In 2018, Curley & Pynn began working with UCF RESTORES® – a nonprofit clinical research center specializing in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in active-duty military, first responders and other survivors of trauma. The team was tasked with the development and implementation of a strategic program management plan supporting the nonprofit’s overarching goal: position the clinic as the No. 1 resource for PTSD research, education and treatment.
Our objectives were to:
- Build broad awareness among those in need, their families and referral sources in their communities; and,
- Generate support for public funding on a recurring basis to facilitate operations.
We initiated this program by developing comprehensive messaging, identifying key audiences – military and first responder advocates, community stakeholders and legislative stakeholders – and proactively seeking media opportunities to share the story of UCF RESTORES.
Our media outreach began on a regional level and quickly garnered broadened awareness. Within 12 months, we secured more than 100 placements with print, online and broadcast media (regional, statewide and national), positioning UCF RESTORES as a leader in its field. Additionally, we secured inclusion of a patient’s story in an Associated Press article syndicated to more than 200 outlets internationally. We also secured inclusion in The Art of Healthcare Innovation, an Amazon Bestseller and “#1 Hot New Release,” and a National Geographic documentary highlighting UCF RESTORES’ work with displaced survivors of Hurricane Maria. Further bolstering awareness, our team developed strategic content for the program’s Facebook page. Within six months, our work resulted in a nearly 300% increase in unsponsored post engagement. To establish thought leadership, we secured, supported and managed speaking engagements at targeted industry and consumer-facing events, including a breakout session at Synapse Summit 2020, an event attracting more than 7,000 innovation industry professionals.
These efforts bolstered opportunities to generate support for public and private funding. Following announcement of UCF RESTORES’ receipt of next-stage federal funding for development of its proprietary VR technology, we managed a joint press conference with U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy. Regional and statewide coverage led to newfound connections with high-level state government contacts and presentation opportunities ahead of the 2020 Florida Legislature session. To further advance legislative support, our team pitched and secured a meeting with Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director Danny Burgess, including an on-site tour of UCF RESTORES. Following his visit, Burgess pledged advocacy for the program’s cause, in 2020 and beyond.