Elevating Psychiatric Urgent Care
PINE REST CHRISTIAN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services provides behavioral health treatment and counseling to people throughout Michigan. In April 2019, Pine Rest opened a new Psychiatric Urgent Care Center (PUCC) on its main campus in greater Grand Rapids. Our communications objective was to obtain region-wide media coverage of the PUCC opening and in doing so, drive prospective patients who needed urgent care to the PUCC rather than hospital emergency rooms. Additionally, a successful media relations campaign would strengthen Pine Rest’s brand position as the definitive regional leader in behavioral health services.
Truscott Rossman partnered with Pine Rest leadership to develop a media relations strategy that hit the most influential media outlets in the state. Our collaborative plan targeted specific reporters in Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Holland. Furthermore, we developed a strategy that would roll out the PUCC announcement in waves, allowing different Pine Rest representatives to serve as spokespeople over several days.
Once the strategy was locked in, we worked with Pine Rest to develop key messages for each spokesperson, ensuring that the PUCC services were clearly conveyed and that Pine Rest’s brand position as the leader in behavioral health treatment was amplified. Key to that messaging was the fact that the PUCC is the first of its kind in the region and will help alleviate a chronic and vexing healthcare issue: the need for urgent behavioral health treatment services outside of hospital emergency departments.
We then pitched the story and supporting media materials to targeted journalists and began locking in media coverage from multiple print, radio and TV news operations.
Over the course of ten days in April, the new Pine Rest PUCC was featured in media reports and live interviews on four TV stations, five radio stations and three print outlets. The media reports were all positive in tone. They demonstrated how Pine Rest was offering a first-of-its-kind service in Kent County and was meeting an enormous behavioral health need in the region. Additionally, Pine Rest leadership was showcased as thought-leaders and change-makers in the mental health field and made new connections with Detroit journalists.
We didn’t stop there. Truscott Rossman partnered with the Pine Rest team to gather and disseminate information about the impact of the PUCC on its six-month anniversary. As a result of our efforts, a new wave of media stories was generated by TV, radio and print news outlets about the number of people who had been treated at the PUCC. More than 3,000 people had sought help, far exceeding projections. The triumphant story proved that Pine Rest was not only a change-maker in the mental health field but also delivering meaningful treatment to people at a critical point in their health journey.
In February 2020 – based on coverage of this story – Mark Eastburg, President and CEO of Pine Rest, was recognized as the top newsmaker in the health care field by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
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