Access Health – AHCT – The Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange is seeking a Public Relations Agency with experience in crisis communications. The specific assignment is to support the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange D/B/A Access Health CT (“AHCT”).
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March of 2010 and Governor Malloy’s signing of Public Act 11-53 in July of 2011, Connecticut has built a state-based marketplace for health care coverage. The primary mission of AHCT is to increase the number of insured residents in Connecticut, promote positive health outcomes, lower costs and eliminate health disparities. AHCT strategy over the past four years has been to get out in front of stories, maintain an open dialog with the public and tell stories of real people benefiting from the ACA while partnering with State Agencies, elected officials and community partners to lower the uninsured rate.
The chosen firm should (i) have experience working with organizations in the healthcare industry, (ii) have a broad understanding of the Connecticut media landscape, (iii) possess knowledge of the political climate in Connecticut and Washington, D.C., and (iv) understand Connecticut community organizations.
Over the past 12 months AHCT has issued over 30 press releases in both English and Spanish; generated more than 40 media advisories and 22 statements by AHCT’s CEO; participated in more than 60 earned media interviews; and was mentioned in more than 220 media stories across the country. AHCT seeks full public relations support for Reputation Enhancement/Public Relations Support and Crisis Communications services, as detailed below.
Reputation Enhancement/Public Relations Support:
- Executing targeted public relations campaigns to generate releases, articles, event listings, publicity for events, promotions and destination activities/campaigns;
- Writing in simple and easy to read English language and format press releases to different media channels in a timely manner;
- Ability to translate all media related materials into Spanish, if needed;
- Conducting daily tracking of local and national media coverage related to AHCT; daily tracking also includes a summary with production of a daily electronic report summarizing volume of coverage and topics and any recommended actions for AHCT;
- Coordinating messaging (e.g. talking points and preparation) and arranging media interviews and speaking engagements for key AHCT staff;
- “Pitching” – personally contacting editors and reporters for coverage based on their editorial calendars or a specific event/topic;
- Writing op-eds and letters to the editor, developing talking points and elevator speeches as requested;
- Planning and coordinating press conferences when appropriate to drive coverage;
- Working with the AHCT’s Social Media Manager to generate publicity, word of mouth and help grow AHCT’s overall social presence and engagement;
- Targeting publicity in different media platforms (e.g. print, TV, radio, online, social etc.);
- Maintaining and enhancing AHCT press kit that includes biographies, headshots, pictures and business fact sheets;
- Monthly reporting of media coverage and outlet for AHCT;
- Media training for Senior Leadership Team and key staff (as requested);
- Proactive outreach for scheduling press interviews, speaking engagements and press event coordination, including press conferences and press conference calls;
- Providing strategic counsel to the CEO of AHCT and other key AHCT departments as needed;
- Suggesting out-of-the-box ideas to promote AHCT’s mission, vision and strategy;
- Meeting with the CEO, Marketing Director and Government & Public Affairs Manager on a weekly basis (in person or over the phone) to provide and discuss weekly updates;
- Participating in other AHCT meetings as requested (e.g. marketing partner meetings).
- Attending all monthly Board of Directors meetings;
- Recommending speaking engagements to key staff members that allow AHCT to get its message out;
- Suggesting community volunteering events for AHCT staff to participate in;
- Creating and maintaining a media calendar including events, press releases, target audiences, timing and other items; and
- Working with the Marketing Director to support campaigns, outreach efforts, events, etc.
Building, maintaining and updating a comprehensive crisis communications plan for different scenarios such as a data breach, enrollment channel issues, etc. which includes:
- Crisis response protocols and guidelines;
- Early Warning System Blueprint;
- Trained AHCT spokespeople;
- Message and communication hierarchy (e.g. who needs to be informed and in what order); and
- High-priority crisis scenario plans, messages and materials.
Proposal due by September 16 to:
Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange 280 Trumbull Street Hartford, CT 06103
Attention: Director of Legal Affairs and Policy
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