Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month

By the Numbers

  • 95 million PSA impressions
  • $2.9 million in equivalent advertising
  • 5.8 million Twitter impressions
  • 65% increase in website traffic
 About this project

Brushing your hair, buttoning a shirt, making breakfast – imagine waking up every morning and finding it difficult to perform these simple tasks. Unfortunately, this barely scratches the surface of what it feels like to live with a rheumatic disease. Despite affecting one in four Americans, rheumatic diseases are often misunderstood – and misdiagnosed.

To raise awareness about rheumatic diseases and facilitate early intervention from a rheumatologist, Schmidt Public Affairs worked with Terry Bradshaw – who has rheumatoid arthritis – and the American College of Rheumatology to launch a national public service announcement and “Joint IQ” quiz during September’s Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month.

Home Health Research Campaign


  • Inside-the-beltway media coverage
  • Roll Call op-ed penned by former U.S. Senators Bob Dole (R-NC) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
  • Paid media in The Hill and National Journal 
  • Webcast & live tweets
 About this project

Schmidt Public Affairs was hired in 2012 to develop and execute a communications plan for the release of a major home health research project. To generate awareness leading up to the release of the final paper, we developed a comprehensive media plan that included reporter roundtables, summary materials, and social media messaging. For the final report release, we coordinated a national news event, managing logistical details, speaker preparation and media relations.

The event featured former lawmakers Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Congressman Billy Tauzin (R-LA), former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin as well as the lead researcher, Allen Dobson, Ph.D., President of Dobson | DaVanzo.  Earned media coverage included an op-ed penned by former U.S. Senators Bob Dole (R-NC) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) in Roll Call as well as paid media in Capitol Hill publications The Hill and National Journal.

Through SPA’s creative and strategic efforts, the research project became part of the organization’s brand. It generated national news coverage and the recorded webcast continues to receive views and influence policy discussions on post-acute care payment reform.



Driving for Quality Care


By the numbers

  • $550,000 total budget
  • 8.5 million media impressions
  • 85,000 letters sent to lawmakers
  • 8,500 senior care advocates enlisted
  • $16 billion gained in additional Medicaid funding

Health Exchange Twitter Chat

By the Numbers

  • 528 participants
  • 1,572 tweets
  • 27 million impressions
 About this project

With open enrollment for the new healthcare exchanges quickly approaching, the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) – a leading nonprofit dedicated to helping patients navigate the healthcare system – was looking for a cost- and time-effective way to make vital information about the new exchanges available to patients in need of health insurance.

That’s when the idea of a bilingual Twitter chat came into play. With the help of SPA, NPAF assembled an impressive team of panelists and moderators, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Twitter chat media powerhouse U.S. News Health, and Latinos in Social Media, a nonprofit that works to empower the Latino community through the use of social media.

Questions were formulated on topics such as eligibility, coverage, and cost. Outreach was conducted to key patient groups and online influencers in advance of the chat. During the hour-long chat, questions were answered in both English and Spanish by a panel of government and policy experts. Panel experts and participants shared links to additional resources and highlights from the chat were curated and shared with the patient community using Storify.

The health exchange Twitter chat opened up the dialogue to Spanish-speaking participants at a time when 15.8 million Hispanic Americans are without health insurance (U.S. Census, 2011) and 51% of Americans polled say they didn’t have enough information about the Affordable Care Act to understand how it will impact them and their family (Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, August 2013). The chat attracted 528 participants (including leading hospitals, research institutions, nonprofits, and patient advocates), produced almost 1,600 tweets, and generated more than 26 million impressions. NPAF saw its Twitter following more than double as a result of the chat.

See more analytics from the #HealthPlans Twitter chat