The Clinical Research Institute of Montréal (IRCM) is a biomedical research centre involved in fields as varied as immunity and viral infections, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer, neurobiology and development, systems and integrative biology, and medical chemistry. The Institute includes three clinics, seven facilities, and two research platforms. IRCM has more than 425 employees. In 2009 the IRCM contracted CASACOM to conduct both a positioning study and communication plans.
Strategy & Execution
Initially, CASACOM conducted research on the situations of similar organizations in Québec as well as around the world, carried out an opinion study among audiences, and held a brainstorming meeting. A positioning report based on the IRCM’s strengths and the concrete benefits of scientific research “for everyone” was put together. It worked to popularize research results, to show their value, and to make the researchers better known.
As part of this approach, a complete strategic communications plan was created and several activities were planned and implemented. For example, every year, four “cafés scientifiques” were organized for the general public, on topics like cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, or diabetes to name a few. These events, which were highly successful, were followed by effective meetings with the press. In addition, media relations publicized the scientific advances made by the IRCM’s researchers.
Our team has also created leaflets, speeches, spokespeople, directories for media, press releases and fact sheets, key messages, questions and answers, opinion letters, presentations, etc. CASACOM strategically also advised the board, management and the leaders of the IRCM in decision-making and public position on several hot topics. Media training was conducted several times.
From the beginning of the contract to the present (2014), the activities of the IRCM’s communications plan have created a strong visibility for the Institute and media coverage with a media reach of 50 million (PEM).