The vision of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of America, Inc. to provide stability and security to communities, members and the industry by investing in America’s Health is supported by its advertising and PR, sales and customer service and participating network of partners. Enabling healthy living is the collective mission of those stakeholders as they seek to advance local health concerns and provision of new resources through financial contribution, community outreach and resources distribution to industry partners focused on improving the American healthcare system.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have been vested in community-based healthcare initiatives since the mid-20th century. The collaborative efforts of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have instituted vast change in access to healthcare and patient information across a number of specialized medical practice fields. The launch of a nationwide advertising and public relations strategy with partners in 2011 extended the reach of the companies’ healthcare message in a multi-scale, public awareness education advertising campaign targeting both urban and rural communities.Coupled with the “collective impact of these multi-million dollar community investments”, the Power of Blue is making “national impact unrivaled by any other health insurer” (BCBS).
Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield Companies.
The price of Blue Cross and Blue Shield services is based on a menu of products and customer contract agreements calculated according to program. The companies are a tax-exempt IRS 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit corporation. All profits are contributed to operations, programs and related investment opportunities toward the growth of the organization and advancement of its mission in healthcare. Marketing costs used for the promotion of products and services are factored accordingly, and partly sustained by pro bono contribution of partners in the advertising and PR industry.
Nationwide access to BlueCross BlueShield products and services across the United States and Puerto Rico has been expanded to include international plans in Panama and Uruguay. BlueCross BlueShield partnerships work to improve healthcare access in large cities and rural communities by increasing support to those in need (BCBS). The healthcare companies offer provision of “education and funding resources to build a strong front-line team of future doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers” in those locations (BCBS).
Advertising (Positioning/copy and Media)
In 2011, the launch of the Blue Cross Blue Shield advertising campaign by 5 Omnicom agencies marked the transition of the companies’ strategic marketing management from contract with Draftfcb, Chicago to the new agency (O’Leary). Selected for brand advertising, 5 Omnicom joined Blue Cross Blue Shield’s other representative advertising agencies in roll-out of the segment. Initiation of the bid for the brand advertising segment was part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield consideration of“350 national, regional, and local agencies” (O’Leary). The eight finalists in the competition responded to RFPs in their respective categories. The outcome to the remaining advertising management partnership strategy: “TPG, digital and direct; Zimmerman, retail advertising, media planning, and buying; Alma, Hispanic advertising; and Footsteps, African-American advertising” (O’Leary).
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. (BCBSF) brand campaign, 'Looking Up,' to “highlighted the company's transition from a health insurance company to a health solutions company” (PR Newswire). The campaign message “In the pursuit of health” reflects the broader commitment of the organization to its mission and services. Focused on affordable products, new health plans, services and support through Florida Blue retail centers, the regional campaign illustrates the efficacy of BCBSF public relations and impact on communities through education and real solutions. The brand campaign is a model Blue Cross and Blue Shield effort comprised of “radio, television, and print advertising throughout the state” as well as YouTube commercials and other internet presence (PR Newswire).
Sales Force Efforts
The nonprofit organization operating through representation in local initiatives “sells” its products and services to customers, communities, healthcare partners and the healthcare industry through membership and contribution to multi-million dollar community investments providing leveraged resources that enhance the total revenue prospectus of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies total prospectus. The sales force effort behind Power of Blue is national in impact. To this end, the companies increased participation by 15% in 2012. The same year “32% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield foundations”were expected to significantly increase their community investments (BCBS). Blue System community investments total more than $210 million (BCBS).
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is a leader in the American healthcare industry. Sales promotions rely on reputation. “Since 1944, the company has been dedicated to meeting the diverse needs” of communities (PR Newswire).The companies are “not-for-profit, policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company” (PR Newswire).Blue Cross and Blue Shield sales promotion is conducted through: “Access to Care; Disaster Relief; Healthcare Disparities; Healthcare Education; Healthcare Staffing, Recruitment and Retention; Maternal and Child Health Issues; Medical Research; Obesity Issues; Prevention and Wellness; Arts and Culture; and General Causes” (BCBS).The Power of Blue is the brand of grants and scholarship recognition and sponsor community programs. The companies stewardship of direct community investment totals more than $200 million, annually.
People [Target Market(s)]
Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies serve more than 100 million people across the U.S., and Puerto Rico. The national market leader, the companies represent local health concerns in nearly every ZIP code in the country (BCBS). Dedicated volunteers offer“unwavering support for a variety of projects including physical activity and healthy eating initiatives, disease management, and healthcare accessibility and affordability” (BCBS).
The management of customer service at Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies is contiguous across products and services in partnership with local operators working in cooperation with the organization. Online customer service is complimented by sales and outreach relations as part of the companies’ approach to meeting “the toughest challenges in healthcare”; making Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies“meaningful difference in the lives of people across the country” (BCBS).
Annual Report: Investing in America’s Health 2011. Blue Cross, Blue Shield Association, 2011. http://www.bcbs.com/about-the-association/2011_Investing.pdf
Blue Cross and Blue Shield, 2013.<http://bcbs.com/>
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Launches New Brand Campaign: New campaign to advance the health and well-being of all Floridians. PR Newswire, 8 Feb 2011.http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/blue-cross-and-blue-shield-of-florida-launches-new-brand-campaign-115554989.html
O’Leary, Noreen. 5 Omnicom Shops Win Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida.Adweek29 Nov 2011. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/5-omnicom-shops-win-blue-cross-blue-shield-florida-136760