Blending Traditional and New Media to Tell the PFF Story

June 28, 2019

While working with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), we have experimented with a variety of channels to raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis and engage target populations with the PFF’s resources and research. These goals include reaching patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers, and demonstrating the value of the PFF to each group. As the array of media channels continues to grow, we have been able to tap into specific audiences through their preferred sources of information and entertainment – be it traditional publications or new media options.

Tried and True
For our traditional media program, the PFF team has been leveraging top national media outlets to share the personal stories of our PFF Ambassadors from across the country. By speaking about their individual experiences with pulmonary fibrosis, PFF Ambassadors help us promote disease awareness on behalf of the PFF, provide up-to-date information, and offer hope and inspiration to the PF community.

As part of this effort, our team recently secured a piece in Reader’s Digest to tell the story of PFF Ambassador Tom Frey, whose story is unlike any other. Tom, a retired NYPD detective, shares his personal journey from being a first responder during 9/11 to his diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis – which links back to his time spent at Ground Zero 18 years ago. This is a great example of leveraging a long-standing, influential publication to reach a broad consumer base that also coincides with the PFF’s target audience. You can read Tom’s inspirational story here.

Always Streaming
In terms of new media, we wanted to communicate the stories of a pulmonary fibrosis patient, caregiver and healthcare provider through a mobile-friendly channel where individual voices could shine. We worked with the RareShare Podcast, which is one component of a social hub run by the Rare Genomics Institute serving hundreds of rare disorder communities. The podcast works to share important information with patients, families, research organizations and healthcare professionals who are affected by rare disorders in an effort to improve both quality of life and treatment options.
PFF Ambassadors who represent both patient and his wife/caregiver, Jim and Karen Carns discussed how they learned about pulmonary fibrosis together and worked with the PFF to connect with support groups and tap into valuable resources. Dr. David Lederer, the PFF’s senior medical advisor, shared the latest research and innovations in care, bringing valuable insight for both patient and healthcare provider audiences.

The different perspectives flowed seamlessly together throughout the interview, resulting in a compelling episode that underscores the challenges that come with a pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis, the importance of finding the right support and resources, as well as the major strides the healthcare industry is making toward finding a cure. You can stream the episode here.

By integrating both traditional and new media in our PR strategy, the LCWA healthcare PR team gets the best of both worlds.