CASE STUDY

The American Board of Physician Specialties

CHALLENGE & INSIGHT

The American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) certifies physicians in 17 medical specialties. The ABPS has been fighting for recognition from the healthcare system against its much larger competitor, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

Despite a limited budget, we created a clear path: an external communications strategy that provided a roadmap to the right decision makers and media influencers. We began breaking down an imposing monopoly of board certification within physician care while helping ABPS gain recognition from government entities by managing both organizations and states enforcing rules that only recognized its competitor.

STRATEGY & RESULT

We addressed the organization’s challenges from multiple angles:

  • We targeted communications to the right media, hospitals, government, and other stakeholders.

  • We developed a truthful platform—setting it apart from the competitor’s long-term, misleading information—while giving a voice to nearly twenty thousand physicians.

  • We succeeded. The key players—CMS, the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Labor, and key influencers and legislators—now recognize the importance of choice in physician board certification.

 

Our strategy with ABPS garnered an award nomination from PR News under the category of best communications campaign on a shoestring budget and, more importantly, has led to an eight-year professional partnership.