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G O O D B E G I N N I N G S : text4baby, a             free, weekly sms text message service that is             timed to ...
pregnancy Educationgoes Mobile Timely text messages reach out to expectant mothers                                        ...
Recognizing both the scope of                                                                     •Create buzz about text4...
following the launch, text4baby released a radio PSA in target     valuable tool that will help ensure that information re...
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Text4baby in Marketing Health Services Magazine

Read about Hill & Knowlton's work on the text4baby campaign from H&K vice president Stacie Paxton and Judy Meehan, chief executive officer of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.

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Text4baby in Marketing Health Services Magazine

  1. 1. G O O D B E G I N N I N G S : text4baby, a free, weekly sms text message service that is timed to a mother’s due date, was developed to be a resource for expectant and new mothers, making them aware of proper prenatal care and essential tips for a baby’s first year.12 M a r k e t i n g h e a lt h s e r v i c e s | Sp r i n g 2 011
  2. 2. pregnancy Educationgoes Mobile Timely text messages reach out to expectant mothers 13T By J u dy M E E H A n A n d S tAC i E pA x tO n HE STATiSTiCS ArE SHoCKing: Each year more than 500,000 American babies are born prematurely, and approximately 28,000 die before their first birthday. While medical experts can’t fully explain the cause, they do know that awareness of proper prenatal care—which includes good nutrition, regular prenatal doctor visits and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol—can help a mother deliver a healthy baby. Sp r i n g 2 011 | M a r k e t i n g p ow e r . co M
  3. 3. Recognizing both the scope of •Create buzz about text4baby at this public health problem and the launch through earned media coverage; potential of mobile technology, the •generate free coverage with a local National Healthy Mothers, Healthy radio public service announcement Babies Coalition, founding partners campaign featuring a pro bono celebrity Voxiva, CTiA-The Wireless Associa- spokesman or spokeswoman; tion and Grey Healthcare Group and •Secure a media partnership; and founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson •Encourage national, state and joined forces to create text4baby. This local outreach partners to promote the free service is the first of its kind to use service to their constituents and clients weekly text messages to alert women and to deliver the message directly and on ways to protect their babies’ health through their own earned media efforts. during pregnancy and postpartum. The plan also focused on an It was created to provide pregnant integrated social media campaign to and new mothers with easy access to increase awareness. “Mommy blog- critical health information. gers” were engaged to secure stories Women who sign up for the service on popular sites like, by texting BABY (or BEBE in Spanish), to 511411 receive free SMS text mes- and, as well as social sages each week timed to their due networks like Facebook. date. The service offers women an easy, “i smoked cigarettes until convenient and contemporary medium i found out i was pregnant, the Buzz. To create buzz, they trust to get information about The Associated Press was offered exclu- their health and that of their children. and i quit for my child. sive coverage, followed by a next-day14 Text4baby makes it easier for young a text like this could help announcement by U.S. Federal Chief women to receive guidelines for proper someone who wants to Technology officer Aneesh Chopra at a prenatal care by delivering information key health conference. directly to their mobile devices, where smoke again think about The founding partners issued a it’s more likely to be read, as 90 percent having that cigarette.” joint news release in both English and of Americans have a mobile phone. Hill -mom and text4baby user, maryland Spanish, and the White House office of & Knowlton, an international com- Science and Technology policy (oSTp) munications consultancy, was recruited to help launch and did the same. Chopra wrote a post on the White House blog as promote this valuable resource. well, providing an opportunity to highlight the support of the The primary audience is young, pregnant women and obama administration. Twenty partner organizations issued new mothers from various backgrounds, who sometimes their own news releases and tweeted about their involvement. lack proper health care services. According to the Centers The launch was also covered by national television networks for Disease Control & Prevention, the infant mortality and their local affiliates throughout the country. immediately rate among African-American women is 2.4 times that of non-Hispanic white women. young, lower-income African- American women are a particularly important audience, as they have the highest infant mortality rates and receive the least prenatal care. Need More Marketing Power? the plan. As with many deserving public health GO TO campaigns with limited budgets, the plan relied on earned Articles media and outreach by partner organizations. The goals were transforming consumer health, Journal of Public Policy & to increase awareness of text4baby, recruit subscribers, gain the Marketing, 2011 trust of users and third parties as a credible source of health diversity marketing redefined, Marketing News, 2011 information, create a broad coalition of partners to promote the service to pregnant women and new moms, and enlist the Webcast federal government and lawmakers to assist in spreading the wikibrands, wikicommunities—how to manage the world of word about text4baby. engaged brands, sponsored by Ramius, 2011 The plan employed several tactics: M a r k e t i n g h e a lt h s e r v i c e s | Sp r i n g 2 011
  4. 4. following the launch, text4baby released a radio PSA in target valuable tool that will help ensure that information reaches themarkets nationwide. A number of factors were used in select- women who can benefit from it,” Capps a celebrity to record the pro bono pSA. These included age, With increased support from Johnson & Johnson and aethnicity, tone, accessibility and relevance to the target audi- multiyear commitment announced recently, text4baby aimsence. All this research led to Sherri Shepherd of “The View,” to reach one million moms by December 2012. mhswhose son had prematurity-related health issues and whomight appeal to an African-American audience. The pSA ran in ✒ Judy Meehan is the chief executive officer of the national Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. stacie paxton, a vice president in Hilltarget markets shortly after the national launch. & Knowlton’s Washington, d.C. office, led the public relations effort around MTV, the top media partner choice, signed on as an early the launch of text4baby. they may be reached at andmedia sponsor. MTV highlighted text4baby in the finale, respectively. please visit for more information.special, “Teen Mom with Dr. Drew,” resulting in nearly1,500 new text4baby subscribers immediately followingthe airing. MTV also featured a bonus clip of “16 andPregnant,” in which one mother shared importanthealth messages she received through text4baby. B A B Y T A L K : withthe Launch. Text4baby’s more than 180,000launch received significant earned media subscribers, text4baby hascoverage with more than 650 place- grown to a 500-plus coalition of active public and privatements and 75 million impressions, sector partners includingdriving more than 180,000 sub- government agencies, hospitals,scribers (and counting) with 96 corporations and academicpercent saying that they would institutions. ads featuring therecommend text4baby to a baby seen here and ones similar to the ad on page 14 were usedfriend. The radio pSA with heavily throughout the launch. 15Shepherd received 15,750broadcasts, reaching 32million listeners. Thetext4baby Facebookpage currently has morethan 2,700 "likes" andcontinues to grow. From a handful of initialfounding partners, text4baby has grown to a500-plus coalition of active public and private sectorpartners comprised of government agencies, professionalassociations, hospitals, corporations, academic institutionsand nonprofit organizations. These include the oSTp, theU.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), theDepartment of Defense Military Health System and more than22 state agencies, including New York City, which advertisesthe program through its distribution of birth certificates. Text4baby was honored by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebeliuswith the prestigious HHSinnovates award, given to innovationsthat have improved HHS service. it also received the prestigiousSilver Anvil Best of Show Award from Public Relations Soci-ety of America. in addition, text4baby hosted a congressionalbriefing and secured a recommendation letter from CaliforniaCongresswoman lois Capps, who encouraged members ofCongress to promote the service. “Text4baby provides essential health information topregnant women and new moms during a critical time of life.I was so pleased to be able to help spread the word about this