Strategic Communications Management

Helping turn around a large academic medical


An internationally-acclaimed academic medical center in the Northeast U.S.


After merging with an out-of-state hospital, it was clear that what was envisioned as a perfect match turned out to be anything but. Instead, the partnership collapsed and our client struggled financially to regain its independence. A new CEO was hired to turn around the medical center. Within months a number of changes were implemented to reverse a $16 million loss, as well as deal with crushing debt and litigation costs associated with the failed merger.

Strategy and Plan:

In phase one, the team rolled out a series of initiatives focusing on the hospital's improved finances. A major editorial profile of the new CEO followed. A series of brainstorming sessions were held with various department heads to help generate story ideas that could be pitched to local, regional and national media. N&A partnered with a major market research organization to plan future branding, positioning and messaging. Focus groups followed to hone messages. With quantitative research in hand, the hospital developed a marketing communications plan and strategy that "gave voice" to branding, positioning and key messages for the medical center.


Within a few months, the hospital achieved a dramatic increase in the substance and frequency of positive news coverage. A majority of stories were stand-alone reports that differentiated the institution from competitors. The effort organized and implemented by the client and N&A helped establish a consistent outreach program that solidified and positioned the organization in a leadership role in the healthcare community.