AONP 2018 Editorial
The Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners (AONP) is the state association that advocates for and provides membership benefits to nurse practitioners in Oklahoma. Another key function of AONP is advocating for legislation that benefits its membership and the profession. With its home office in Oklahoma City, the association represents the interests of nurse practitioners across the state.
AONP and Koch Communications have been partners for three years working together to advocate on behalf of nurse practitioners in Oklahoma. In the previous two years, the partnership between AONP and Koch Comm resulted in a significant increase in public awareness for the need for full-practice authority. A bill was passed through the House in 2017, but for two consecutive sessions, it did not receive a committee hearing in the Senate.
In 2018, AONP was preparing for and entering into their third consecutive year of advocating for the passage of full-practice authority legislation. Their concern during the third year was attempting to keep the messaging fresh, continuing the momentum gained over the last two years and not allowing media fatigue to control the story.
Koch Communications developed a public relations strategy which highlighted the urgency and need for full-practice authority across the state, especially in rural areas. One of the strategies included a third annual op-ed by hospital administrator Landon Hise, sharing his personal story which focused on the rural health care access crisis. This was a calculated risk, as using the same author to write a similar op-ed three years in a row is unconventional. However, by accurately conveying the urgency of the message, Hise’s story would continue to resonate with the media and public.
This approach drove home the message that, although this was the third straight year Hise was writing an op-ed, it was also the third straight year that health care in Oklahoma suffered and the third straight year that Hise was unable to fill positions at his hospital in western Oklahoma. He highlighted the role nurse practitioners currently play in his hospital and the potential benefit that could exist if full-practice authority legislation passed. Through the op-ed, AONP and Koch Comm delivered the message that the lack of full-practice authority for nurse practitioners was causing not only a hardship on access to health care, but also harming the quality of life for Oklahomans residing in rural parts of the state.
Koch Comm monitored the analytics on media pick-up following distribution of the op-ed. Since this was a one-time send, there was no opportunity to adjust strategy – the success of the editorial depended on thoughtful strategy and execution from the beginning. AONP was pleased with the public response, and highlighted below are the results following distribution.
– The op-ed was picked up in six newspapers, mainly in western Oklahoma.
– The op-ed exposure led to an earned media value of $2,846
– In addition, the coverage led to an estimated circulation reach of 19,300; and 127 column inches of newspaper space.