Saving Lives With Public Relations and Thought Leadership
Eating Recovery Center, a provider of comprehensive eating disorder treatment for adults, adolescents and children, needed to raise awareness of its doctors as specialized experts and create greater understanding of eating disorders and proper treatment among healthcare professionals and reporters.
CSG recognized that designing a separate strategy for each audience would be critical to success. Although the ultimate goals share many similarities, including an educational component, the behaviors required to complete those goals are distinct, necessitating two paths to success.
The first was an effort to educate healthcare professionals to recognize when they should refer patients to an eating disorder specialist. The second aimed to equip journalists with all the information needed to appropriately cover eating disorders.
Educating the Experts
Most patients depend on recommendations to know when to see a specialist, but given the psychological and social factors involved in eating disorders, outpatient therapists and clinicians themselves do not always know the appropriate time to refer a patient to an eating disorders specialist. To that end, we created a series of informational pieces for healthcare professionals.
A white paper, Report on Referral Practices, was created to help doctors and others in the healthcare industry establish consistent procedures for referring patients to eating disorders specialists and in particular, the experts at Eating Recovery Center.
- Report on Referral Practices This multi-page, research-based report shed light on referral practices in the United States and makes the case for outpatient therapists and clinicians to establish a process for when and how to make a referral to an eating disorders specialist.
Clarifying a Complex Topic
For journalists, complexity is a significant barrier to reporting on eating disorders. CSG identified an opportunity to save journalists time and encourage detailed coverage that would reach interested consumers and professionals: Create a comprehensive resource to arm journalists with reliable information from a trusted source.
We called it The Journalist’s Guide to Eating Disorders, and we used it as a launchpad to expand our educational efforts. We also crafted content-driven press releases to encourage our media contacts to tell important stories. By boosting both the ease and motivation for journalists to report on eating disorders, we were able to secure coverage of topics directly related to Eating Recovery Center’s value proposition and mission.
- The Journalist’s Guide to Eating Disorders A 16-page guide featuring statistics, research, definitions, media resources and a speakers bureau resource was distributed to journalists to encourage eating disorders coverage.
- Marie Claire “Starvation Nation,” secured a multi-page spread spotlighting eating disorders in America appeared in the July 2011 issue of Marie Claire, bringing national attention to Eating Recovery Center as an expert care provider. We also secured media placements in Everyday Health, 5280, among other outlets.
Ultimately, CSG’s efforts helped Eating Recovery Center enhance the spotlight on a critical mental health conversation and raise awareness of the need for consistent practices in eating disorder referral and treatment practices.
“Eating disorders are a serious mental illness not often given the coverage they deserve. The information that is available is often incomplete. CSG helped us mobilize our world renowned leaders to provide much needed topical clarity and education to the public, while also raising awareness of Eating Recovery Center and increasing access to care for our patients and their families.”
— Julie Dryden Holland, former chief marketing officer for Eating Recovery Center
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