Ellis Strategies Success Stories
Since 2005, Ellis Strategies has worked with a diverse group of outstanding businesses, institutions, associations and individuals. Please view some of our recent success stories from various public relations, video production and media training clients.
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
2017 was an important year for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. May 29, 2017 would mark 100 years since President Kennedy’s birth and the Library had developed a year-long plan to commemorate the centennial. In addition to a roster of special events, the Library wanted to remind the world of the themes that formed the foundation of Kennedy’s private life and public administration: courage, service, inclusion and innovation.
The JFK Library contracted with Ellis Strategies to support a robust media relations effort spanning the four months leading into the birthday celebration over Memorial Day weekend. ES allocated two account reps, plus Matt Ellis, to create, execute and manage the media plan. Working in concert with the Library’s internal team, ES identified the events, themes and media targets that would yield the most meaningful coverage. Some stories that were placed were event-driven – like the weekend of touch football games organized around the country to highlight President Kennedy’s commitment to physical fitness (as well as his family’s enjoyment for the backyard game) or the Library’s newly curated exhibit highlighting 100 artifacts from JFK’s life – while others were more thematic, like JFK’s enduring legacy in the field of public service and his favorite haunts around the City of Boston.
In all, ES generated media attention around more than 15 events, ranging from a naturalization ceremony for 200 new Americans, to the presentation of the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award to President Barack Obama, to the preparation (and cutting) of a one-of-a-kind birthday cake for 1,000 Library guests. ES helped the JFK Library create a “drumbeat of coverage” around the centennial, which also included placing opinion articles from notable sources that would further the four key themes of JFK’s life.
Beyond just pitching stories and coordinating logistics, ES worked carefully to determine how different media entities could receive exclusive photos, interview or access to pieces of the JFK story so that coverage of JFK’s life and legacy were differentiated in print, broadcast and web-only media. For example, a piece published in “Women’s Wear Daily” focused on JFK’s effortless style and how it shaped a generation, while another article in the Boston Globe examined the legacy of Kennedy’s famous “Ask not” inaugural speech, which ushered in a period of national ambition and pride.
Ellis Strategies supports public relations for Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit that partners with public middle schools to expand learning opportunities for low-income students through experiential learning. Citizen Schools is the second largest utilizer of AmeriCorps volunteers and has established partnerships with companies like Google, AT&T and Cisco.
During its three-year engagement, Citizen Schools has gone through a number of changes, which has demanded a careful media strategy. The organization shuffled its top management; eliminated services in some regions while expanding in others; and started a process to reimagine how it utilizes public and private money to have a greater impact. Ellis Strategies focused on highlighting and publicizing educational successes, partnerships that bring civic and business leaders into the classroom, and public policy initiatives aimed at improving opportunities for all school children. ES successfully minimized “bad news,” while maximizing opportunities to tell good stories. As a result of the work, Citizen Schools has been highlighted for its unique approach to experiential learning in major news organizations like Forbes Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, WCVB TV in Boston and YES! Magazine, among others.
Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a nonprofit providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI’s Boston District Council is a prominent collection of builders, developers, architects, financiers and public policy experts who work collaboratively to create thought-provoking, forward-looking programs focused on the region’s unique urban landscape.
For the past several years, Ellis Strategies has successfully increased ULI’s pubic visibility. On several occasions, ULI programs and research studies have been featured on the front page of the Boston Globe as well as on WBZ Newsradio 1030, four local television stations and two local National Public Radio affiliates. In one particular case, media attention surrounding ULI’s Hub and Spoke report on public transportation prompted hearings at the Massachusetts State House aimed at increasing funding for bus, subway and commuter rail service.
Perkins School for the Blind
Perkins is a world class leader in the education of individuals who are blind, visually impaired and deafblind. Among its many initiatives, Perkins has been tapped by the Federal Communications Commission to run a national program distributing assistive communications technology to children and adults who are living with hearing and vision loss. The program, known as iCanConnect, has a national outreach component for which Ellis Strategies is providing ongoing assistance.
We have assembled a team of professionals to create content and conduct media outreach. We produce press releases, newsletter articles, magazine articles and public service announcement scripts. We also work closely with state partners to highlight consumers who are benefiting from the program. It is gratifying to be involved in this project because we are meeting and talking to people whose lives have been transformed by technology. People who lived as shut-ins with little outside contact are now connected to friends, family and community.
Ellis Strategies provides additional public relations support to the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library and to Perkins Products, a retail division providing the latest tools and technologies allowing people with all levels of vision the ability to read, write and enjoy an improved quality of life.
Boston is a busy news town and Northeastern University is right in the middle of it all. Northeastern is one of the city’s largest private universities, with 20,000 combined graduate and undergraduate students. The school makes news for its research, programs, students and sports. And, it recognizes the need to have its leaders prepared to deal with the media – good or bad.
Ellis Strategies has conducted several media training sessions for members of Northeastern’s cabinet, deans and spokespersons. We work closely with the Office of External Affairs to craft questions that match what Northeastern’s spokespeople would face from reporters at the local newspapers, radio and TV stations.
The results speak for themselves. Northeastern continues to make news in Boston and communicate effectively through the local media.
Elliot Health System
As one of the largest hospitals in New Hampshire, Elliot Health System is regularly at the center of breaking news covered by state and regional media. As a big player in a small state, EHS has excellent media contacts. But when big stories hit, the EHS sometimes has to face harsh questions.
Ellis Strategies works with the hospital’s Public Affairs Department to help prepare hospital leaders, section chiefs and spokespeople for all types of media interviews. Our deep understanding of the Boston media landscape ensures EHS is prepared for a promotional interview with a local newspaper reporter as well as probing questions from Boston’s investigative journalists.
Tufts Medical Center
In Boston’s highly competitive healthcare market, Tufts Medical Center has a long history of providing compassionate care and working closely with community hospitals providing access to some of the region’s best doctors. Every year, Tufts Medical Center highlights its accomplishments and recognizes people who have contributed to the medical center’s efforts through an event called Working Wonders.
For the past few years, Ellis Strategies has been proud to work with Tufts Medical Center to produce videos for the Working Wonders event. We have had the opportunity to meet some amazing patients, care givers and hospital leaders and share their stories. The Tufts Medical Center Trust uses these videos to illustrate how the work being done in the hospital and throughout research facilities results in cutting edge care and healthier families.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
In virtually every country, and on every continent, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is recognized as a leading catalyst for change and improvement in the way health care is delivered. Each year, IHI hosts its National Forum, drawing hospital leaders, practitioners and students from across the globe.
Starting in 2010, IHI partnered with Ellis Strategies to create IHI TV as a vehicle to feature in-depth video presentations that highlight quality improvement initiatives from organizations delivering patient care across the U.S. and overseas. We have been honored to meet and profile the leaders who are shaping a better patient experience, improving outcomes and promoting healthier communities.
The IHI TV stories are featured on a network of video screens around the conference site and on dedicated hotel TV channels during the annual Forum. They also reside on a special IHI TV website and on the websites of the featured organizations.