UCSF, with medical facilities spread out all over San Francisco, was opening its first new campus in decades in the revitalized neighborhood known as Mission Bay. Three distinct hospitals – one for children, a cancer center, and a women’s center – would showcase advanced technology and provide a truly state-of-the-art experience for patients and staff. Communicating the new location, services and benefactors to the media was Landis Communications’ (LCI) primary function. In a crowded and competitive healthcare market, differentiators would be key to coverage.
LCI, and partner agency The Fearey Group in Seattle, began working with in-house UCSF communications staff a full six months prior to the opening. Strategically, the goal was to provide an ongoing “drumbeat” of story ideas and news to local media. Coverage began quickly in all formats and was integrated within UCSF’s own communications tools to excite stakeholders and influencers about the move. LCI and The Fearey Group pitched national media regarding technological innovations (Hospital robots) and the involvement of benefactor Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com). LCI recommended a series of special events to drive interest and media coverage including life-flight helicopter tests at the new heliport on top of the UCSF/Benioff Children’s Hospital. Staff participated in a family walk day down the picturesque San Francisco waterfront to open the new facilities. Photo opps included the line-up of ambulances on move day and the UCSF Tech Day that drew the Mayor of San Francisco and other luminaries to observe healthcare robotics in action.
Media coverage was enormous and beyond even LCI and The Fearey Group’s high expectations. Multiple stories were published in all Bay Area newspapers including The San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Area News Group, San Jose Mercury News, Marin Independent Journal, SF Examiner, and specialty ethic media. Broadcast coverage included KPIX (CBS), KTVU (FOX), KNTV (NBC), KOFY (ABC), BBC-TV and every local radio news station. USA Today, CBS, Los Angeles Times and many healthcare trade publications covered the opening nationally.