PRIME Award Winner: Mercy Medical Center

Contributed by Sarah Todd, senior account executive at Mercy Medical Center.

We’re all waiting for that one story that could mean media coverage jackpot.  Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines received that opportunity after helping save the life of an unborn baby and working with her parents and the organization Count the Kicks to share the story.


Increase the level of public awareness for the two life-saving resources – the Mercy Obstetric Emergency Department and the Count the Kicks app – and how they saved the life of Emily and Jeremy Eekhoff’s baby.


  • Secure a minimum of three story placements with local media (i.e., print, radio or broadcast) between June 1 and June 30, 2017, through a news conference and live interviews.
  • Double the number of downloads of the Count the Kicks app from an average of 300 per month pre-campaign to 600 or more downloads in June 2017 by educating the public about the importance of monitoring babies’ movements during the third trimester of pregnancy.
  • Increase the number of expecting mothers who visit Mercy’s OB ED from an average of 381 per month to 420 in June 2017 (a 10 percent increase).



  • Coordinate a joint news conference with Mercy, Count the Kicks and the Eekhoff family.
  • Write and distribute a news release to local media outlets.
  • Share media coverage on Facebook.



  • Media coverage. Reporters from The Des Moines Register, KCCI-TV 8, WHO-TV 13, WHO-AM and Radio Iowa attended the news conference. In addition, the story was picked up by 78 other news outlets in the U.S. and around the world. “The Today Show” wrote an online article and interviewed Dr. Neil Mandsager of the Mercy OB ED and Emily Eekhoff. The Eekhoffs and Emily Price, the representative from Count the Kicks, were also interviewed for a segment on “Good Morning America,” which aired on June 27, 2017. Mercy shared the KCCI Facebook post on June 27, and it reached 41,671 people, received 525 likes, 14 comments and 66 shares. This was an organic post and was not boosted.
  • Count the Kicks app. Prior to the news coverage, Count the Kicks averaged 300 app downloads per month. By June 30, 2017, the organization received 11,194 downloads. Outside of the U.S., people in 31 countries downloaded the app.
  • Mercy OB ED visits. By the end of June 2017, the OB ED had 428 visits for the month, an increase of 11 percent from the previous monthly average. 

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