Aspen Medical is a global provider of health services, with a focus on assisting rural and remote communities and responding to emergency and critical situations. A Certified B Corporation since 2016, they are dedicated to improving health outcomes in areas that are typically under-resourced.
Their subsidiary Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) is a federally-funded not-for-profit program offering urban-based health professionals opportunities to undertake short-term placements, ranging from three to twelve weeks. Participants are typically placed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote areas of the Northern Territory to support the permanent workforce. With a high rate of returning professionals, RAHC had not needed a significant recruitment campaign in several years. However, the pandemic affected many health professionals' availability, prompting RAHC to launch a new drive targeting doctors and nurses.
With challenging targets, a high spend, and little time to develop strategy and implement a major campaign, the team at Aspen Medical decided to employ a media agency to find a new pool of health professionals.
Finding partnerships with shared values
"As a company who takes social purpose seriously, it was important to us to seek out a media agency that shared our commitment to better business — and that meant a B Corp," said Eamonn Quinn, Group Marketing and Communications Director for Aspen Medical.
"It is important that B Corps walk the walk, not just talk the talk – procurement policy should seek B Corps where possible."
Finding a B Corp agency didn't take long; Eamonn reached out to Phil Benedictus of Benedictus Media, whom he met at the 2017 Champions Retreat in Alice Springs. "We were having a drink together when I found out that he went to Oxford with one of my favourite documentary makers, Louis Theroux. Very posh!" The memory — and their shared values — stuck with him, so when Aspen needed an agency, he knew who to call.
"B Corps think differently. Knowing the other company is a B Corp means we know we are on the same page. We know we have a social purpose that is not just in writing – it’s the real deal," Eamonn explained.
Driving outcomes with impact first
With the support of Benedictus Media, the RAHC campaign was hugely successful. "We received nearly five million impressions with a strong conversion rate. As a healthcare worker, it was hard to not see that campaign," laughed Eamonn.
The results driven by Benedictus are more than just numbers; the increase in healthcare workers means a continuity of care in remote communities despite the pandemic. "We were able to increase our pool of doctors and nurses, but we also saw a bonus increase in dentists and audiologists due to the ubiquitous nature of the campaign that Benedictus Media pulled together. We even had to launch a separate campaign seeking nurses experienced in remote health to assist the newbies."
Several successful campaigns later, Benedictus and Aspen Medical plan to continue their work together. "It has been refreshing to work with a company that makes you think," said Eamonn. "We had a discussion about a particular sector we work in that would not be a natural fit for Benedictus and their core values. We assured them that we would respect if they declined the campaign and continue working with them on others. After some deliberation, they accepted that our role was to provide healthcare to workers in that sector and that this was an important part of doing good. These are probably not conversations that ordinary businesses would really understand, but to Aspen Medical and Benedictus it was quite natural."
Over the years, Phil and the Benedictus team have worked with numerous B Corps — many of whom met at community events. They started working with Australian Ethical in 2017 after meeting at B Corp drinks hosted by Sendle; this year, they worked with Who Gives a Crap on an out-of-home media campaign across Melbourne.
“We’re creating change by positively influencing behaviour via advertising. We want to see ethical brands gain consumer trust, and one of the ways to do that is through familiarity. That’s where we come in,” said Phil.
“It’s been amazing to work with B Corps where you just instantly know that you’re on the same page.”
“Some of these campaigns have had fantastic results, not only from a media perspective, but also in terms of real-life impact.”
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