Updating the Moffitt Brand

By Bert Henderson, APR 

“You have to do your research” was the main focus of Joe Hice, APR, CPRC, vice president of public relations and marketing for the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, luncheon conversation today. Moffitt operated during their first 20 years without the benefit of detailed marketing data even though the National Cancer Institute (NCI) institution was operating successfully.

With precise statistical and empirical data developed by an outside research firm, Joe’s department was able to move Moffitt away from featuring white lab coats in the hospital’s ads to messaging focused on one key area with supporting facts.

  1. Moffitt  is your best chance for beating cancer.  Why, because:
    1. Moffitt is the only NCIComprehensiveCancerCenter based in Florida conducting more than $80 million annually in cancer research
    2. Moffitt physicians, researchers and staff are focused on cancer and cancer only, handling more than 325,000 patient appointments annually
    3. Because of that focus, Moffitt has more experience dealing with cancer than any other institution in Florida
    4. Outcomes for patients with complex cases of cancer are better at Moffitt due to their experience and focus on the disease.

Joe discussed how consumer perception of Moffitt improved by 10 points when the center focused their marketing efforts on these messages.  The approach also helped move Moffitt out of the “sea of sameness” that prevails in health care marketing and into a clearly focused message built around beating cancer.  

Joe explained that research is vitally important especially when dealing with future issues like affordable health care and unforeseen industry issues. The successful growth of Moffitt dictated that “you have to do your research.”

If you’re not an FPRA member and you need assistance as a PR professional with your public relations needs consider membership in this prestigious organization. During meetings there is time allotted for networking where discussions take place among PR professionals providing industry tips and support for one another. That’s the time where those with less experience have an opportunity to gain knowledge from the more seasoned professionals about communications plans, media contacts, and how to make businesses more successful.

During the lunch portion of the meeting FPRA and industry professionals like Joe from around Florida provide advanced quality educational programming for the membership. Subject matter can include: business and marketing communications, crisis communications, public relations ethics, emergency communications planning, or successful media strategy and communications. These kinds of education programs would cost serious dollars in this economy, but are available to the membership for the price of the luncheon. The monthly chapter meetings are held at the Citrus Hills Country Club in the Garden Room.

For more information about FPRA and the Nature Coast Chapter contact: Katie Mehl, APR, FPRA Nature Coast Chapter president, (352) 344-6501 or email kmehl@citrusmh.org.

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