthcare in areas like chronic disease management. Sterling’s job was to convey the vision and explain Health2047’s differentiators in a way that resonated with business and healthcare media.
Health2047 is a brand new business model in healthcare: an integrated innovation company that bridges the gap between the medical community and Silicon Valley. Alongside the AMA’s team of content, policy, practice, and regulatory experts, Health2047 will create system-level advances in healthcare by partnering with leading companies in each healthcare asset class as well as emerging tech companies that want to optimize their solutions for the healthcare market. That said, Health2047 has a design-led collaboration studio that houses multi-disciplinary teams of experts; Sterling needed to avoid having Health2047 characterized by the media as just another tech incubator coming online.
Given that all the healthcare heavy hitters attend the JP Morgan Healthcare conference, January 11 (the first day of the JPM conference) was chosen as the launch date. That meant Sterling had to plan around not only the holiday season slowdown, but also take into account media attendance at the CES Digital Health Summit the first week of January.
Although Health2047 is a separate entity from the AMA, the launch needed to carefully incorporate both organizations’ perspectives at the open house event and across numerous traditional and social media channels, while also keeping Health2047’s overarching message distinct.
Working closely with Health2047 and the AMA’s senior communications team, Sterling developed Health2047’s brand identity and website in a way that was fresh, yet gave a “tip of the hat” to the AMA through the use of the color purple. Sterling also crafted a messaging platform that not only shared Health2047’s vision and mission, but also highlighted its multi-disciplinary team environment, its three distinct tracks of business, and the unique strategic benefits that accrue from having the AMA as its founding partner.
To maximize positive visibility at the launch, the Sterling/AMA team developed a number of joint media opportunities under embargo for Health2047’s CEO and the AMA’s CEO. It’s not ideal to do pre-launch under embargo over the holidays, but given the early January timing of CES and the JP Morgan Healthcare conference, we made it happen. In addition to the hosted group media call on launch day, Sterling facilitated a series of joint media interviews during the last two weeks of December with journalists from key business and healthcare publications.
Our media relations efforts tapped top-tier business channels, but also involved reaching out to medical and healthcare-specific outlets and technology press that would care about health IT. We also actively utilized Twitter and LinkedIn to share thought-leadership content, including bylined articles and blog posts. This established a healthy stream of social activity and discussion, while also ensuring Health2047’s story grew increasingly concrete to more casual audiences.
Not only did Sterling succeed in preventing the dreaded “incubator” positioning, we also secured strong, positive feature coverage from top-tier business outlets, general interest press, and prominent healthcare blogs. Here’s a quick synopsis of coverage results:
- Generated interest from 33 news outlets;
- Secured 26 unique and positive articles across business and trade outlets at launch;
- Achieved positive Health2047/AMA feature coverage in Business Insider, U.S. News & World Report, and DowJones VentureWire/WSJ Venture Capital Dispatch, Bloomberg BNA, Crain’s Chicago Business and Chicago Tribune, among others;
- Generated visibility of earned media coverage at >45 million UVM
Today’s highly fragmented U.S. healthcare system has some serious flaws, but Health2047’s design-led thinking and venture architecture discipline offer the opportunity to disrupt the status quo, working with its partners to infuse the physician perspective into all major innovation cycles. The Health2047 launch may have surpassed expectations, but the best is yet to come.