Project Description

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland: South Patient Tower Grand Opening

Metropolitan Detroit hospital St. Joseph Mercy Oakland wanted to ensure a highly attended and well-publicized series of festivities celebrating the grand opening of its new South Patient Tower, a $145M state-of-the-art addition. St. Joseph Mercy Oakland sought to host a grand opening that was consistent with the hospital’s brand image and key messaging. The hospital’s marketing team needed to identify and manage multiple vendor contracts to fulfill the special event and public relations needs for the grand opening of the South Patient Tower.
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland would benefit from hiring Marx Layne, an outside agency expert in media relations and special events coordination, which could serve as an extension of the hospital’s marketing team.
Marx Layne had dual goals for this project: special event management and public relations to promote and support the grand opening of the South Patient Tower at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.

We divided responsibilities between our account professionals with half of the team focusing on special event management and the other half focusing on media relations. We met with the client to determine the goals and vision for the grand opening festivities, and then we developed a campaign to meet those objectives.

Marx Layne managed all aspects of the grand opening events. We conceptualized a theme for the grand opening events supporting the hospital’s brand image and key messaging. Our team of account professionals coordinated an RFP process, securing quotes from vendors for all aspects of the grand opening, from food & beverage and entertainment to audio/visual and photography. After reviewing all of the quotes, we presented our recommendation to St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, and then executed all vendor contracts on behalf of the hospital. We developed a comprehensive budget tracking all projected expenses.

Our team served as the liaison between St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and all outside vendors. We monitored progress on all initiatives, ensured we remained on budget, and provide regular status updates to the client.

Recognizing the attention to detail needed for special events, our team participated in weekly planning meetings at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in the months prior to the grand opening, providing input on scripting and logistics for tours of the new South Patient Tower during the physician, colleague, office manager and community open house events. We also worked on-site at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in the week leading up to the grand opening to oversee set-up and logistics of all events. We brought our laptops and mi-fi hotspots so we could stay in touch via email, and also work directly with vendors ensuring each event was executed accordingly to plan.

Throughout the series of grand opening events, we participated in daily team meetings with nearly two dozen departments. We made split second decisions when modifications were needed to the special event execution, such as increasing the menu offerings, coordinating needed audio/visual changes, and serving as tour guides to supplement gaps left by volunteers reassigned to other roles. Our familiarity with all aspects of the new South Patient Tower at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland made our last-minute role as tour guides a seamless transition.

Our team drafted all press kit materials, showcasing that the new South Patient Tower was the most technologically integrated healing environment in the country designed to improve patient safety, clinical quality and provide an exceptional patient care experience. We also highlighted the hospital’s Healing Arts Program, and the overall financial investment made by the hospital. We conducted media relations to TV, print, radio and online news outlets. Prior to the grand opening, we hosted a media hard hat tour, showcasing the state-of-the-art facilities.

The series of grand opening events at the new South Patient Tower surpassed the client’s attendance goals with 150 office managers attending the open house; 1,250 physicians and colleagues attending the open house and reception events; and near 3,000 in attendance at the VIP/media breakfast and subsequent community open house.

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland was effusive in its praise of our team. Marx Layne was complimented for its efficiency, professionalism, and willingness to go above and beyond to meet the ever-changing needs as events were in progress. Equally important, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland had extreme confidence in our capabilities and professionalism, and felt they never had to worry about any details under our purview. Marx Layne also generated significant high-profile media coverage about St. Joseph Mercy Oakland’s financial investment, state-of-the-art technology, and dedication to patient care, the hospital’s three key messages for the grand opening.