When Rush University College of Nursing partnered with Motiv8 Agency (a division of Tronc, Inc.) in February 2016, it wanted to tackle one major issue: perception.

The university was concerned that too many people perceive nurses as medical professionals who wish they could be doctors, and that many people misunderstand the breadth of nursing duties and occupational opportunities.

We partnered to develop a content marketing campaign to dispel these myths, and thereby elevate respect for these amazing, caring, bright professionals. The audience for the campaign included: potential students considering a nursing degree, current nursing students, and registered nurses pursuing advanced degrees.

Motiv8 Agency teamed with Rush University College of Nursing to dispel negative myths about the nursing profession.
Motiv8 Agency teamed with Rush University College of Nursing to dispel negative myths about the nursing profession.

The College of Nursing’s marketing team goals were to:

  • Elevate the perception of the college as a thought leader.
  • Engage with their nursing education leaders and elevate respect for them.
  • Maintain and improve rankings and morale.
  • Dispel false perceptions.
  • Provide useful and interesting information about nursing’s breadth and depth.
  • Influence and inspire potential students by highlighting the dramatic impact nurses have on healthcare.

To ensure we hit on each of those goals, Motiv8 Agency produced 23 content pieces, including stories and infographics, that were featured on ChicagoTribune.com, plus a 32-page, full-colour magazine. Each story highlighted the unique ways in which nurses impact hospitals, patients, and their communities.

One article, “The interesting life of a nurse researcher: Fighting sex trafficking,” was our featured story about Rush Assistant Professor Dawn Bounds, who has made it her life’s work to research, uncover, and fight commercial sex trafficking.

The feature story about nurse Dawn Bounds' fight against sex trafficking was well read.
The feature story about nurse Dawn Bounds' fight against sex trafficking was well read.

Other stories focused on illuminating the shadows of addiction, reducing school athlete injuries, life in the ER, how to live better with food allergies, and the ethics of life and death, among others.

As the stories were released, the university reported increased pride and engagement within the college. After featuring a story on clinical nurse leadership, it was added to their curriculum and we heard “no one has ever explained better what we do.”

The project was so well received internally. Some faculty who were initially reticent got so excited, they clamboured for their stories to be told.

The faculty at Rush University College of Nursing were excited about the results of Motiv8 Agency's campaign.
The faculty at Rush University College of Nursing were excited about the results of Motiv8 Agency's campaign.

When the magazine was released, the college dean threw a launch party, inviting the Motiv8 Agency team as guests of honour. He said that we had exceeded his expectations.

While our client has felt the impact of this campaign in their classrooms and among faculty, our agency saw numbers that exceeded the expectations of the client:

  • In terms of total page views, the landing page achieved 64,658 views across desktop, mobile, tablet, and other, with 53,438 unique visitors.
  • Social media views totalled 5,565.
  • Average time spent on the site was 3:25. 
  • Total scroll depth on the page was 70% — 10% more than campaign benchmarks. This means readers were consistently engaged with the content. 

Overall, this campaign is an example of what can happen when an agency-client team unites and makes great content meet the right audience.