CSG CASE STUDY

THE FORSYTH INSTITUTE

Situation Analysis/Goals

The Forsyth Institute is an international biomedical research and education organization founded in Boston in 1910 as a dental infirmary for children. In the late 1950s Forsyth shifted its focus to research on oral and craniofacial disorders. However, the Institute remained known only as a provider of dental care with little recognition for its groundbreaking scientific work. Surveys of reporters and other influencers revealed little to no recognition. Yet, a higher profile and redirected public understanding were needed in order to enhance the Institute’s ability to recruit post-doctoral students; develop the Institute’s fundraising capacities; attract effective and active trustees to an expanded Board; enhance business partnerships; cultivate local politicians and community groups; and to aid its scientists in winning grants.

 

Strategy

Develop and execute an ongoing media relations plan appropriate to Forsyth’s strengths, stories and capabilities.

 

Tactics

•  Develop mission statement and goals
•  Determine key audiences
•  Identify appropriate outlets
•  Develop story ideas, set priorities; develop timeline
•  Establish procedures for ongoing consultation, feedback, and measurement
•  Develop press lists and mechanisms for news dissemination
•  Cultivate journalists through outreach to New England Science Writers and others
•   Research, write and distribute press releases; execute one-on-one follow up with targeted contacts
•   Develop executive speaking opportunities on prestigious platforms

 

Wrote and released the following:

•   Halloween Treats and Teeth: Sweets or Starch? (October 23, 2000)
•   Forsyth Institute to Host Nutrition and Oral Disease Workshop Nov 5-7 (October 24, 2000)
•   Scientific Research Institute Announces Web Launch (April 9, 2001)
Researchers Discover Genetic Cause of Bone Disorder Depicted in Feature Film Mask (April 19, 2001)
•   Forsyth Scientists Find Gene for Cherubism Bone Disorder (May 29, 2001)
•   Scientists Sequence Genome of Major Periodontal Disease Bacterium (June 12, 2001)
•   Forsyth Scientists Advance Caries Vaccine Research; Envision Clinical Trials (June 28, 2001)
•   Forsyth Institute Provides Paid Summer Scientific Research Internships for Teens (July 6, 2001)
•   Forsyth President to Receive Honorary Membership (July 19, 2001)
•   Forsyth Institute to Embark on “Kids Campaign” (August 21, 2001)
•   Research Institute to Offer Oral Health Guarantee for Children (October 14, 2001)
•   Research Institute Mounts Intergenerational Effort for Children’s Oral Health (October 19, 2001)
•   Forsyth to Host Science and Art Symposium (November 1, 2001)
•   A Gene Linked to Bone Density Discovered; Findings Could Lead To Novel Treatments For Osteoporosis (November 17, 2001)
•   Forsyth School for Dental Hygienists and Museum of Science, Boston Collaborate on Program Sure to Make Visitors Smile (February 12, 2002)
•   Student Researchers to Present New Teaching Topics, Methods at AAAS Meeting (February 15, 2002)
•   Eating Cheese Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay (April 17, 2002)
•   Researchers Find Novel Species, Bacterial Makeup of Deadly Noma Disease (June 4, 2002)
•   Research America! President to Speak at The Forsyth Institute (July 3, 2002)
•   Forsyth Researchers Regenerate Mammalian Teeth, (September 26, 2002)
•   Forsyth and Harvard Medical Researchers Find Keys to Left/Right Asymmetry, (Oct. 4, 2002)

 

Results

•   In one six month period, Forsyth was featured in more than 80 stories in local, national, international, industry, and professional print, broadcast and Internet media.

•   Nearing the end of 2002, Forsyth has been featured in hundreds of articles and broadcasts worldwide. Print outlets carrying stories about Forsyth discoveries include BioWorld Today, The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Business Week, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Times of India, and The Times of London, among others. Broadcast outlets that have carried news of Forsyth’s work include the British Broadcasting Corporation, Cable News Network, National Public Radio, CBS Evening News, WBZ-Radio and Television, WBUR-Radio, WCVB-TV, among many others.

•   A recent random survey of healthcare journalists, Boston-area healthcare professionals and other “influencers” shows a significantly heightened level of awareness of the Forsyth Institute and its research initiatives.

•   Journalists are now calling Forsyth and its consultants for updates on activities.

•   Large corporations are expressing interest in Forsyth discoveries as investment opportunities.

•   In 2001, CSG was awarded two prestigious Publicity Club of New England Bellringer awards for the work conducted on Forsyth’s behalf.

•   Speaking platforms: In planning phases with the Royal Society of Medicine, London; Scottish biotech industry association, Edinburgh; and the World Health Organization.