THE FRAMINGHAM HEART STUDY
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study retained Wanger Associates to develop and implement a public relations program designed to use its 50th anniversary as an opportunity to: 1) Increase awareness of the Study's impact on the lives of millions of people and, 2) Honor the citizens of Framingham who have participated in the Study.
- Demonstrate – primarily through the media – how the Study has had a major impact on the public's understanding of cardiovascular risk factors.
- Use the 50th anniversary as an opportunity to educate the public about cardiovascular risk factors.
- Strengthen the sense of pride and understanding among the volunteers in the Study about how their efforts have had a major impact on public health.
- Enhance the reputation of the Heart Study so participants and their offspring will want to continue participating in on-going and future research.
- Create and promote a 50th anniversary celebration which would attract more than 1,000 Study participants.
Coverage appeared in more than 1,000 media outlets, including:
- U.S. News & World Report did a cover story than ran eight pages.
- AP's medical editor wrote a 30 inch story with a sidebar. The package, including two color photos, ran internationally and was picked up by more than 50% of the largest 250 papers in the U.S. based on clips we received.
- USA Today ran the AP story as their lead piece in the Health & Behavior section. A number of other dailies ran the story Page 1. Most of the papers ran the story across three or four columns and carried the complete package.
- The New York Times ran a major, staff-written feature that was also picked up by a number of other dailies who use the New York Times News Service. The Los Angeles Times wrote a staff-written Page 1 story than ran above the fold and was carried by other newspapers who subscribe to the LA Times news service.
- Good Morning America sent a camera crew and their medical editor to Framingham and ran a major feature. Science Friday, the major health show on NPR with a reported listening audience of more than one million, did a half-hour segment on the Heart Study.
- National Public Radio's Weekend Edition did a feature as did the local Boston NPR affiliate (WBUR). Chronicle, a popular, evening magazine format television show in Boston ran a 30-minute story on the Heart Study. ABC radio network picked up the AP story.
- The Boston Globe ran a Page 1 story that jumped inside and covered a full page inside with sidebars, graphs and photos the day of the anniversary; a column in the health section focusing on the volunteers a few weeks earlier, and an editorial.
- The Middlesex News, the major suburban daily covering Framingham and the paper most read by participants, ran seven major stories over the course of a month as well as a number of smaller stories., All but one ran on the front page and two were the lead stories. The Framingham Tab also ran a cover story.
“Your ability to get over here in less than an hour, analyze our situation and create and implement a crisis communications effort on the run was amazing.”
“You dealt with the all the media in an exceptionally professional way and, in fact, some of the reporters complimented us on how well we were able to meet their needs.”
Isabella Steward Gardner Museum