The Urology Group

Raising Awareness — and Patient Comfort Levels

As the popularity of genetic testing widens, healthcare organizations are working to be part of the conversation. Northlich teamed with the nonprofit biotech institute HudsonAlpha on “Information Is Power,” an initiative designed to increase awareness of hereditary cancers and identify those at risk. The program offered free or reduced-cost genetic testing kits to people in a five-county Alabama region.

The year before our engagement with them, HudsonAlpha had a very small advertising budget and focused on outreach such as PSAs, news releases, rack cards at local businesses, and partnerships with banks and community organizations. They saw good results, but wanted to direct their efforts more specifically to reach their targets.

This is where Northlich stepped in. By leveraging health and behavior data analytics, we identified an algorithm for finding targets with an elevated likelihood of carrying the genetic variables the kit tested for. We designed and sent a direct mail piece informing these targets about the free test kits.

The team created a patient-focused website that offers a comprehensive overview of nine clinical services, dozens of conditions treated, nearly 40 physician bios and an archive of media coverage. The site now has more than 350,000 visits per year; Northlich continues to manage website content, including bimonthly blog posts.

To position The Urology Group physicians as the region’s leading specialists in their field, Northlich enacts a comprehensive media cultivation strategy which has resulted in nearly 40 placements with print, broadcast and online media outlets that


reached tens of thousands of people locally and nationally.

Northlich also provides full event-management support for the largest event in the region that benefits prostate cancer research and awareness: the ZERO Prostate Cancer 10k/5k, sponsored annually by The Urology Group. We secure sponsors and a celebrity spokesperson (past celebrities include Oscar Robertson and Ken Griffey Sr.), design promotional materials, manage logistics and create media buzz. 

In the first year of our involvement, the event enjoyed a 42 percent lift in the number of runners. That total has increased each year.

Now, nearly 1,500 runners and hundreds of participants and volunteers raise more than $150,000 annually for prostate cancer research and awareness.

Northlich supported The Urology Group’s community outreach efforts by creating a series of free prostate cancer screenings in underserved communities. We developed a dedicated website and Facebook presence to promote the screenings and worked with community leaders to solicit participants. We also capitalize on the international “Movember” campaign; each year, physicians from The Urology Group grow facial hair for a month to raise funds for prostate cancer research, and then participate in a public shaving, which generates additional media coverage.