With demand rising as the region’s leading pediatric hospital and research institution, Seattle Children’s Hospital needed to expand its facilities to keep pace with Pacific Northwest population growth. Plans called for almost a doubling in square footage at the Laurelhurst campus and a considerable increase in building height to be phased in over 20 years. Children’s Hospital needed the approval of the Seattle City Council to proceed.
Seattle Children’s asked Wilson Strategic to conduct extensive polling and focus group studies over an 18-month period along with statistical analysis of the results. The goal was to understand what benefits of the hospital’s growth the public valued most and preempt what community concerns might arise. Both assets and liabilities involving the public were considerable.
Analysts at Wilson Strategic Communications put together a clear and compelling messaging strategy for Seattle Children’s Hospital to implement which promoted the benefits of growth while mitigating potential liabilities. The project led to multiple, positive media stories. Opposition was mitigated by swift, evidence-based response, and general support across the community for Children’s vision for the future.
The Seattle City Council approved Seattle Children’s Hospital’s master plan for growth in response to strong public support for the expansion.