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Public Relations/Brand Marketing/Social Media Case Study

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Create an online community for healthcare personnel to drive greater awareness about the importance of needlestick safety


The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 5.6 million workers in the U.S. healthcare industry are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens via needlestick and other sharps-related injuries every year. To combat this, Safe in Common, a non-profit organization, was established to create an online community to educate healthcare personnel about these risks and ultimately eradicate needlestick injuries. Safe in Common’s goal was to drive greater awareness around needlestick safety and safety in the workplace further promoting the Federal Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, legislation that was passed under the Clinton administration in 2000. Ultimately, Safe in Common sought to establish grassroots support to lobby for future legislation that would mandate even stronger needlestick safety regulations.


KCSA was retained to build awareness of Safe in Common and to use public relations, social media and marketing to further the organization’s mission. As part of this, KCSA recommended that Safe in Common embark on a grassroots effort including a national tour to engage with healthcare personnel at various conferences and events. One major component of the tour included driving a Safe in Common branded RV from coast to coast in the U.S. visiting different hospitals, medical facilities and nursing conventions and encouraging medical healthcare personnel to participate in a Needlestick Safety Pledge.

During the tour, Safe in Common utilized its own social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and the Safe in Common blog to build and engage a community of safety conscious healthcare personnel. Safe in Common also tapped into existing communities by working closely with nurse ambassadors who promoted the campaign on their blogs, guest blogged on Safe in Common’s blog and via Twitter. Additionally, Safe in Common partnered with various thought leaders in the healthcare industry who were also interested in supporting this important cause. Online conferences were held to expand Safe in Common’s reach within the healthcare community by creating interesting content and serving as a forum for discussion; these online events were widely popular and attracted thousands of registrants.


As a result of the campaign, an online community comprised of thousands of healthcare personnel was established providing a forum for these individuals to engage and discuss the dangers of needlestick injuries. Safe in Common gained over 4,500 new Twitter followers and 300 page likes on Facebook. The online conferences had more than 1,000 registrants resulting in more than 600 participants from 15 different countries. Safe in Common also received more than 15,000 pledges from healthcare personnel and that number continues to grow. This is furthering the organization’s ultimate goal to revamp and improve needlestick safety legislation.