One of the best neonatal intensive care units in the country, the Baker NICU at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York, marked its 40th anniversary in 2015. To capitalize on the milestone, Mower partnered with Crouse Hospital to create a campaign that would kick-start a larger fundraising effort for the hospital and encourage donations to the NICU. The mission was to show all the good that the NICU has done over the years, raising awareness of the efforts of the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff who make it possible for the parents of ill or premature newborns to bring home a healthy bundle of joy.
With the help of the Baker NICU, we heard the stories of numerous former patients who had grown up to lead happy and healthy lives, as well as their family members. We learned that theirs is a lifelong club – they’re forever thankful for the nurses and doctors who treated them for the first few weeks of their lives. And we learned that Baker NICU makes it a point to care for not only the baby but also the family, and that the bonds they build with the families they serve continue long after their patients go home.
From these interviews came our idea for a campaign, “Little Fighters,” that would engage potential donors with the stories of real patients and the people who nursed them to health. Through their stories, we would tell the story of the Baker NICU. We accomplished this through a multi-channel engagement – social, outdoor, the hospital website, and a PR effort targeting traditional and digital media. We created a landing page with videos highlighting some of the most compelling and emotional stories to drive further awareness and potential donations. The landing page also created a space for people to connect and share their own stories about loved ones in the NICU. Through this, we conveyed the message that the Baker NICU cares not only about its current patients but all the babies who have passed through its doors and the lives they lead now. In addition, we created “Little Fighter” boxing gloves key chains that sold for $5 at the hospital and community events.
While the formal fundraising effort is slated to begin in September 2016, Crouse Hospital is already seeing a significant lift in donations. By engaging the public through real-life stories, our awareness campaign alone has already raised $40,000 for the NICU.
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