Plagiocephaly Awareness Week
Approximately one in 30 babies in the UK is born with or will develop plagiocephaly, also known as flathead syndrome. The condition can be prevented/cured using repositioning techniques; however in some more serious cases it requires treatment. Ossur UK provides helmet treatment, which helps reshape the baby’s flat head. The clinics have a 100% success rate and have treated over 3,500 babies since 2003. However, the treatment costs £2,000 and is not available on the NHS. Many GPs and health visitors see the condition as cosmetic and will not refer patients to a specialist clinician.
As a consequence, the media have been sceptical about covering the condition and the treatments available.
The PR team at Souter recognised this and agreed that the strategy should be to create a better understanding of the condition and position Ossur UK as the experts on the subject.
The aim was to generate coverage in two leading national baby magazines and to increase Ossur UK/PlagioCare presence online.
Souter devised ‘Plagiocephaly Awareness Week’ – a national campaign that would provide a hook for national press, but also appeal directly to consumers, who may have concerns about plagiocephaly.
Ossur UK’s best ambassadors are the parents of babies who have undergone treatment. Social media savvy mums and dads often praise the organisation online on channels such as Facebook, telling their positive stories to other parents. As part of the campaign, the PR team wrote to the Ossur UK customer database, telling parents about Plagiocephaly Awareness Week (PAW) and asking for their support. Feedback from parents allowed us to create a range of case studies and a social media panel where parents contributed stories and comment on the build-up and during PAW.
To create a hook for regional media and engage potential customers, the PR team devised ‘Heads Up’ events. Taking place during PAW, in baby-friendly locations situated near clinics, Heads Up events would provide an informal and free advice service for parents. The events were held in nurseries, soft play areas and cafes. Complimentary drinks and cupcakes were also provided to create a relaxed atmosphere for parents and babies.
Coverage was achieved in three national baby titles: Junior Baby, Prima Baby and Practical Parenting, and there was a full page feature in the Daily Express. Online presence increased by 82% with 11 pieces of quality coverage, and Facebook page ‘likers’ increased by 35%.
The effect of the coverage helped raise awareness and dispel scepticism and drove enquiries from Mums into centres for treatment.