tlsimonPR

With 20 years of experience developing and implementing successful public relations campaigns, tlsimonPR is ready to engage as an independent consultant, to become a new member of your established communications team, or to build you a team of seasoned, creative and passionate pros for your business.

Case Studies

“Saving Sarah”

book launch

Five years after leading around-the-clock news coverage of Sarah Murnaghan and her family's fight with the federal government over its outdated lung allocation rules, the Murnaghan’s book about their journey hit the shelves. It was an honor to help contribute chapters and kick off the launch with a book tour.


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NYC & Philly tour

In one week, the amazing Murnaghan duo hit NYC and Philly to appear on Fox and Friends; Good Morning America; the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News; KYW News Radio, and Fox 29.

MAKING THE MOST OF AN ANNUAL EVENT & PARTNERING TO REACH A NEW MARKET   In 2017, Living Beyond Breast Cancer chose Memphis as the location of it national conference, a market known for particularly high rates of racial disparities in health outcomes, but new to the organization. We worked together to develop messages and strategies appropriate to the market, placing an op-ed in the  Memphis Commercial Appeal , and blanketing the region with radio, digital and billboard advertising. As a result, LBBC’s conference attendance exceeded the its goal, and 33 news stories were placed in outlets ranging from Memphis Magazine and Memphis Health & Fitness to The Tennessean, Baptist Leader, and Black Health Matters. Most important, we created a base of awareness about LBBC’s resources and a foundation for ongoing cooperation.

MAKING THE MOST OF AN ANNUAL EVENT & PARTNERING TO REACH A NEW MARKET

In 2017, Living Beyond Breast Cancer chose Memphis as the location of it national conference, a market known for particularly high rates of racial disparities in health outcomes, but new to the organization. We worked together to develop messages and strategies appropriate to the market, placing an op-ed in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, and blanketing the region with radio, digital and billboard advertising. As a result, LBBC’s conference attendance exceeded the its goal, and 33 news stories were placed in outlets ranging from Memphis Magazine and Memphis Health & Fitness to The Tennessean, Baptist Leader, and Black Health Matters. Most important, we created a base of awareness about LBBC’s resources and a foundation for ongoing cooperation.

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Campaign Saves 10-year-old Girl & Changes Federal Policy on How Donor Lungs Are Allocated to Children

On the morning of Friday, May 24, 2013 (Memorial Day weekend), Janet Murnaghan, a friend and former PR colleague whose daughter had end-stage cystic fibrosis, needed help. She had spent three months at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) with her 10-year-old daughter, Sarah, who had little more than a few weeks to live. Though Sarah had been on the lung transplant list for 18 months, the family had just learned that a federal policy was preventing them from getting the lungs Sarah needed to live.

A dedicated group of Philadelphia PR pros, affectionately called “Team Sarah,” quickly rallied to build an awareness campaign for the Murnaghans aimed to put pressure on U.S. officials with the power to change the current federal policy that discriminated against children under 12 in the allocation of adult donor lungs.

With little time to work, “Team Sarah” worked to humanize a complicated federal policy. 

Tactics/Execution

Message Development/Dissemination: With team communications managed solely through Facebook’s IM platform, a daily strategy, messages, and media materials guaranteed consistency across all communications.

Change.org Petition: A Change.org petition engaged and educated the public on the issue and drove an email campaign. Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/optn-unos-change-policy-to-allow-pediatric-transplants-of-adult-lungs-based-on-medical-necessity 

Media Relations: Within hours of Janet’s, CNN broke Sarah’s story at CHOP, triggering thousands of news outlets around the world to jump on Sarah’s story to push the online petition. National broadcast, print and wire outlets followed Sarah’s story daily and, to manage this fast and furious attention, Team Sarah huddled daily with the family to provide steady and accurate updates to the press.

Grassroots/Legislative Outreach: Team Sarah engaged state and federal legislators and regularly briefed them on the situation, and created template letters that could be utilized by concerned citizens.

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Evaluation/Results

An immediate, all-volunteer, zero-dollar campaign resulted in the following (chron. order):

  • An international media story with approximately six billion trackable impressions, and still growing today (2018).

  • Support from four members of Congress, as well as Pennsylvania’s governor, who publicly called for an immediate change in the “Under 12 Rule.” Elected officials used their time during a C-SPAN nationally televised legislative hearing to question Secretary Sebelius about her refusal to change the policy. Click here to see video.

  • One of the “top five most successful” Change.org petitions of all time, that garnered close to 400,000 signatures.

  • Law firm Pepper Hamilton, took on Sarah’s case pro bono.

  • On June 10, just two weeks from the campaigns start, a federal judge granted Sarah and another boy - Javier Acosta, also being cared for at CHOP with end-stage cystic fibrosis, a temporary restraining order that allowed them to be considered for an adult lung transplant based on their Lung Allocation Scores.

  • Further, on June 10, the U.S. organ board unanimously passed a resolution that allowed children under 12 to be considered for the adult lung transplant list on a case-by-case basis. This rule was later made permanent based on further review.

  • On June 12, Sarah received adult donor lungs. While this set of compromised lungs failed, the new U.S. policy allowed Sarah to go back on the adult donor list for a second set of lungs, which she received days later. The second surgery was a success.

  • Sarah left CHOP on August 27 to recuperate at home. Today she is a teenager living in Florida who loves spending time with her brothers, sister and cousins (and on her phone).

  • The work of “Team Sarah” garnered the 2014 PR Week Public Affairs Campaign of the Year and is now a published PR case study taught in college classrooms: http://cssc.uscannenberg.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/v3art5.pdf.

For 10 years, I served the University of Miami’s School of Business as its media relations contact, working closely with the School’s deans, faculty and students to build visibility of its programs, faculty research, events, alumni and its unique as the headquarters of Latin American business.  In year one of working together, media coverage tripled compared to each of the three prior years, and by 2011 were up by 500% compared to each of those years. Faculty research and expertise, school news, and leadership insight on business school trends regularly appeared in top tier news outlets such as:  The Wall Street Journal , the  Financial Times , Bloomberg Businessweek,  The New York Times ,  Marketplace Radio ,  PBS’s  “Nightly Business Report,” The Associated Press,  Forbes,   Investor’s Business Daily , and  The Washington Post .

For 10 years, I served the University of Miami’s School of Business as its media relations contact, working closely with the School’s deans, faculty and students to build visibility of its programs, faculty research, events, alumni and its unique as the headquarters of Latin American business.

In year one of working together, media coverage tripled compared to each of the three prior years, and by 2011 were up by 500% compared to each of those years. Faculty research and expertise, school news, and leadership insight on business school trends regularly appeared in top tier news outlets such as: The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times, Marketplace Radio, PBS’s “Nightly Business Report,” The Associated Press, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, and The Washington Post.


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©2013 tlsimon communications, llc