Access Independent: a case study

Looking back to the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, we reflect on how we helped an occupational therapy client Access Independent get ahead of the game and to stand out as a market leader and innovator through their key media.

Acting quickly, during Covid-19, to help a client to get ahead of competitors

Using proactive media to gain brand visibility during a reactive situation can feel like trying to run in a straight line during a stampede with everyone fighting to cross the finishing line first…

And, when Covid-19 hit the news headlines back in early spring, every company that had what they believed was an innovative way of helping the public and other businesses through the crisis wanted to try and hit the headlines first, to get their name noticed in a meaningful way to generate sales.

At the start of the coronavirus outbreak, our client Access Independent came to Marzipan PR to discuss how they could reach their target audience in the occupational therapy and health and social care sector to demonstrate that they were reacting quickly to the pandemic situation, listening to their clients’ need, and leading the industry through their forward-thinking and responsive service.

How Marzipan PR helped

Here’s how Marzipan PR helped, securing a two-page editorial piece for Access Independent on their key Blue Badge service in OT News, the leading publication of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

We know what makes a good story

Firstly, we knew the right questions to ask… what makes a good story and what would OT News readers want to hear about?…

Business owners know their product or their service so well that they can sometimes be too close to the subject matter. They are able to talk at length and in fine detail about what they do, in their marketing context, but don’t necessarily stop to think about why they do it. We were able to talk to Access Independent, asking in depth questions and extracting important messages about how they were solving a problem or filling a need for their clients and end users.

We constructed messaging around how occupational therapists could help local authorities avoid delays and backlog in their Blue Badge assessments, during Covid-19, by taking these online; how the new online systems could support the LAs in meeting their Social Care targets and avoid negative messaging in what is already a sensitive area; how Access Independent’s value-added online service could positively effect the Blue Badge system for vulnerable groups and create service efficiencies, thereby creating positive messaging from a negative situation.

 

 

We have the experience and expertise to form strong relationships with editors

The news had to be topical: we knew that we needed to act quickly to gain competitive advantage. We had submitted content that had been used by the OT News editor previously and we were able to get in touch with them quickly and pick up on this successful relationship.

A professional ‘pitch’ was submitted to the editor that not only told the story and how this would connect with their readers but also demonstrated that our finished draft would be backed up with both source and substance. We were able to guarantee them a high quality piece of content that would be interesting, informative, non-sales, and that would be in keeping with the style of the publication.

Editors are busy people and one of their biggest complaints is that they receive pitches that are irrelevant to their publication. They way to get noticed by editors is to be familiar with their work and the topics that they cover.

We were available… we made sure we were on hand to talk to the editor when they needed us and to ensure that they had everything they required to meet their tight deadlines, and leaving our client to get on with their immediate priority of ensuring that an essential frontline service was being delivered.

The result

The result was a striking two-page editorial piece featuring Access Independent as an innovative company and industry leader in Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ OT News. The client was also able to feature this quality content on their social media.

I was struck by the way that you were able to get us in OT News, which few of our competitors have got in – a professional publication that we have now been in several times with your help. When you started working with us, you had no background in the field but were able to pick it up and run with it. You were professional, knowledgeable, and efficient.”

Stephen Naylor

managing director, Access Independent