Accuray Incorporated had an impressive story to tell. The upstart healthcare technology company had developed an innovative robotic device called the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System to treat previously inoperable tumors non-invasively with high doses of precisely delivered radiation. The company engaged the nation’s largest healthcare PR firm, with hopes of increasing brand recognition across a number of audiences as it prepared an initial public offering (IPO). Despite charging steep monthly retainers, the national agency was able to garner only 12 pieces of coverage over the course of 10 months.
Frustrated with the results, Accuray hired Rockpoint Public Relations to revitalize the PR campaign. Within a month of working with Rockpoint, Accuray was featured in more than 15 articles, and Rockpoint had helped Accuray win two prestigious awards, including one that resulted in a half-page feature story in the San Jose Business Journal.
Shortly thereafter, Accuray launched its IPO. Rockpoint successfully managed public relations surrounding Accuray’s IPO, which was, at the time, the highest grossing IPO of the year. Accuray received hundreds of positive press coverage, primarily in the business media interested in its impressive growth, including a highly publicized feature story in Investor’s Business Daily.
To continue the press momentum, Rockpoint designed a multi-pronged campaign to target trade, business and consumer media. Integral to the campaign was the development of key messaging that would strengthen the Accuray and CyberKnife brands. Rockpoint worked across multiple divisions of the company to develop the messaging, which has been integrated into all communications from the company, including advertising and marketing, patient relations and collateral for medical center partners.
Rockpoint achieved significant results during the first six months of this plan. Accuray or the CyberKnife System was featured in 273 articles, broadcast stories and online features, exposing the company and its cancer treatment technology to an audience of approximately 174 million.
And in the year following that, Rockpoint assisted in growing Accuray’s brand identity even more with the initiation of a direct-to-consumer program that was supported by advertising, patient relations and partnerships with participating CyberKnife centers. During this time, adoption and usage of the CyberKnife System became more mainstream, with a number of high-profile patients, including Patrick Swayze, being featured in the press. As a result, Accuray and the CyberKnife System were included in more than 1,330 articles, broadcast stories or online features in the U.S. alone, garnering an audience of more than 513 million.
More impressive is how the messaging developed by Accuray and Rockpoint has resonated in the press. When Rockpoint initiated its media analysis, Accuray’s messaging was included in less than one quarter of the stories written or broadcast. But, within 18 months, Accuray’s key messaging was included in approximately 40 percent of all coverage.
During its first two years working with Accuray, the Rockpoint team pitched and/or wrote more nearly 20 contributed articles, features and case studies for key trade media. These pieces were featured prominently in Advance for Health Information Executives, Advance for Imaging and Oncology Administrators, Design News, East Texas Medical Journal, Enterprise Imaging and Therapeutic Radiology Management, Healthcare Journal of Northern California, Hematology & Oncology News, HOPE, Medical Journal of Houston, Outpatient Care Technology, Radiology Today and RT Image.
Rockpoint also assisted with the development of 10 patient stories, which detailed each person’s condition and their experience being treated with the CyberKnife. These patient stories were leveraged for trend story pitches in consumer and healthcare publications and were used as contributed articles in a number of magazines, including Aware, Coping with Cancer and 50 Plus New Age Senior.
Accuray also accrued an impressive number of awards with Rockpoint’s assistance. The most prominent award was the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award, which included feature articles about Accuray in BusinessWeek, Forbes and Time. Other awards won by Accuray during this time include the Aster Award, Innovations in Healthcare ABBY Award, Frost & Sullivan North American Medical Devices Product of the Year and Technology Innovators Award, Inc. magazine’s Fast 5000 List with a #188 ranking and the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area and Emerging Technology Awards presented by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.
Struggling to establish an identity as an innovator in cancer treatment, Accuray has grown in stature within the healthcare, trade, business and consumer markets as a result of a multi-faceted PR campaign developed and executed by Rockpoint PR.